Located in the central square of the village, you can pay a visit to Sebastia’s main mosque, the Mosque of Nabi Yaha, i.e. the “Mosque of Prophet John”.
Since Byzantine times, a local tradition locates the place where John the Baptist was buried by his followers (cf. Matthew 14:12) in Sebastia. Eventually, a church was erected over the tomb site in the Byzantine Era, which was superseded by a Crusader-built cathedral which massive pillars and some arches are still visible today.
Either by Saladin in 1187 or the Mamluks in 1261, the church was transformed into a mosque, which however fall into ruins until the current mosque was built in the 19th century under Ottoman rule.
Inside the enclosure, a small domed building with an underground crypt is said to be the tomb of John the Baptist along with the burial places of Elisha and Obadiah. The tomb is usually locked, but once you arrive to the place, the caretaker of the tomb will be happy to open the door for you or ask at our guesthouse before you head to the tomb.
Inside the compound, there is also a small museum dedicated to findings from several excavations conducted in Sebastia and at the acropolis.