Qasr Al Yahud Travel Overview
This Jordan River baptismal site is considered to be the most likely spot where Jesusas baptised by John the Baptist.(Matthew, 3: 13-17). Remains of several churches dating as far back as the 5th Century can be seen at the site, further emphasizing the sites significance at the actual site where Jesus was baptized and then started his ministry. Its Arabic name, Qasr al-Yehud, is possibly a remnant of an even older tradition than the pre-Christian, Jewish use of the place as a baptismal site. The site, which is situated along a very narrow portion of the Jordan River is believed to be where the Israelites crossed when they entered the land of Canaan. The on site excavations depict beautiful mosaics. Visitors seeking to be baptized must take the ancient marble steps into the Jordan River for a very unusual baptismal experience.
Touring Qasr Al Yahud
Visitors seeking to tour Qasr Al Yahud can either drive independently (the site is located within Area B (joint control by Israel and the Palestinian Authority) or alternatively, they can hire the services of a private tour guide or take the West Bank and Qasr El Yahud day tour that is offered weekly on Saturdays from Jerusalem.
A visit to Qasr Al Yahud can easily be combined with Tel Jericho, Mt. of Temptations (both are in the Palestinian Authority areas) as well as St. Georges Monastery and Wadi Kelt, Qumran, Ein Feshka and Bethany.
Qasr Al Yahud and other area Day Tours
Private day tours to Qasr Al Yahud are recommended if you wish to see many of the other important sites in the area such as Tel Jericho, Herodium, St. Georges Monastery, Bethany, Ein Feshka, Mt of Temptations and /or the Good Samaritan Museum. These sites are also not on any regularly scheduled day tour programs.
For a private day tour, please contact us.
Each year the Orthodox churches celebrate Epiphany at the site of Qasr Al Yahud. This annual festivity is quite grand and attendance is highly recommended.
Facilities Available at Qasr Al Yahud in the Holy Land
Qasr Al Yahud is situated within the Palestinian Territories within Area C, which is currently under the administration of Israeli authorities, yet both Israelis and Palestinians can freely visit this site. All planning has been done in cooperation with the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, the National Parks Authority and the Jordanian authorities on the other side of the river.
The Israeli Tourism Ministry investment in the site to date totals about 5 million shekel, of which 3.5 million NIS was invested in 2007/8. With further investment by the Ministry of Defense, the total investment to date in developing the Qasr el Yahud site for tourism is 8 million NIS. Plans for future development of the site include wheelchair accessibility, signage, shading, landscaping etc.
The baptismal pool is worth extra attention. Its shape is cruciform and the flowing waters of the Jordan Rivers fills it naturally. The age of the steps leading into it is not known, but were mentioned the first time 1400 years ago. Many of the innumerable pilgrims visiting through the ages carved little crosses into the stone, which can still be seen.
The site is free of charge to visitors and managed by the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority.
Baptismal robes are available for puchase for 35 NIS.
Qasr El Yahud is now open daily to all visitors. For information 02 650-4844 fax: 02-650-4843.
Nearby Places of Interest
|The town of Jericho, ancient Jericho, the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, Qumran, Ein Gedi, Wadi Qelt.|
*For more information about booking an individual or group pilgrimage or tour to the Holy Land please contact us.