January 2014

New life for the Sabastiya guesthouse and the young people of the village

The project led by ATS pro Terra Sancta in the village of Sabastiya, in collaboration with the Mosaic Centre in Jerico, is progressing. An increasing number of tourists and visitors stop off in this little gem in the heart of Samaria to admire the archaeological site and the tomb of John the Baptist. The project aims not only to preserve and enhance the historical centre and its archaeological richness, but also to involve local young people and the inhabitants of Sabastiya.

In particular, thanks to the support of the Belgian Development Cooperation, work has been carried out in recent months to extend the guesthouse and thereby provide the village with new opportunities for economic growth and sustainable development. In order to do so, restoration work has begun on a new complex in the historical centre, large enough to house three new rooms with small patios, and a small shop for the artisan products and foods which the women of Sabastiya make for visitors.

The project, involving 12 local workers, will continue until April. As of this Spring, visitors will then be able to stay in the new part of the guesthouse. Other aspects of the project funded by the Belgian Development Cooperation also include training courses for local guides, in English and Italian, who will learn to accompany foreign tourists visiting the area.

We invite all those visiting the Holy Land to stay in this wonderful village, rich in history and artistic beauty, and to visit the archaeological site and historical centre – but we also encourage you to come to meet the young people, women and inhabitants directly involved in the project.

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