The Monastery of the Cross is located in the Valley of the Cross in central Jerusalem. It preserves an ancient tradition that the tree from which the cross of Jesus was made grew here.
The monastery is located near the Israel Museum, the Israeli Parliament and Gan Sacher Park. Visitors welcomes visitors daily to explore it and relax at its shady and beautiful courtyard café.
The tradition tells us that the tree has been planted by Lot, cousin of the Patriarch Abraham.
After realizing his sins, came to Abraham who gave him branches from pine, fir and cypress trees. Lot planted them, and they grew miraculously into one tree, in the spirit of Isaiah 60:13. The church, dating from the Byzantine period, is adorned with frescoes and an intricate mosaic floor.
Behind the altar, paintings depict the story of the tree.
In the eleventh century, the monastery was restored by the Georgians, whose national poet, Shota Rustaveli, is said to have resided here when he wrote his epic work “the Knight in the Panther’s Skin.”
The monastery also contains a small museum of ethnic costumes and church art.
Source: Israel Tourism Ministry
The Holy Monastery of Tree, according to the ancient catholic tradition and the paintings exposed in the Monastery, was based on a triplet seeding, pine, cypress and cedar that Abraham gave to Lot before him cross to the Jordan valley.
Lot was planted the tree at this site and watered it with waters he fetched from the far Jordan river. According to the tradition, the tree was later used to make the cross on which Jesus was crucified.
To christian tradition, the room inside the Monastery of the Cross marks the site where the tree was.
The cross was buried in the tomb of Jesus, the Holy Sepulchre Church according to the tradition. The fragments of the cross were found by Helen, the mother of Constantine in 326AD.
The fragments were transferred to Rome and exposed in "Santa Croce in Gerusalemme", the Church of the Holy Cross.
In 1989, while the road along the east end of this Gehenna Valley was being widened, bulldozers uncovered three previously unknown burial caves which had remained undisturbed for almost fifteen hundred years. This discovery produced evidence that has provoked a reexamination of the three other long-known but littlenoticed burial caves in this area, and taken together the evidence from these six caves makes the continued identification of this site as Akeldama implausible. Akeldama, the “field of blood” (Acts 1:19), was the burial site for poor people, but these burials were of wealthy people.
In these caves have been found some of the most superb Herodian tombs ever discovered. There is impressive evidence that one of them may have belonged to the high priest Annas. It is located near the recently discovered family tomb of his son-in-law and successor, Caiaphas. Both men were priests before whom Jesus appeared (Lk 3:2; Jn 18:13–14).
“Archaeology and the New Testament,” DNTB, 95.
Traditional Mount Zion. Mount Zion is the hill on Jerusalem’s western ridge and is dominated by the Dormition Abbey church and bell tower.
This, together with the ritual significance of the spring of Gihon at the foot of Mount Zion (cf. Gen 2:13; 1 Kings 1:33, 38, 45; 2 Chron 32:30; 33:14), inspires the river imagery of the Psalms (Ps 46:4; 74:13–15) that is associated with Zion and temple. It is this river imagery that once again erupts in Ezekiel’s vision of the eschatological …
“Adam,” Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, 11.
Remember your congregation, which you acquired long ago, which you redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage. Remember Mount Zion, where you came to dwell.
Psalms 74:2 NRSV