Monastery of the Holy Cross
A medieval Monastery located in the valley of the Cross. Here, according to tradition, grew the tree of the Cross.
The monastery is one of the most significant worship in the hart of the new holy city of jerusalem.
A Greek-Orthodox monastery, built as a fortress, located in the Rehaviah valley (Cross valley). According to tradition it is the site of the tree that was used to build the cross of the crucifixion .
"Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene".
THE TRADITION OF THE TREE
The Holy tree, according to the tradition and the local paintings in the Monastery, was based on a triplet seeding (pine + cypress + cedar) that Abraham gave to Lot. Lot planted the tree at this site and watered it with waters he fetched from the Jordan river. The tree was later used to create the Holy Cross on which Jesus was crucified. A room inside the Monastery marks the site of the tree.
The cross was later buried in the grave of Jesus . Fragments of the cross were found by Helen, the mother of Emperor Constantine who discovered the vault in her visit (326AD). They were transferred to Rome and are on display in "Santa Croce in Gerusalemme" (Church of the Holy Cross).
HISTROY : Monastery of the Holy Cross
The monastery was initially built in the Byzantine period, during the 5th C AD. It was repaired by Caesar Justinian in the mid 6th C. The Monastery was destroyed during the Persian invasion (614AD). In 796 the Arabs butchered all the residing monks.
It was rebuilt in the 11th C by a Georgian Monk, and enjoyed better times during the times of the Crusaders. The site was a large center in the 13-14th C, and hosted a hundreds of Georgian monks, scholars and poets.
After the Crusaders left the city (1267AD) the site was under the control of the Mamelukes, who added a mosque inside the complex. During the times of the Mamluk ruler Baibars (1260-1277) the Church was demolished and the monks removed, but were permitted to return on 1305 after pressure from Byzantine.