Russian Orthodox Ascension Church

Russian Orthodox Ascension Church Jerusalem
Russian Orthodox Ascension Church Jerusalem

The Mount of Olives Convent of the Ascension of Our Lord owes its existence to Archimandrite Antonin (Kapustin) and Igumen Parthenius. Father Antonin bought land on the summit of the Mount of Olives and in 1870 built the church of Ascension with a bell tower 64 meters (approximately 200 feet) in height. Simultaneously, cisterns were dug, gardens planted, quarters for pilgrims erected and excavations started.

But it was Father Parthenius’s wish to establish a monastic community on the site. With this in mind, he started performing services twice a week. Slowly, pious maidens began gathering and in 1906 the Holy Synod formally acknowledge the community. Map.

A year later the sisterhood numbered 100. New buildings were built. For support, the sisters opened an icon painting studio and did embroidery, which is done to this day.

Russian Orthodox Ascension Church Jerusalem
Russian Orthodox Ascension Church Jerusalem
Russian Orthodox Ascension Church Jerusalem
Russian Orthodox Ascension Church Jerusalem

Tragically, in 1909, Father Parthenius was found stabbed to death in his cell. Neither the criminal was ever found, nor the reason for murder established.

During the First World War the new monastic community found itself in very difficult conditions. Curfew was introduced in Jerusalem and it was not safe to venture outside, prices for foodstuff rose enormously, Turkish soldiers were quartered in the dormitories, and services ceased, because the Mission priests, together with ten senior sisters, were expelled to Egypt.


Administered by: Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem

Tel: 972-2-628-4373 or 972-2-628-0111

Open: Apr-Sep, Tues and Thur, 10am-1pm; Oct-Mar, Tues and Thur, 9am-12 noon. Women must wear skirts.

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