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Beit She'an National Park

Beit She'an National Park © Oren Rozen
Beit She'an National Park © Oren Rozen

Beit She'an was established in the 5th century BC. Its hilltop location made the settlement strategically valuable, meaning that many over the centuries sought to conquer it. It was the seat of Egyptian rule before falling to the King of Assyria, and was later resettled as a Hellenistic city during Alexander the Great's time.

A period of conquests followed until the Romans returned the city to its former residents. It prospered during the time of Hadrian and experienced its golden age after the Bar Kochva revolt. Numerous buildings were constructed during this time and the residents enjoyed a period of peaceful coexistence.

Beit She'an's face changed markedly after Christianity was declared the Roman Empire's official religion in the 4th century AD. This was followed by further conquests until an earthquake left the city in ruins. Settlements later sprang up around the ruins and the area received an influx of people after the establishment of the State of Israel.

Today, this thriving city lies around the remains of an ancient centre. The Roman theatre, Byzantine bathhouse, Roman street and colonnade, and the amphitheatre used for gladiatorial battles are Beit She'an's most notable ruins.

Visitors should budget between two and four hours to see the park properly.

Address: The Beit She'an National Park is located in the city of Beit She'an.