Baptism of Jesus Christ

Qasr al Yahud

Qasr al Yahud is the place where Jesus Christ was spiritually born – since in this very place, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.
Here you will find everything you need to know before visiting this holy site!


Why is Qasr al Yahud important?

The Jordan River Valley is home to an extremely important baptismal site – the site of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist.
This baptism site spreads across the two banks of the Jordan River:

The western part of the site is called Qasr al Yahud, and is under Israeli control.

The eastern part of the site is on the other bank of the Jordan River, and is known as Baptism Site “Bethany Beyond the Jordan” (Al-Maghtas). This part is not under Israeli control, but belongs to the Kingdom of Jordan.

So Qasr al Yahud is the western part of the site of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist.

Qasr al Yahud
Baptismal site at Qasr al Yahud | udi Steinwell Pikiwiki Israel, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons



Where is Qasr al Yahud located?

Qasr al Yahud is located in the West Bank, about 41 km (25.5 mi.) east of Jerusalem, and 10 km (6.5 mi.) southeast from Jericho.
It is part of the Jericho Governorate of Palestine.


What are the main Christian attractions in Qasr al Yahud?

A number of churches, chapels and monasteries belonging to various denominations extend along a 3 km (2 mi.) stretch south of the baptismal site.

Other than the actual baptism site, the closest Christian attraction is The Monastery of St John the Baptist – a nearby Greek Orthodox monastery that has a castle-like appearance. Since it is located in Jordan, it can only be seen from the western bank of the river.

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What should I know before visiting Qasr al Yahud?

Qasr al-Yahud is administered by the Israeli Civil Administration and the Israeli Ministry of Tourism.

Christian ceremonies take place in coordination with the Civil Administrations officer for religions and churches and in coordination with the army.
The ceremonies take place on two main dates: Easter (in April, according to the denomination’s religious calendar), and on the celebration of the Epiphany in January, according to the denomination’s religious calendar.


Are there any fun facts about Qasr al Yahud?

Of course!

  • This site is also important to Jewish people – it is traditionally considered to be the place where the Israelites crossed the Jordan River on their way back from Egypt to the Holy Land. And it is also the place where prophet Elijah ascended to heaven.
  • The name Qasr al Yahud is Arabic for “The tower of the Jews”.