Christian sites, peaceful surroundings draw many to this neighborhood on the southwest border of Jerusalem.
In a peaceful valley surrounded by natural groves, Jerusalem’s picturesque southwest neighborhood of Ein Kerem is known for its Christian historical sites and its present-day artists colony feel.
"It’s kind of the small village of the milk and honey country you expect to find," says one visitor interviewed here. "Beautiful people and beautiful nature."
According to Christian tradition, Ein Kerem is where Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, miraculously became pregnant; and where she was visited by her cousin Mary, who was pregnant with Jesus. The two women met beside the village well, now called Mary’s Well. Many pilgrims come to drink from the well and visit the ancient churches built here.
Though just a short drive from Jerusalem’s modern neighborhoods, once you arrive you can leave the everyday world behind and step back in time.