Yardenit Baptismal Site
The major baptismal site on the Jordan River, a visit to Yardenit is a peak experience on Christian Israel tours. Follow in the footsteps of Jesus by being baptized in the sacred river where John the Baptist himself once baptized those who confessed their sins.
Until the 20th century, the Jordan River was fairly desolate, and a visit here was reserved only for the most adventurous pilgrims. But today the Yardenit site is carefully maintained for a truly spiritual experience. Even the water quality is guaranteed, as it is inspected regularly by the Israeli government.
As you walk from the entrance of Yardenit along the banks of the river and to the baptismal pools, you can touch the famous Wall of New Life. This wall contains the baptismal verse from the Book of Mark, which describes the baptism of Jesus. The verse is written in a multitude of languages and is dedicated to Christians from around the world, who come to be baptized here. The Wall of New Life's panels were decorated by Armenian artist Hagop Antreassian, employing traditional Armenian craft motifs and techniques. As you emerge from the river with a "new life," you will receive a certificate of baptism in the Holy Land.
Adjacent to the baptismal site is a lush eucalyptus grove where private prayer meetings can be held. There is also plenty of space for private worship on the bank of the river. A visitors' center built from natural limestone is shaped like the nave of a church. Inside is an area for renting or buying baptismal robes, a gift shop selling rare religious items and a restaurant serving delicacies – including the area's famous St. Peter's Fish.