Eretz Israel Museum

The Eretz Israel Museum is a historical and archeological museum in the Ramat Aviv neighborhood of Tel Aviv. Established in 1953, the museum has a large display of archaeological, anthropological, and historical artifacts organized in a series of exhibition pavilions on its grounds. Each pavilion is dedicated to a different subject: glassware, ceramics, coins, copper, and more. The museum also has a planetarium. The “Man and His Work” wing features live demonstrations of ancient methods of weaving, jewelry and pottery making, grain grinding, and bread baking. Tel Qasile, an excavation in which 12 distinct layers of culture have been uncovered, is on the grounds of the museum.

Hezekiah’s Tunnel

The Siloam Tunnel, also known as Hezekiah’s Tunnel, is a carved water channel beneath the City of David. In ancient times, it was located in the Arab neighborhood of Silwan in eastern Jerusalem. Its popular name derived from the most common hypothesis, dating back from the reign of Hezekiah of Judah (late 8th and early 7th century BC), and corresponds to the “conduit” mentioned in 2 Kings 20:20 in the Hebrew Bible. According to the Bible, King Hezekiah prepared Jerusalem for an impending siege by the Assyrians. He successfully blocked the source of incoming water from the upper Gihon, directing it down west to the City of David.

Crusader Cardo

The Cardo was a north–south–oriented street in Roman cities, military camps, and colonies. It was an integral component of city planning, lined with shops and vendors, and served as a hub of economic life. The main cardo was called ‘Cardo Maximus’. Most Roman cities additionally contained a Decumanus Maximus, an east-west street that served as a secondary main street. Generally, the Cardo Maximus served as the primary road. However, due to varying geography, Decumanus was sometimes considered the main street, while the Cardo was considered secondary. The Forum was normally located at the intersection of the Decumanus and the Cardo. The Cardo was the “hinge” or axis of the city, derived from the same root as cardinal. The main street of Crusader Jerusalem went from Nabelus gate (St. Stephan) to Zion gate, to the Holy Seplecure area. Here, they divided the Cardo into three different markets: the covered market, the spice market, and the bad cooking market. This occurred under the reign of Queen Melisinda, who was the current Queen of Jerusalem.

Castel National Park

Castel National Park (גן לאומי קסטל) is an Israeli national park consisting of a fortified summit. It is located in the Judean Mountains in the former Arab village of Al-Qastal. It is located 8 km west of Jerusalem, connecting to a road leading to Tel Aviv (Highway 1). The site is mostly known as the place of the key battles of Operation Nachshon, which were held in April 1948 during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Fierce battles that claimed many lives took place there as Arabs and Jews fought for control of the site, which overlooked the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway. The Castel exchanged hands several times in the course of the fighting. The tides turned when the revered Arab commander, Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni, was killed. Many Arabs left their positions to attend al-Husayni’s funeral at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday, April 9th. That same day, the Castel fell to the Israeli forces, virtually unopposed. The national park includes a memorial for the Israeli soldiers who died there. In 1980, Yitzhak Yamin designed a monument to honor these fallen soldiers. Additionally, there is a memorial representing the convoys who attempted to break through the blockade of Jerusalem.

Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is a salted lake bordered by Jordan to the east and the West Bank to the west. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley and its main tributary is the Jordan River. Its surface and shores are 430.5 meters below sea level, Earth’s lowest elevation on land.

Ein Gedi National Park

Ein Gedi, literally meaning “spring of the kid” is an oasis and a nature reserve in Israel, located west of the Dead Sea, near Masada and the Qumran Caves. In 2016, Ein Gedi was listed as one of the most popular nature sites in the country and attracts about one million visitors a year.

Qumran National Park

Qumran is an archaeological site in the West Bank managed by Israel’s Qumran National Park. It is located on a dry marl plateau about 1.5 km from the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea and lies near the Israeli settlement and Kibbutz of Kalya.

The Hellenistic period settlement was constructed during the reign of John Hyrcanus (134–104 BCE) or somewhat later, was occupied most of the time until 68 CE and was destroyed by the Romans possibly as late as 73. It is best known as the settlement nearest to the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden, caves in the sheer desert cliffs and beneath, in the marl terrace. The principal excavations at Qumran were conducted by Roland de Vaux in the 1950s, though several later unearthings at the site have since been carried out.

Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority took over the site following the end of the 1967 war, when Israel occupied the West Bank and seized Qumran. Israel has since invested heavily in the area to establish the Qumran caves as a site of “uniquely Israeli Jewish heritage”.

Masada National Park

Masada is an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel, situated on top of an isolated rock plateau akin to a mesa. It is located on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea 20 km (12 mi) east of Arad.

Herod the Great built two palaces for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE.

According to Josephus, between 73 to 74 CE, Roman troops invaded Masada during the end of the First Jewish-Roman War. This siege came to an abrupt end following the mass suicide of the 960 Sicarii rebels who were in hiding there. However, according to Kenneth Atkinson, there is no archaeological evidence that Masada’s defenders committed mass suicide.

Masada is one of Israel’s most popular tourist attractions. From 2005 to 2007 and 2009 to 2012, it was second-most popular behind the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, and currently attracts around 750,000 visitors a year.

The cliff of Masada is, geologically speaking, a horst. As the plateau abruptly ends in cliffs steeply falling about 400 m (1,300 ft) to the east and about 90 m (300 ft) to the west, the natural approaches to the fortress are very difficult to navigate. The top of the mesa-like plateau is flat and rhomboid-shaped, about 550 m (1,800 ft) by 270 m (890 ft). Herod built a 4 m (13 ft) high casemate wall around the plateau totalling 1,300 m (4,300 ft) in length, reinforced by many towers. The fortress contained storehouses, barracks, an armory, a palace, and cisterns that were refilled by rainwater. Three narrow, winding paths led from below up to fortified gates.

Eretz Israel Museum

The Eretz Israel Museum is a historical and archeological museum in the Ramat Aviv neighborhood of Tel Aviv. Established in 1953, the museum has a large display of archaeological, anthropological, and historical artifacts organized in a series of exhibition pavilions on its grounds. Each pavilion is dedicated to a different subject: glassware, ceramics, coins, copper, and more. The museum also has a planetarium. The “Man and His Work” wing features live demonstrations of ancient methods of weaving, jewelry and pottery making, grain grinding, and bread baking. Tel Qasile, an excavation in which 12 distinct layers of culture have been uncovered, is on the grounds of the museum.