Ancient Israel: An Open Sky Museum

Walking around a country with thousands of years of history is just breathtaking. Israel has so many places to see and visit that you can read about in the Torah and the Bible.

Walking around Israel feels, sometimes, like walking around a huge, immense, open-sky museum where everything has a cool explanation, and where everywhere you go, something important, fundamental, or at least funny, happened a few thousand years ago. Not for nothing is it the birthplace of the biggest monotheistic religions in the world, and the place where almost every culture and empire spent, at least, some time.

We decided to do a series of blog posts on “Ancient Israel”, and each time we are going to bring you a few of the coolest destinations to visit when you are next in Israel. Places where you’ll feel the power and weight of history by your side; places where you’ll understand the important part you play in this chain that can, simply, not end… ever.

Some ancient spots in Northern Israel

We want to begin this series by talking to you about some of the most marvelous ancient spots in northern Israel. We know there are more, and we invite you to mention your favorite ones in the comments below and we’ll prepare a new article with the best ideas that come up.

Don’t worry! We’ll mention those magical, ancient places in the center of the country and the outstanding ones located down south. Today, we bring you up these 3 ancient Israeli jewels: Akko, Caesarea, and Rosh Pina. Are you ready to grab some inspiration? Here we go!

Akko

Akko, also known as Acre, is one of the most important historical places in Israel. With settlements that appeared in the year 3,000 BCE, and to become the birthplace of the Ba’hai religion, Akko became a highly spiritual city that can inspire anyone that visits either the modern or the old city. There are tons of beautiful architecture from the Ottoman empire that will impress anyone! We highly recommend a visit to Acre’s port! It is an ideal activity to do with young children in Israel.

When it was founded? 3,000 BCE

Interesting fact? Acre is the birthplace and the holiest city of the Bahá’í faith (the newest monotheistic religion) and many pilgrims of that faith travel here every year.

What happened there? The remains of the oldest settlement at the site of modern Acre were found at an archaeological mound located only 1.5 km east of the modern city of Akko.

Current population? 48,303 of people; among them, Jews, Christians, Druze, Baha’is and Muslims live in peace and coexistence.

Caesarea

Caesarea is a magical spot. It might be because of its ancient constructions and ruins, or maybe because of the breathtaking beach you can enjoy when visiting the ancient city of Caesarea Maritima. In any case, this very-old but well-conserved area is a must during your next visit to Israel. Nowadays, you’ll not only be able to walk where Romans, Ottomans and even our patriarchs did, but you’ll also enjoy high-quality restaurants and a bunch of fun things to do with your family. Totally worth it!

When it was founded? 30 BCE

Interesting facts? The Roman theater of this magical place has concerts by big artists! As you know, many Israeli singers and bands have performed here. But not only that, even Björk had an amazing concert in this ancient theater a few years ago.

What happened there? This lovely city and its port, both located very near Tel Aviv and Netanya, was built by Herod the Great between 25–13 BCE. It used to be the administrative center of the Judaea Province of the Roman Empire.

Current population? 5,127 (Data from 2017)

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Rosh Pina

What a great place! Rosh Pina is just a few minutes’ drive away from the ancient and holy city of Safed, but don’t worry, we’re going to talk about that place in the next part of this series. Rosh Pina is a lovely place up north where the view, the silence, and the numerous activities you can do there during the day (and the night) are so wonderful, turning this place into one of Israel’s favorites. Green hikes, amazing lakes, breathtaking historical places and wonderful people.

When it was founded? 1878 or 1882 (still debating this)

Interesting facts? This spectacular town was founded by around 30 families who immigrated to Israel from Romania, making it one of the oldest Zionist settlements in Israel.

What happened there? Inside the quiet and lovely Rosh Pina, you can find Tel Hazor, an archaeological tell at the site of ancient Hazor. Around 1750 BC, Hazor was the largest fortified city in the country.

Current population? 3,000 (data from 2014)

Learn Hebrew today, visit Israel tomorrow

There is one thing for sure – your visit to these places will be way better if you can speak in Hebrew with the locals. To make sure you can do that, and to even understand the huge signs you’ll find on the highway when in your way there, you should join one of our online Hebrew courses.

Don’t worry, to learn Hebrew today you don’t have to leave your desk, not even your chair. Our live online Hebrew classes are flexible, personalized and effective! Try them out today! Behatzlacha!

About the author

Arie Elbelman R.Arie was born and raised in Chile, and immigrated to Israel in his early twenties. He wants to take an active role in the development of this young and smart country. Arie believes that the best way to shape our present and future is to live with more horizontal hierarchies, to smile a whole lot, and to always, always respect each other.

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