Latrun Monastery – Visitors Guide

Latrun Monastery is the only Trappist monastery in Israel, and it is located in the middle between Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem.

Note: some also call it the Silent Monastery since the monks keep a vow of silence.

What does Latrun mean?

If you remove the French preface “La,” you get something similar to the word tower. And indeed, behind Latrun Monastery, you can find remains of an old castle.

The name Latrun is ultimately derived from the ruins of a medieval 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), 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).

Source: Wikipedia

Note: some translate “Le toron des chevaliers” as The Tower of the Knights.


Latrun Monastery is located next to Latrun Interchange on road #1 (Tel-Aviv – Jerusalem highway).

Directions for drivers: Link to Waze and Link to Google Maps
Directions for public transport: Link to Moovit

View TripHelp

Interactive map of the area:


  • Hotels, hostels, and apartments in this area:


If you use public transport, you can take a bus to the Latrun junction and walk there. Here is the preset link to Moovit, where you can set your origin and get updated directions.

And if you are reaching by car, enter the “Latrun Monastery” into Waze or Google Maps, and you will get there. Also, there is plenty of free parking on site.

Entrance to Latrun Monastery
Entrance to Latrun Monastery

Opening Hours

Opening Hours of the Monastery: all days except Sunday and Christian holidays, 08:30 – 12:00 and 15:30 – 17:00.

Latrun - Opening Hours
Latrun – Opening Hours

Opening hours of the store: 08:30 – 17:30 – all days except Sunday.

Store Opening Hours
Store Opening Hours

Remember that the hours may change, so if you want to make sure, you can reach them at +972-8-9220065.


Latrun is located at a strategic hilltop in the Latrun salient in the Ayalon Valley. 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 known as the Latrun salient. In the 1967 war, it was captured by Israel along with the whole salient and the West Bank and remains a part of Israel to this day.

The hilltop includes the Trappist Latrun Abbey, Mini Israel, a park with scale models of historic buildings around Israel, The International Center for the Study of Bird Migration (ICSBM), adjacent to 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

Ottoman Era

In December 1890, a monastery was established at Latrun by French, German, and Flemish monks of the Trappists, 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. They started the community in a building that still stands in the monastic domain. In 1909 it was given the status of a Priory and that of an Abbey in 1937. The monks established a vineyard using the 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.

The community was expelled by the Ottoman Turks between 1914–1918, and the buildings pillaged.

British Mandate

The Latrun monastery was rebuilt in 1926. The crypt was completed in 1933 and the church in 1954. The monastery was designed by the community’s first abbot, Dom Paul Couvreur, and is an example of Cistercian architecture. Much of the stained-glass windows were produced by a monk of the community.

Source of the last three quotes: Wikipedia.


When you enter, you will see the door to the store on your right (inside the arc).

Latrun Store
Latrun Store

Latrun monks create a variety of handmade products. Latrun is most famous for its wine. There are vineyards around the monastery, and monks prepare different wines. It is not expensive, as you might expect, for handmade wines, and many Israelis come there to shop.

Besides wines, there are olive oil, olives, jams, honey, soap, and religious souvenirs.

The Monastery

Latrun Monastery
Latrun Monastery

Looking at the photo above, you will see that the gate is closed. We arrived a little early, and the monastery was still closed.

When I climbed to the top of the stairs, I looked back and took this photo:

לטרון‎ - Latrun

You can see that the monastery is located on a strategic hill. If you look straight ahead, you will see Lod and a little to the left, you can see Tel Aviv’s skyscrapers. Such a strategic location, besides the views, has military importance. There were many battles over Latrun, and during the Six-Day War, IDF gained control.

Inside Latrun Monastery
Inside Latrun Monastery


Also, from time to time, there are concerts in Latrun. Once, we bought tickets and expected the concert to be held inside the monastery. Instead, it was in the monk’s dining room. The acoustics were horrible. So if you want to go to a concert in a church instead of Latrun, I recommend Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem. The concerts are held in the church on-premises. Moreover, after the concert, you can climb Augusta Victoria’s tower (sometimes free, and sometimes they charge 5 NIS) to view Jerusalem from the East.

Latrun Attractions

Here is the list of other nearby attractions in the Latrun area:

  • Yad La-Shiryon – The Armored Corps Memorial Site and Museum at Latrun.
  • Mini Israel is a miniature park. According to the official site, it “features over 385 beautifully crafted replica models of Israel’s most important historical, religious, archaeological and modern sites, at a scale of 1:25, including 25,000 7cm high miniature residents within the models themselves”.
  • Ayalon-Canada Park near Latrun junction offers nature, hiking, and cycling trails, places for a picnic, viewpoints, and ruins from various periods.
  • Emmaus Nicopolis was the Roman name for one of the towns associated with the Emmaus of the New Testament, where Jesus is said to have appeared after his death and resurrection. Emmaus was the seat of the Roman Emmaus. In contrast, Nicopolis was the name of the city from the 3rd century CE until Palestine’s conquest by the Muslim forces of the Rashidun Caliphate in 639. In the modern age, the site was the location of the Palestinian Arab village of Imwas, near the Latrun junction between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, before its destruction in 1967. The site today is inside Canada Park, a place maintained by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. However, the archaeological site has been cared for by a resident French Catholic community since 1993. (source).

And you can combine several attractions for a half-day trip.


Overall, this can be a nice shortstop while driving from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem or vice versa. You can also combine the Latrun Monastery visit with one of the points of interest mentioned in the previous section. But if you love nature and are looking for a beautiful place to stop (on the way from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem), I recommend a short detour to visit Avshalom Cave.

Have you visited Latrun Monastery? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!

Stay Tuned!


Additional Resources

Here are several resources that I created to help travelers: And if you have any questions then check out Useful Information For Tourists To Israel.  
Did not find what you were looking for? Leave a comment below, and I will do my best to answer your questions.

Lev Tsimbler

Lev from You can contact me at

6 thoughts on “Latrun Monastery – Visitors Guide

    1. Hi Efim,
      The only way to contact them is by phone (see above). You can call them and ask if they perform shippings.

    1. Hi Felicia,

      Here is a link to nearby concerts in Latrun:

      Note: all the sites I checked are in Hebrew. Thus, if required, try using Google translate.

  1. I visited Latrun in 1979 after working on several archaeological digs. I stayed for 5 nights. I had no budget to pay the $2 per night they charged, including meals, snacks and access to the kitchen, so they let me earn my stay by picking olives and applying tax stamps to the wine bottles. I could attend the religious services as I wished. I was surprised to learn that not all monks have singing abilities despite years of practice. Wonderful experience. Is Latrun still open to overnight visitors? I know Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky (U.S.A.) does accept overnight visits.

    1. Hi Larry,
      I never heard of the option for an overnight stay. And the only way to contact them is using the phone listed above.
      Good luck!

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