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Beit Guvrin – Maresha

Beit Guvrin National Park, encompassing the ruins of Maresha and Beit Guvrin in southern Israel and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Maresha was one of the important towns during the time of the First Temple and continued to exist until the late Hellenistic period.

Like the other cities of Judah, Maresha was also damaged by the Assyrian king Sennacherib following the rebellion of Hezekiah.

Later, in the 6th century BCE, King Zedekiah rebelled against Babylonian rule, Nebuchadnezzar destroying the Temple in Jerusalem and exiling many of the people.

Maresha and the lowland towns were emptied of their inhabitants, and their place was taken by Edomites who came up from the Negev.

After the conquest by Alexander the Great, Phoenicians from Tyre and Lebanon also moved there.

Then in 40 BCE Parthians completely destroyed the city.

During the Roman period Bet Gavrin developed on the banks of Guvrin Stream.

It grew into a major city, and in Byzantine period, it was one of the five largest cities in the land of Israel.

There was a large Jewish community at Bet Guvrin, its name mentioned in the Talmud and in the midrashim.

The remains of Jewish tombs and a synagogue inscription from this period have been found at Bet Guvrin.

Following the Arab conquest the city dwindled but continued to be an important local center.

A small fortified town was built during the Crusader period on it’s ruins.

VISIT Beit Guvrin

While you it is possible reach the park by bus, it is easiest to reach by car.

For visiting hours and entrance fees see the Beit Guvrin National Park webpage.

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