Ein Karem


Ein Karem, a village and its cultural landscape is part of the Tentative list of Israel in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Ein Karem is a village southwest of modern Jerusalem and the site of the ancient village of Bet Hakerem. It was a Jewish settlement in the Second Temple Period (516 BCE to 70 CE). According to Christian tradition, it is the birthplace of John the Baptist. Ein Karem is an important place of pilgrimage with numerous churches and monasteries in the village and the surrounding area.

Map of Ein Karem

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

Community Reviews

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Ilya Burlak

USA - 03-Feb-20 -

Ein Karem, a village and its cultural landscape (T) by Ilya Burlak

My visit to Ein Karem was not too extensive in November of 2019. Yad Vashem is nearby, as is Abbell Synagogue of Hadassah Ein Karem with windows painted by Marc Chagall - the two main points of interest that I planned for one afternoon. I had about an extra hour in my schedule, and decided to drive to the core of the village to take a quick look.

That part of Ein Karem is centered on the Church of St John the Baptist, with a fairly impressive tiled interior (although covered in scaffolds at the time) and its own Nativity Cave underneath. The church itself may be worth a visit but the streets around it did not feel overly special to me. A nice cup of tea and the short wait to be served in a local confectionery store, during which I observed locals making purchases, left a more lasting impression. Other points of interest, such as Mary's Spring and a few other religious complexes in the area, did not fit into my allotted time. It is more than likely that I did not attempt to see enough to form an educated opinion, but my short visit did not lead me to consider the village's OUV to be significant.

Read more from Ilya Burlak here.


Philippines - 06-Sep-19 -

Ein Karem, a village and its cultural landscape (T) by GabLabCebu Ein Karem is a pleasant little village at the edge of Jerusalem, best known for being the birthplace of John the Baptist, and home to the Church of the Visitation and the Church of St. John the Baptist. It was for these 2 churches that I visited Ein Karem back in May 2018. The Church of the Visitation has a 2-story main structure, with the lower floor housing Byzantine-era remains, and the upper floor being the main body of the church. The structure is from the 1950s, and a visit involves a short walk up the hill it's situated on. The Church of St. John the Baptist is a bit less modern in design and structure, having a much older structure, but the interior is decorated with Spanish-style tiles and groin vaults on the ceilings. The village itself seems to be composed of structures from the late Ottoman period, forming a nice little ensemble, further enhanced by the surrounding agricultural terraces and thick forests. However, it doesn't seem to be unique even in the region, with many towns displaying Ottoman and Levantine architecture and Battir beating it to the Levantine agricultural landscape niche of World Heritage Sites. Without the Christian significance, I can't say Ein Karem is a must-see or worthy of World Heritage status as the churches, village, and surroundings, though great places to visit, lack a unique tangible OUV.


10-Feb-18 -

Today I visited the town of Ein Karem. It is only a short ride from Jerusalem. Ein Karem has many religious buildings, but none seems old or very special. The environment is nice to walk. 

I think the outstanding universal value has to be that John The Baptist has been born here. It was 8 in the morning when I was there, and the first buses with tourists allready arrived. My host in the hotel told this is a good place to find a restaurant on a saturday (Sabbath). 

There is not a lot of parking space there. I found a small (free) car park and some spaces along the road. 

Full Name
Ein Karem, a village and its cultural landscape
Cultural Landscape - Continuing Religious structure - Christian
2015 Added to Tentative List

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Ein Karem, a village and its cultural landscape: Ein Karem (T)
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