Yardenit Baptismal Site

Yardenit Baptismal Site

Yardenit Baptismal Site is an alleged site of baptism of Jesus Christ as it was described in the New Testament (Matthew 3:13-17). Actually the real site of baptismal is in Qasr el Yahud, but nevertheless Yardenit is one of the most popular sites among Christian pilgrims.


Description of Yardenit Baptismal Site

Yardenit Baptismal Site is a baptism site along the Jordan River in the Northern Israel, not far from the Sea of Galilee. For centuries Qasr el Yahud near ancient Jericho served as a place for veneration among Christian pilgrims. According to oral and written traditions it was a site of Baptism of Jesus Christ by his cousin Saint John the Baptist. However after the Six Day War Qasr el Yahud became a frontier destinations situated on the other side of the Jordan river in Jordan so Israel Ministry of Tourism decided to establish a new site for baptismal site along Jordan River in 1981. It is one of few places in Israel that offers a direct access to Jordan river.


Yardenit Baptismal Site is situated a slow moving Jordan river South of Tiberias, not far from the Sea of Galilee. This Christian pilgrimage complex is equipped with boat ramp. The site of Yardenit is also surrounded by several shops that offers clothes for baptism, locker rooms and a souvenir shops. Try to get here in the early morning hours before tourists will flock to the area. Yardenit is a beautiful quiet place surrounded by pristine forest. It is doesn't really matter if it is not an actual location.



Yardenit is a complex of buildings and structures on the Jordan River, located in northern Israel in the Galilee, on the southern shore of Lake Tiberias, a few kilometers south of the city of Tiberias. The entrance to the territory of the complex is through highway number 90.



Throughout the complex, a quote from the Gospel is written in all languages ​​of the world: “And it happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And as he was coming out of the water, immediately John saw the heavens open, and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon Him. And a voice came from heaven: You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. According to Christian history, the baptism of Jesus (Matt. 3:13) actually took place in the village of Bethabara, which was considered to correspond to the current Qasr el-Yahud in the north of the Dead Sea. For centuries, Qasr El Yahud has been the most important baptismal site for pilgrims, with monasteries and guest houses. After the Six Day War, the place, called Qasr el-Yahud, was in the demilitarized disengagement zone, and access to it was limited until 1994, when a peace treaty was signed with Jordan. As a result, the Israeli Ministry of Tourism decided to create the Yardenit complex in 1981 as a reserve site. As a result, Yardenit became the only regulated baptismal site on the Israeli side of the river until the opening of Qasr El Yahud in 2011. At present, after the discovery by archaeologists of the ruins of an early Byzantine church on the east bank of the Jordan River, the most likely place of Bethavara mentioned in the Bible is the village of Wadi al-Harar (Jordan). The river is no longer there, as it has since changed its course.

At the same time, with the restoration of the Temple of the Twelve Apostles in Capernaum, the tradition of baptism also developed in the waters of Lake Kinneret. Despite the diversity of traditions, there is an opinion that “you cannot enter the same river twice, because another water flows” (Heraclitus of Ephesus, 5th century BC), it is baptism in the waters of the Jordan that carries a much greater spiritual meaning than physical washing.

Current state
The Yardenit complex was built in 1981, with a souvenir shop, a restaurant, accessible car parking and everything you need for bathing: changing rooms, the ability to purchase or rent special clothes. Every year 400 thousand pilgrims visit this place. The complex is managed by residents of Kibbutz Kvutzat Kinneret, which is located next to Yardenit.

Tilapia, carps and catfish abound at the site of the Yardenit complex in the waters of the Jordan, almost like tame besieging the banks of the river in search of food generously provided by tourists. At the beginning of the 21st century, nutria appeared in this place, which previously lived only in the Hula Valley area. Apparently, the abundant food that tourists offer to the animals attracted nutria here for permanent residence.