Latrun in the West Bank

Saturday, 14 January 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Trappist Monastery © Bukvoed/cc-by-2.5

Trappist Monastery © Bukvoed/cc-by-2.5

Latrun is a strategic hilltop in the Latrun salient in the Ayalon Valley, and a depopulated Palestinian village. It overlooks the road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, 25 kilometers west of Jerusalem and 14 kilometers southeast of Ramla. It was the site of fierce fighting during the 1948 war. During the 1948–1967 period, it was occupied by Jordan at the edge of a no man’s land between the armistice lines. In the 1967 war, it was occupied by Israel. Latrun is located outside the 1967 Green Line and therefore part of the West Bank in Palestine.

The hilltop includes the Latrun Abbey, Mini Israel (a park with scale models of historic buildings around Israel), The International Center for the Study of Bird Migration (ICSBM), and the Yad La-Shiryon Memorial and Museum. Neve Shalom (Oasis of Peace) is a joint Jewish-Arab community on a hilltop south of Latrun. Canada Park is nearby to the east.

Trappist Monastery © Giladtop/cc-by-sa-4.0 Yad la-Shiryon Museum © AVRAMGR/cc-by-sa-4.0 Mini Israel © 747 ליעד/cc-by-sa-4.0 Remains of the Crusader castle © Bukvoed/cc-by-3.0 Remains of the Crusader castle © Wolfkessler Tegart police fort, a former Cistercian monastery © Bukvoed/cc-by-2.5 Trappist Monastery © Bukvoed/cc-by-2.5
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Tegart police fort, a former Cistercian monastery © Bukvoed/cc-by-2.5
The name Latrun is ultimately derived from the ruins of a medieval Crusader castle. There are two theories regarding the origin of the name. One is that it is a corruption of the Old French Le toron des chevaliers (The Castle of the Knights), so named by the Crusaders. The other is that it is from the Latin, Domus boni Latronis (The House of the Good Thief), a name given by 14th-century Christian pilgrims after the penitent thief who was crucified by the Romans alongside Jesus (Luke 23:40–43).

In December 1890, a monastery was established at Latrun by French, German and Flemish monks of the Trappist order, from Sept-Fons Abbey in France, at the request of Monseigneur Poyet of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The monastery is dedicated to Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows. The liturgy is in French. The monks bought the ‘Maccabee Hotel’, formerly called ‘The Howard’ from the Batato brothers together with two-hundred hectares of land and started the community in a building which still stands in the monastic domain. The old monastery complex was built between 1891 and 1897. In 1909 it was given the status of a priory and that of an abbey in 1937. The community was expelled by the Ottoman Turks between 1914–1918 and the buildings pillaged, a new monastery being built during the next three decades. The monks established a vineyard using knowledge gained in France and advice from an expert in the employ of Baron Edmond James de Rothschild from the Carmel-Mizrahi Winery. Today they produce a wide variety of wines that are sold in the Abbey shop and elsewhere.

Read more on Wikipedia Latrun (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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