Both the St. George Monastery and especially the Inn of the Good Samaritan are important sites to Christianity. The St. George Monastery, belonging to the Greek Orthodoxy, is situated in the Judean desert along the wall of a canyon. This monastery was one of the few surviving monasteries built during the Byzantine period. The Inn of the Good Samaritan is important to the Christian tradition as it is the setting of a parable from the New Testament.
The surviving monasteries in the Judean desert have been around for centuries. During the sixth century, there were approximately 65 monasteries in use, all of which being interconnected by paths. This would likely have made pilgrimage in the Holy Land significantly easier, since each monastery on the path was only about 2-3 miles apart. However, most of the monasteries from the Byzantine period were deserted due to Muslim take-over. Very few are still in use today, and the St. George Monastery is one of them.
The Inn of the Good Samaritan has had a long history that predates the time of Jesus. During the Biblical period, the road on which the inn is situated functioned as the border between the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. In the Hellenistic and Roman periods, the Inn of the Good Samaritan was one of the few inns along the road between Jerusalem and Jericho. The Romans had constructed a fortress on the nearby hill that overlooked the inn. This fortress was intended to provide protection to travelers that went down this road, as many would likely have encountered robbers. This evidence confirms one aspect of the New Testament parable in that it demonstrates the potential dangers that one might face while traveling along this road, just as the man from the parable faced. A pilgrim inn was established in the sixth century during the Byzantine period that would continue to function after the Muslim conquest.
The site grew in importance during the Crusader period. A new inn was constructed on top of the dilapidated Byzantine inn. As the road led to the Jordan river, the site where Jesus was baptized, it saw thousands of pilgrims annually. The crusaders constructed a fortress on the northern hill of the site in order to protect Jerusalem. This fortress was in use by the crusaders for a period of about 15-18 years until in 1187 when the crusaders were forced to withdraw. In the 1830s, the Ottomans added on to the crusader fortress. The inn itself was damaged during the First World War, and then restored by the British and the Jordanians. It was only recently in 2009 that a museum was installed on the location. The museum features numerous mosaics from the area.