In 1564 the site was abandoned and remained mostly neglected until 1993, the site was purchased by the Franciscans, who excavated and restored the area. Excavations led by the Franciscans, have discovered remains of an early Byzantine basilica and its magnificent mosaics, which today have been incorporated into the present structure of a simple church building known as the Memorial Church of Moses, where you’ll find Christian pilgrims visiting the holy land site every day.
Pope John Paul II visited the site on March 19, 2000 during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He also planted an olive tree next to the Byzantine chapel for peace. Pope Benedict XVI visited the site in 2009, gave a speech, and looked out from the top of the mountain in the direction of Jerusalem.
According to the scriptures, Moses was buried on Mount Nebo, but the exact locations no one knows. Rising over above the Jordan Valley, the mountain offers spectacular views of the Holy Land as seen by Moses. Mount Nebo also serves as a unique aerial panoramic view of the Holy Land and Jordan. If you look to the south, the spectacular panoramic view extends all the way across the Dead Sea.
When visiting Mount Nebo one of the things you’ll see atop of the platform is a sculpture called the Brazen Serpent. The monument was created by Italian artist Giovanni Fantoni. It is symbolic of the bronze serpent created by Moses in the wilderness (numbers 21:4-9) and the cross upon which Jesus was crucified (John 3:14). During the Exodus journey, God sent plague to kill the rebellious Israelites. God also instructed Moses to hold up a bronze serpent on a pole to stop the plague. All who looked up at the raised serpent survived the plague.
Just like God wanted to show the Promise Land to Moses, you can also have this rich spiritual experience and stand and see the Promise Land atop of Mount Nebo as Moses once did.