The Baptism Site of Jesus

Located in the border of Israel and Kingdom of Jordan, Qasr el Yahud is the original site of baptism in the waters of Jordan river, it place is one of most visited by Christians from the first century until today and was recognised official by the church in the byzantine era.




In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Matthew 3:1-2



Qasr al Yahud (Means The Jews' Castle or Villa) is a site on the banks of the Jordan River not far from Jericho.  The ancient christian tradition associates the site of Qasr al Yahud with the site of Jesus' baptism described in Matthew chapter 3 and it has been revered as such from at least the fourth century based on Helena, the mother of the first Emperor Constantine.

Many monasteries and churches was built in the area and is testifying to the long christian tradition at Qasr al Yahud. In the Jewish tradition the crossing of the Jordan by the People of Israel under Joshua command was also have taken place in this general area, this fact was described in the Book of Joshua chapter 3.

This place is also associated with the site where Elijah handed over the prophecy to Elisha and rose to heaven on a fiery chariot described in 2 Kings chapter 11.


The traditional Arabic name of the baptism site is Al-Maghtas, which has been used for an area stretching over both banks of the river, since the pilgrimage site has also slightly moved during history. Apparently for administrative reasons, the Jordanian side of the site is using the names Al-Maghtas, Bethany beyond the Jordan and simply Baptism(al) Site, while the western part is officially called Qasr el-Yahud. The latter name is actually inaccurate, since it is borrowed from the nearby Greek Orthodox Monastery of St John the Baptist, which has a castle-like appearance (thus qasr, "castle"), allegedly conflated with the tradition of the Israelites' crossing of the river at this spot (thus el-Yahud, "of the Jews").