The monastery is named after the Armenian monk Euthymius, one of the founders of Judean Desert Christian monasticism in the Byzantine period.
At about thirty years of age, he secretly set out on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and remained for some time in a cave near a settlement of monks at Wadi Qelt.
In 411CE, Euthymius withdrew into the wilderness with a fellow hermit, St. Theoctistus, living in a laura on the banks of Wadi Og. As many disciples gathered around them, they built around the cavern a church and a monastery placed in the charge of St. Theoctistus
Euthymius was believed to have miraculously cured an Arab.
The report of this miracle had made the name of Euthymius famous throughout then Byzantine Palestine, and large crowds came to visit him in his solitude. He retreated with his disciple Domitian to the wilderness near the Dead Sea, living for some time on Masada. Afterward, he withdrew to Ein Gedi. Later he returned to the laura at the monastery run by Theoctistus.
Every Sunday he came to the monastery to take part in the divine services.
Euthymius enjoyed longevity and died at the age of 97 (475 CE). He was buried in his monastery.
In 482 CE, the Euthymius Monastery changed from a monastery of hermits (laura) to a communal monastery (coenobium). Euthymius’ bones were reinterred to a crypt over there. The story of the monastery and the miracle that occurred there, are described in the book “Vita Euthymii”, written by the monk Cyril of Scythopolis.
One of the interesting structures of the Judean Desert monasteries is their water systems. Great labor and efforts were invested in the collection of the scant rainwater that fell in the region. Their dependence was the accumulation of water. In years of drought, their inhabitants were forced to leave the monasteries.
This is the reason for the great investment in the construction of rainwater cisterns in these complexes. The less the precipitation, the larger these cisterns had to be. Four tremendous cisterns were discovered in this monastery.
By guided tour only.