[Image Source: Wikimedia Commons]
The biblical area of Israel known as Samaria refers to a section north of Israel in which the Kingdom of Israel reigned. Whether your into history, culture, great food or all of the above, Samaria has much to offer. Below are some ideas for your next trip to Samaria.
1. Mt. Gerizim:
Mt. Gerizim (also known as The Mount of Blessings) is the site of blessings that were recited once Joshua and the Jewish nation entered Israel. The Mount of Blessings – at the top of Mt Grizim the remains of the remains of a large city from the Hellenistic period. Some of the sites to see at Mt. Gerizim include:
The Altar of Isaac: A rock surrounded by a fence. According to Samaritan tradition, the sacrifice of Isaac took place on this rock.
Ancient Shiloh and its location, Tel Shiloh, is located at the edge of a large, lush valley in southern Samaria. Shiloh was the the first home of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), the portable sanctuary that served as a portable temple for the Jewish people for 369 years. There is a beautiful synagogue on the top of Shiloh which was constructed to look like the original tabernacle and houses prayers for the Jewish community there. There are a number of archaeological treasures that can also be seen in Shiloh, but require a tour guide to really do it right.
3. Sebastia National Park:
Sebastia National Park contains the archaeological remains from the capital city of the kingdom of Israel, Samaria (slated to be the capital of the kingdom of Israel by Omri, the father of Ahab). In addition to magnificent artifacts from the time of King Ahab, a few walls remained from Ahab’s palace which can be seen today. Also found In the area of the palace were found storage facilities, probably from the time of King Jeroboam II, including “Charsi Shomron” (earthenware storage containers) and inscribed with black ink, probably documents of oil and wine shipments – tax to the kin and from the city Sebastia (during the Roman period of the second temple). There are also remains from the Hellinistic period and the Roman period.
4. En Prat Nature Reserve:
En Prat is a spring of gushing water, rising in a spectacularly beautiful desert canyon. The En Prat Nature Reserve is located about just over a half hour from Jerusalem by car. In addition to the En Prat spring, there are beautiful hikes natural pools and cliff climbing and rappelling.
5. Hamarpeset Shel Peduel
In the western part of the town of Peduel there is a unique observation point overlooking the coast and coastal plain, from Ashdod in the south to Hadera in the north on normal days. In the days with better visibility, the chimneys of Ashkelon are seen, in addition to the University of Haifa. Also visible are the Dan region of Israel and the Mediterranean Sea. The observation post was established with the assistance of the Weinberg family in memory of their son Roy. The vantage point is shaded and includes seating areas and landscaping so that you can enjoy the best of the place. The observation point is open to tourists every day from 10:00a.m. to sunset.
Lastly, when you make it out to Israel the next time, be sure to look us up as well. We look forward to making your acquaintance and hearing all about your trip to the holy land!