Updated: Oct 2
Beit She'an National Park is a spectacular site that reveals layers of thousands of years of civilization. The tour includes the Roman-Byzantine city of Beit She'an-Scythopolis and Tel Beit She'an that rises above it, with the city's remains from the biblical period.
The excavations at the site continue all the time. But, to date, researchers estimate, only a tenth of the city's surface has been excavated.
A circular route leads visitors to the essential points of interest on the site. It is recommended to take an orientation map from the cashier.
In the foyer, next to the entrance, you can see the city model.
The first site on tour is the magnificent Roman Theater. The theater has 7,000 seats, and the remains we see today are from the second century AD.
The Western Bathhouse, dated back to the end of the fourth century AD, is a substantial structure. It included eight halls with an elaborate underground heating system, water pools, and fountains.
In Roman-Byzantine cities, the main street is called "Cardo." The cardo of the Roman Beit She'an is known by scholars as "Palladius Street" after the governor renovated it in the fourth century. The street is paved with basalt slabs that will drain drains.
To the left of the cardo is a semi-circular square bordered by rooms that were used for trade and entertainment. The rooms have different mosaics - in one of them appears the figure of Ticha, the goddess of fortune of the city.
At the end of the cardo stood a sizeable Roman temple. It was destroyed with the entire city in the earthquake of 749. The four vast pillars of the temple lying on the ground can be clearly seen. Next to the pillars stand the remains of the gate with its three openings. It was probably used by the processions that ascended to the temple at the top of the mound.
From here, you can ascend to Tel Beit She'an - a climb of a few minutes that requires essential fitness. However, if you do not have the strength or can not climb up, you can simply continue on the circular route that encircles the other side of the city.
From the fifth century BCE to the Middle Ages, layers of twenty settlements were exposed in Tel Beit She'an. In addition, Canaanite temples, public buildings and residences, a governor's house, and tombstones from Egyptian rule were discovered at the site.
Also found here were a fortress and residential buildings from the period of the Israeli monarchy that was destroyed by Assyria. The Greeks and Romans restored the settlement, and a temple to Zeus was built on the site. The Byzantines built a church here.
There are several observation points on the tell - one overlooking the Roman-Byzantine city center:
A second observation point overlooks the "broken bridge" that passed over Nahal Harod and connected the city center to the northern gate:
Descending from the mound, we will continue to surround the old city through a street part that has been restored and restored and partly left in its ruins. You can see the east bathhouse and public toilets with a drainage system in the city's eastern zone.
Just before returning to the theater and the beginning of the route, the last point is the ritual compound, with a temple and altars.
Highly recommended tour for the whole family.
🎫 Admission price by the costs of the Nature and Parks Authority. Free for Matmon and Israel Pass cardholders.
🚻🛒 Toilets and visitor shop at the entrance.
For more trips in the area press here.