The sunny courtyards of Akaldema in Jerusalem’s Hinnom Valley near the City of David contrasts sharply with the story it tells.
This Greek Orthodox convent marks the site of the “field of blood” (Akaldema in Aramaic) – the cemetery for foreigners purchased with the money Judas received for betraying Jesus, and where he hanged himself (Matt. 27:3-8; Acts 1:18). Alakdema, built atop a medieval church in 1874, and now home to four nuns, is dedicated to St. Onuphrius, a desert-dwelling fourth-century monk.
The church is built around one of the site’s many Second Temple-era burial caves, where the saint is said to have lived in solitary contemplation. The view from its balconies is also an opportunity to consider the Hinnom Valley (Josh. 15:8) as the place where the Fire God Moloch was worshipped (2 Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 7: 31; 32:35).
The Convent is open Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning and late afternoon.