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Mount of Temptation

The Mount of Temptation, with a gravity-defying monastery clinging to its sheer face, is traditionally regarded as the mountain on which Christ was tempted by the devil during his 40-day fast The summit of the mount, about 360 metres above sea level, offers a spectacular panoramic view of the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea and the mountains of Moab and Gilead. The Mount of Temptation is about 5km north-west of the West Bank city of Jericho. Access to the summit is by a 30-minute trek up a steep path — passing through the cliffhanging monastery on the way — or by a 5-minute cable car ride from Tel Jericho. Unlike some Greek Orthodox monasteries, the Monastery of the Temptation allows women visitors as well as men. The mountain is also known as Mount Quarantania and Jebel Quarantul. Both names arise from a mispronunciation of the Latin word Quarentena, meaning 40, the number of days in Christ’s fast. This period of fasting became the model for the practice of Lent in Christian churches.