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The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church arrived in the Pilgrim’s Centre on the Jordan River on November 13, 2012.

His Holiness and his suite were met by Metropolitan Benedict of Philadelphia, locum tenens of the Patriarch of Jerusalem in Jordan; Mr. Vladimir Kozhin, head of the Russian Presidential Administration; and H.E. Alexander Kalugin, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Jordan.

The decision to allot a plot of land on the Jordan River for construction of the Russian Pilgrim’s Centre was taken in 2006 on the initiative of His Majesty King Abdullah II Bin al-Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. In 2007, during official visit of the Russian President Vladimir Putin to Jordan, the government handed over the plot of land for the free use of Russia for unlimited duration.

In 2008, head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, archimandrite Tikhon (now Bishop of Podolsk), consecrated the construction site and the foundation stone.

In 2012 the plot was transferred into ownership of Russia.

That same year, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem and All Palestine consecrated the Pilgrim’s Centre and the house chapel. Russian President Vladimir Putin led the opening ceremony.