Just off Jaffa Gate’s central square, on Maronite Convent Street, is Mar Maroun House, where the Maronite Christian community maintains a lovely guesthouse.
The Maronites are an eastern Catholic denomination in communion with Rome, founded by a monk named Maroun. They maintain their own liturgy and canon law. Most Maronites live in Lebanon; the front of the altar in their chapel depicts a cedar of Lebanon in recognition of this fact.
From the roof of the guesthouse, which is built around a flowering central courtyard, visitors can enjoy an unusual view of Jerusalem’s rooftops, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives, and on a clear day, across the Dead Sea to Moab.
Individual travelers can usually enter freely. Groups who want to learn more about this local Christian community can phone ahead for a meal or coffee and cake, and have a community member address them.