Beit She'an National Park
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. Beit She'an's face changed markedly after Christianity was declared the Roman Empire's official religion in the 4th century AD. Today, this thriving city lies around the remains of an ancient centre. The Byzantine bathhouse, Roman theatre and the Roman amphitheatre used for gladiatorial battles are among its most notable ruins.