2011-01-20 10:05:00

Medvedev visits baptism site of Jesus

Amman, January 20, Interfax - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has visited the site of the baptism of Christ on the Jordan River.

The tour around the holy place was conducted for the Russian head of state by Dia Madani, Director of the national park of the site of the baptism of Christ.

Medvedev visited the fountain of St. John the Baptist. Having carefully listened to the scholar's story, the president went down to the fountain to take several pictures.

Having taken a few pictures, he headed toward the baptism site of Christ.

After visiting the National Park, the president shared his impressions with journalists and then headed to the site where a house is being built for Russian pilgrims.

The decision to grant a land plot on the baptismal site of Jesus Christ on the Jordan River was made by the national park board (chaired by King Abdullah II's advisor for religious affairs Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad) on July 4, 2006. The decision hands over a 9,100 square meter land plot to Russia on a gratuitous basis for indefinite use to erect a house for Russian pilgrims. During the visit by then Russian President Vladimir Putin to Jordan in February 2007 the king confirmed this decision.

The site is located on the Jordan River and borders a site set aside for the construction of a Roman Catholic church. Work there began in February 2008, with the first stone being laid down on March 25, 2008. The proximity to the river required serious reinforcement of the ground, and by the spring of 2009 foundations were partially erected for the main building structures - the main corpus, a hotel wing for guests and a refectory.

The deadline for completion of the pilgrim house, set by the Russian Presidential Property Management Department, is March 2011.