Ein Kerem-also commonly known as Ein Karem, is a neighborhood in southwest Jerusalem. According to Christian tradition, this is the site where John the Baptist was born, hence Ein Kerem's attraction to Christian pilgrims and the proliferation of churches and monasteries such as, Jonah the Baptist church.
Nowadays, due to its special charm, the neighborhood has become a favorite recreation area for local residents, so much so that many Restaurants and coffee shops opened who improve the city's recreation time. The neighborhood is a bit detached of the city and surrounded by mountains, valleys and forests which greatly preserve the country essence. A spring that provides water to the village of Ein Kerem stimulated settlement there from an early time. Pottery has been found nearby dating to the Middle Bronze Age.
Archaeological evidence exists of settlement at the site's spring as early as the second century BCE. It was mentioned during the Islamic conquest and again, under the name St. Jeehan de Bois, during the Crusades. Ottoman tax registers from 1596 showed a population of 160. During excavations in Ein Karem, a marble statue of Aphrodite (or Venus) was found, broken in two. It is believed to date from the Roman era and was probably toppled in Byzantine times. Today, the statue is at the Rockefeller Museum.