The Gorny (Moskkubia) nuns Convent was established by the Russians in 1871 in Ein Kerem. The name means “mountainous” in Russian.
Mary visited the summer house of her aunt Elisabeth and Zachariah, the parents of John the Baptist, which according to Christian tradition was located in a small village in Judea, probably Ein Kerem of today. To commemorate this visit, many churches were built in the scenic village of Ein Kerem.
The beautiful monastery, perched atop one of the Judean Mountains, is open to the public on limited visiting hours, and is highly recommended to visit for it’s beautiful Cathedral and the panoramic views of Ein Kerem. It is located south and above the Catholic Church of Visitation. Surrounding the church are various structures that belong to the Nunnery.
On the outer side of the gate is an inscription in Russian and Hebrew. The convent is named, according to the inscription, as the Women Gornenski (“mountainous”) convent. It was established in 1871 by the Archimandrite Antonin (Kapustin).
The structure with the 5 “onion style” domes started construction in 1905 and completed only in 2005. Later, its domes were painted in gold.
The styled cross above the golden dome is a symbol of the Russian Church. The nuns who operate the convent mend and clean the roads and surrounding gardens.
The Russian presence in the Holy Land was formed by the Russian Orthodox Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem representing the Russian Orthodox Church as of 1847.