Around the Holy Land

Shivta- The desert city in the incense route

The four Nabatean towns of Haluza, Mamshit, Avdat and Shivta, along with associated fortresses and agricultural landscapes in the Negev Desert, are spread along routes linking them to the Mediterranean end of the incense and spice route. Together they reflect the hugely profitable trade in frankincense and myrrh from south Arabia to the Mediterranean, which flourished from the 3rd century BC until the 2nd century AD.

Paternoster Church in Jerusalem

This church is built over a cave in which Jesus was said to have taught the disciples the prayer that begins "Our Father who art in heaven".

The 4th-century Byzantine church has been partially reconstructed and provides a good sense of what the original was like. The half-restored church has the same dimensions as the original; the garden outside the three doors outlines the atrium area.

Statue of a ram discovered near ancient church in Caesarea

An impressive marble statue of a ram, an ancient Christian symbol for Jesus, was discovered on Christmas Eve during the excavation of a Byzantine-period church in Caesarea.
Copyright: Vered Sarig, The Caesarea Development Corporation

Mount of Beatitudes

The suggestion of this hill for the location of the Sermon on the Mount is a good one. Once known as Mt. Eremos, this hill is located between Capernaum and Tabgha and is just above the “Cove of the Sower.” 

 This spacious hillside provides much room for crowds to gather, as evidenced by preparation for 100,000 Catholics to observe mass nearby with the Pope’s visit in March 2000.

Magdala (Migdal)

Magdala was a major first-century port on the Sea of Galilee, a center of trade and commerce, and an exporter of salted fish to markets as far away as Europe. Archaeological discoveries early in the 21st century have made it a burgeoning pilgrimage destination.

Don't miss it! Jerusalem's 6 best authentic food spots!

Israeli food is unique and varies with its all-over-the-world influences. The different origins of foods brought different spices, techniques and flavors to the Israeli cuisine. Jerusalem is one of the biggest culinary centers of the country, with some of the most famous restaurants serving authentic food.

Caesarea Philippi- Banias

This abundant water supply has made the area very fertile and attractive for religious worship. Numerous temples were built at this city in the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

Situated 25 miles north of the Sea of Galilee and at the base of Mt. Hermon, Caesarea Philippi is the location of one of the largest springs feeding the Jordan River.
This abundant water supply has made the area very fertile and attractive for religious worship. Numerous temples were built at this city in the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
Apparently known as Baal Hermon and Baal Gad in the Old Testament period, this site later was named Panias after the Greek god Pan who was worshiped here.

Bethsaida

Bethsaida is a shaded spot with a wonderful view of the Sea of Galilee and natural-rock seats make a perfect locale for Bible study and prayer.

Jesus clearly knew Bethsaida well (Matt. 11:21). Early Christian travelers also knew the town, just north of the Sea of Galilee, which was home to Peter, Andrew and Philip (John 1:44) and, according to tradition, Zebedee and his sons. It was also scene of the feeding of the 5,000 according to Luke (9:10-17) and of Jesus’ healing of a blind man (Mark 8:22-26).

Belvoir- Kochav HaYarden

Belvoir National Park is located on the eastern Issachar Plateau at the edge of a steep slope above the Jordan Valley. Its spectacular panorama gave the fortress its name- ’Belvoir’ means ‘beautiful view’.

Belvoir National Park is located on the eastern Issachar Plateau at the edge of a steep slope above the Jordan Valley. Its spectacular panorama gave the fortress its name- ’Belvoir’ means ‘beautiful view’.
The Crusaders built the fortress in around 1140, during the reign of Fulk d’Anjou (1131-1142). In 1168, the Hospitaller Knights bought the land and made it into one of the most important fortresses in the country, overlooking the Jordan Valley and the road from the Tabor Stream to the coastal plain and the Via Maris (the Way of the Sea).

Achziv

An important Phoenician port, a fortified city located along the Acre-Antiochus highway. Served as a fortress during the Crusader era. In those times Achziv was called Castel Humbert, ruins of which can still be seen. In 1271 it was conquered by the Mamluk Sultan Baibars. Most of the remains you see today are from the abandoned Arab village of Az-Ziv.

An important Phoenician port, a fortified city located along the Acre-Antiochus highway. Served as a fortress during the Crusader era. In those times Achziv was called Castel Humbert, ruins of which can still be seen. In 1271 it was conquered by the Mamluk Sultan Baibars. Most of the remains you see today are from the abandoned Arab village of Az-Ziv.
Today Achziv National Park is noted as one of northern Israel’s most popular beaches, located 5 km north of Nahariyya.