If you’re looking to explore Historic Sites in Israel and the surrounding area then you can explore our interactive map above or navigate further by using the links below.
There’s a fantastic selection of Historic Sites in Israel and you can plan some great things to see on your trips by browsing our selection. Once you’ve explored the Historic Sites in Israel you can use our itinerary planner tool to plan out your trip and then print off a free pocket guidebook.
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Historic Sites in Israel, you can always add them to Trip Historic now by visiting our upload page.
Caesarea in Israel was an Ancient Roman city later conquered by the Crusaders.
Caesarea or “Keysarya” was an Ancient Roman city which is now a large archaeological site in Israel. It is believed that the city of Caesarea was initially founded atop the ruins of Straton's Tower, a third century BC Phoenician port city.
Conquered by King Alexander Jannaeus of the Hasmonean Kingdom in 90 BC, Caesarea’s population remained under local control until it was taken by the Romans in 63 BC. It was King Herod the Great who named the city Caesarea – after Augustus Caesar - and who endowed it with the majority of its great public buildings, infrastructure and monuments from 22 BC. Caesarea became a thriving commercial hub which hosted sporting events and which flourished further under the Byzantines. It was conquered by Crusaders in the eleventh century and its Crusader defences were erected in 1251 under French King Louis IX.
Today, Caesarea offers so much to see, including a large amphitheatre overlooking the ocean and an extensive labyrinth of ruins. Some of the most imposing remains at Caesarea are its Crusader fortifications.
Nearby, visitors can also explore the stunning remains of the Caesarea Aqueduct. Unless willing to hike for quite a while, it’s best to drive to this site. Overall, a trip to Caesarea can last anywhere from one to three hours and makes for a truly excellent day out. This site also features as one of our Top Ten Tourist Attractions in Israel.
Yad Vashem is the museum of the Holocaust in Jerusalem.
Yad Vashem in Jerusalem is a museum and a memorial of the Holocaust, in which over six million Jews, and at least five million from other ethnic groups, were murdered in an act of genocide perpetrated by the German National Socialist Party (the Nazis) under Adolph Hitler.
Beginning with the persecution of the Jews in Germany in 1933, the Nazis began a campaign in which Jews and other social and ethnic groups were taken into forced labour and extermination camps, suffering torture, intolerable conditions and mass executions.
Through exhibits including photographs, victims’ accounts, art installations and information panels, Yad Vashem offers a moving – and harrowing – account of the events of the Holocaust. This site features as one of our recommended key places to visit in Israel.
Mount Masada hosts the remains of an ancient Jewish fotress which served as the last outpost for the Zealots from the Romans in the Jewish Wars.
The fortress of Masada, which rises majestically above the Dead Sea, was originally built in 150BC. The original structure was renovated by Herod the Great in 43BC in order to improve its capacity to withstand drawn-out sieges.
In 66AD, Masada was the site of the last stand of the Jewish Zealots against the Romans after they had fled Jerusalem. According to the Roman historian Flavius Josephus, Masada was the site of a mass suicide when over 960 Jews took their own lives. Rather than being enslaved by the Romans - who after a long seige had finally completed a vast ramp to reach the fortress - ten men killed those residing in the fortress and then each other. In order to compound this defiance the Zealots burned everything except their own food supply.
The site of Masada, which was unearthed in 1968, clearly marks out the passage of the siege. Visitors can see the archeological remains of the fortress and those of the surrounding Roman camps. The site, which has a breathtaking view of the area, is regularly walked in the early hours of the morning in order for visitors to witness the rising of the sun.
Today, visitors can view a wealth of ruins at Masada, a sound and light show telling the story of the siege as well as visiting the new Masada Museum. This site also features as one of our Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Israel.
Acre is a UNESCO listed site of a city in Israel fortified by the Crusaders and the Ottomans.
Acre or “Akko” is an ancient city in Israel which has been almost continuously inhabited since at least 3000 BC, during the Early Bronze Age. Today, the Old City of Acre is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with a myriad of ruins representing the many civilisations that ruled the area over the centuries.
Allocated to the tribe of Asher under the Israelites, Acre would come under the rule of the Assyrians (9th century BC) and the Phoenicians (6th-4th centuries BC) before being conquered by Alexander the Great. It would later be ruled by the Egyptian Ptolemid Dynasty, Syria’s Seleucids and form part of the Hasmonean Kingdom, then being taken by the Romans in 63 BC. From 638 AD, Acre became an Arab city, part of the Caliphate of Cairo.
All of these cultures and civilisations left their mark on the Old City of Acre. The ruins of various fortifications and structures can still be seen there today. However, the overwhelming character of Acre is defined by two later periods, denoting the city’s time under the Crusaders and the Ottomans.
The Crusaders took Acre in 1104 and proceeded to build an impressive set of fortifications, much of which remain. This was a time of great development and prosperity, with the erection of many public buildings such as bathhouses, markets, shops and churches. However, from 1187, Acre fell to the Muslims and proceeded to change hands many more times including falling to the Crusaders yet again under Richard the Lion Heart in 1191.
From 1517, Acre – then in a poor state due to damage from several conflicts - came under Ottoman rule, although it was not until the eighteenth century that reconstruction began taking place. The Ottoman redevelopment of Acre was sympathetic to the Crusader buildings, with their remaining structures being used as a basis for new construction. At this time, Acre experienced yet another period of prosperity, with many new public buildings, including mosques and homes.
Acre is also famous for being the site of a failed siege by Napoleon in 1799 and being the location of a prison for political dissidents under the British Mandate.
Visitors to Acre can see its impressive fortifications, sites related to the Knights Templar and Knights Hospitallers, such as the Knights’ Halls, sites of the Bahá'í Faith and the many remaining public buildings, most of which originate from the Ottoman and Crusader periods.
Acre features as one of our Top 10 Tourist Attractions of Israel.
The site of Arsuf, also known as Apollonia, contains the remains of a Crusader castle once occupied by the Knights Hospitaller.
Arsuf, also known as Apollonia, contains the remains of an ancient settlement on the Israeli coast that has stood for over 1,000 years. Arsuf is best known for the remains of a once-mighty Crusader castle which was once home to the Knights Hospitaller, but the site also contains remnants from the many other civilisations that have occupied the area.
Founded by the Phoenicians in the 6th or 5th century BC, Arsuf was occupied by the Persians, Seleucid Greeks (from where it gained the name Apollonia), Romans, Byzantines, Muslims and finally the Crusaders who captured the town in 1101AD. In 1191AD Richard the Lionheart defeated Saladin here in the Battle of Arsuf.
The area was fought over throughout the Crusader period and, from 1261AD the fortress of Arsuf was occupied by the Knights Hospitaller. However, just four years later the Mamluk Sultan Baibars captured the fortress after a 40-day siege. His forces destroyed the town and the site was abandoned.
Today, Arsuf has been excavated and is now Apollonia National Park. Visitors can see the remains of the Crusader fortress, including evidence from the final battle. The clifftop setting and impressive defensive moat bring to life the scale and drama of the once-mighty castle. Also on show are the remains of a Roman villa, which highlights the diverse nature of the settlement at Arsuf.
Visitors can wander through the remnants of Crusader chambers and the site contains useful information on the various areas of the ruins. The site itself takes only about an hour to view, and contains some pleasant coastal and tranquil walkways.
During the holidays, events are often held here for children and the site can make for a good family day out. Purists be warned, those core historians seeking to explore the atmosphere of the ancient ruins should check ahead to avoid these events, as the site can be overrun with children dressed as pirates!
Avdat was an ancient Nabatean city along a prosperous trade route.
Avdat or “Ovdat” is an archaeological site in Israel which houses the pretty remains of an ancient Nabatean city later inhabited by the Romans, the Byzantines and the Arabs. It initially formed part of the trading route known as the Incense Route which ran from the Mediterranean to south Arabia and which peaked from the 3rd to the 2nd centuries BC. The main commodities along this route were frankincense, myrrh and spices.
Avdat prospered under the Nabateans from 30 BC to 9 BC, during the reign of King Aretas IV, but needed to be rebuilt after it was destroyed by Arab tribes in the late first century BC. This was carried out under Nabatean King Rabbel. However, in 106 AD, during Rabbel’s reign, Avdat was captured by the Romans. In the seventh century it was taken by the Arabs.
In addition to well-preserved fortifications, the ruins at Avdat include a caravanserai, homes, a Roman military camp, fourth century churches, a street and a bathhouse. Many of the ruins are Roman, but the Nabatean influence can still be seen, including the ruin of a temple.
Today, Avdat is a UNESCO World Heritage site, as one of four Desert Cities of the Incense Route.
Ayn Jalut Battlefield was the site of a pivotal clash between the Mamluks and the Mongols.
This is the very approximate site of the Ayn Jalut Battlefield (also spelt Ain Jalut). The Battle of Ayn Jalut, which was fought on 3 September 1260, is often seen as a pivotal moment in Mongol history. Indeed it was at the Ayn Jalut Battlefield that the Mamluks decisively defeated the Mongols, marking the first time that the Mongols had ever suffered a defeat of this magnitude.
Today, the site of Ayn Jalut Battlefield is just a set of fields. There is nothing to mark the battle site.
Beit Shean is an immensely impressive archaeological site with remains dating back mostly to the Roman and Byzantine period.
The ancient city of Beit She’an in the northern Jordan Valley is an immensely impressive archaeological site with remains dating back mostly to the Roman and Byzantine period.
The site itself has an extensive history dating back to around the fifth millennium BC and was a significant settlement by the Bronze Age period. During the Late Bronze Age, when the Egyptians ruled the area, Beit She’an served as the administrative centre of the region.
As the Egyptians lost control of the region, around the 12th century BC, the Egyptian city was destroyed by fire and a Canaanite city rose in its place, before the Philistines conquered the area. It was during this period that Beit She’an gained a Biblical reference when the Israelites under King Saul were defeated at the Battle of Mount Gilboa – it is said that the body of Saul was hung from the city’s walls, along with the bodies of his sons. The city was then captured by the Israelite king David and formed part of the Israelite kingdom until its destruction by the Assyrians in 731 BC.
Following this period the city was later re-founded as a Hellenistic settlement and was known as Nisa Scythopolis. As with many of the ancient cities in the area Beit She’an was later incorporated into the Roman Empire and survived under Roman and later Byzanine rule for several centuries; it was one of the ten cities of the Decapolis league. Most of the remains of Beit She’an which can be seen today date back to this period, which is when the city reached its zenith with a population approaching 50,000 by the 5th century AD.
The city continued to function after the 7th century Arab conquest, despite seeing a decline in its prominence and size. However, it was not war or man-made destruction which signalled the end of Beit She’an, rather a major earthquake which struck the region in 749 AD and devastated the city. There were subsequent periods of occupation after this event – including a period of Crusader rule which saw the construction of a Crusader castle – but the ancient city itself fell into ruin.
Today visitors to the site can explore the remains of ancient Beit She’an (also called Bet She’an, Beth Shean or Bet Shean) which sits on the eastern side of the modern city of the same name.
Among the ruins are the impressive colonnaded main street (known as Paladius Street), parts of the defensive walls, the reconstructed Roman theatre, an ancient amphitheatre, Byzantine bathhouse and even structures dating back to the Egyptian and Canannite periods, such as a large Canaanite temple and the ancient house of the Egyptian governor. The remains of the Crusader castle can also be visited as well as a Mamluk-era mosque.
Alongside the ruins sits the Biblical Mount Gilboa, which affords excellent views of the surrounding area, and visitors can also purchase tickets for the impressive sound-and-light experience which is run at the site. Beit She’an features as one of our Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Israel.
The Church of the Annunciation is believed to be the site where Gabriel told Mary she was to conceive the son of G-d.
The Church of the Annunciation, often called the Basilica of the Annunciation, is located in Nazareth on the site where it is believed that the angel Gabriel told Mary that she was to miraculously conceive the son of G-d. This holy Christian event is known as the Annunciation.
While the structure of the Church of the Annunciation is a twentieth century one, two previous churches – one Byzantine, one Crusader – have been excavated there, with the earlier one probably dating back to the fourth century AD. Inside the current church, visitors can see the Cave of the Annunciation, the site in which this event is thought to have occurred.
It is worth mentioning that the site of the Annunciation is a matter of some dispute, with some believing that it occurred elsewhere within Nazareth. The Greek Orthodox faith has its own Church of the Annunciation.
Built on the believed site of the crucifixion, tomb and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is possibly the holiest site in Christianity.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is holiest site in Christianity due the fact that it encompasses what are thought to be the last five stations travelled through by Christ, ending in his crucifixion.
Built in 325/6AD by Roman Emperor Constantine I (the first such emperor to convert to Christianity), the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is located on what many Christians believe to be Golgotha/The Hill of Cavalry, where Christ is said to have been crucified and later resurrected. It derives its name - Sepulchre, meaning the tomb- from the belief that it is the site of Jesus' burial.
It was Constantine’s mother, Helena, who went to Jerusalem and identified the site. Prior to the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the land on which it stands had been a temple to the deity Aphrodite, built by the Emperor Hadrian.
The sepulchre, the burial place of Jesus, is at the core of the church whilst the other four stations are clustered in The Hill of Cavalry. The décor of this section of the church is noticeably more opulent is believed to be the site of Jesus’ crucifixion.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre has been destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout the centuries, it now mostly dating to the twelfth century following the First Crusade. At present the building itself is controlled by six Christian churches - the division of the site can be traced from the 11th century, and was solidified by the Ottomans in 1767. This division has not been tranquil and there continue to be violent clashes between members of different Christian churches; in 2008 a particularly hostile brawl between the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Churches had to be broken up by Israeli police.
Since 1981, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has been a UNESCO World Heritage site as part of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls. This site features as one of our recommended key places to visit in Israel.
The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is believed to have been the site of the birthplace of Jesus Christ.
The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is one of the oldest Christian churches in existence and is believed to be located on the site where Jesus Christ was born.
The first church on this site is thought to have been built by Roman Emperor Constantine and his mother St. Helena in 326 AD. Whilst some of the flooring of this original church survives, the present structure of the Church of the Nativity dates to 530 AD and was built by the Emperor Justinian.
Christian pilgrims flock to the Church of the Nativity to see the silver star that marks the site on which Christ is believed to have been born. This site features as one of our recommended key places to see in Israel.
The Church of the Primacy of St. Peter in Tabgha is where Jesus is said to have reinstated Peter.
The Church of the Primacy of St. Peter is a Franciscan Chapel in Tabgha in Israel built in 1933 on the site where Jesus is believed to have reinstated Peter as the head of the Apostles. This was the third time that Jesus had appeared to his disciples.
Parts of the current structure of the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter derive from a fourth century church that once stood there.
The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is one of the world’s most famous holy sites, of great significance to Muslims and Jews.
The Dome of the Rock, known in Arabic as Qubbat as-Sakhrah, in Jerusalem is one of the world’s most famous holy sites. Not only is its iconic golden dome an integral part of the Jerusalem landscape, but the Dome of the Rock and its location are of great significance to Muslims and Jews.
The building of the Dome of Rock is considered the oldest existing Islamic structure, having been completed in 691 during the Umayyad Dynasty. The site chosen for its construction is believed by Muslims to have been that of the Prophet Muhammad's ascent to heaven. Despite being open for prayers, the Dome of the Rock is not a mosque but rather a shrine.
The name “Dome of the Rock” alludes to a further reason for its religious significance and is derived from what lays within its walls .The dome houses what Jews believe is the Foundation Stone, the site where Abraham (Ibrahim) was to sacrifice his son Isaac. The stone has a piercing which leads into a cave which also houses two shrines. Moreover the rock has two imprints, one of which is said to belong to the Prophet and the other to the angel Gabriel.
In the 16th century Suleiman the Magnificent amongst his various architectural renovations added to the blue and green marble the texts and patterns which are on the walls of the Dome of the Rock today. The interior of the dome, which is only accessible to Muslims, is said to be equally lavish.
The Dome of the Rock is a UNESCO World Heritage site, part of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls. The site features as one of our recommended key places to visit when touring Israel.
Hezekiah's Tunnel in Jerusalem is an ancient aqueduct created by the King of Judah to protect the city’s water supply from invaders.
Hezekiah's Tunnel, also known as Siloam Tunnel and the Tunnel of Shiloh, in Jerusalem was built by the 14th king of Judah, King Hezekiah, in 701 BC. Upon hearing of the approach of the Assyrian army, the king wanted to protect the city’s water supply and thus ordered the construction of this tunnel to act as an aqueduct, bringing water to his citizens. It was also to stem the water supply, preventing it from reaching the invading troops. This 1,750-foot marvel of engineering stretches from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam and is still in a remarkable state of preservation.
The events which led to the creation of Hezekiah's Tunnel are described in the Bible and also on its walls. In 1880, a young boy found an inscription in the tunnel – known as the Siloam Inscription – telling of how the two groups digging it met in the middle.
Today, visitors can trek through Hezekiah's Tunnel, wading through its water in an adventure that brings archaeology to life. This site is part of the City of David National Park.
Independence Hall is a museum at the site where the State of Israel was born.
Independence Hall, part of the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv, is the site in which the State of Israel was founded. At 4 pm on 14 May 1948, eight hours before the end of the British Mandate, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion made the Proclamation of Independence, creating the State of Israel.
Today, visitors to Independence Hall can enter the hall in which Ben Gurion made this declaration, shown in a similar state to what it would have looked like on the date of his speech. There’s a short film and several items – documents, pictures, objects - related to the ceremony. This site also features as one of our Top 10 Visitor Attractions in Israel.
Mamshit in Israel is the site of one of four UNESCO listed Nabatean cities which prospered as part of the Incense trading route.
Mamshit was an ancient Nabatean city which formed part of the Incense Road, a trading route of various spices in the Mediterranean and south Arabia.
In fact, it is one of four such cities in the Negev Desert in Israel which form the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Incense Route. It is arguably the best preserved out of the four.
Founded in approximately the first century BC, Mamshit was later occupied by the Romans, after which its prosperity began to decline. In addition to a caravanserai and several large homes, Mamshit’s remains include a bathhouse, a market and many intact frescoes and mosaics.
Rabin Square was the site of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.
Rabin Square (Kikar Rabin) is a large public plaza in Tel Aviv, Israel. Formerly called Israel Kings’ Square, it was renamed Rabin Square after Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated there in 1995.
The assassination of Prime Minister Rabin took place on 4 November of that year during a peace rally just after he had given a speech. This speech is now engraved at the top of the stairs at Rabin Square in Hebrew, English and Arabic.
Today Rabin Square has a memorial to Yitzhak Rabin and still bears much of the pro-peace graffiti which was created following his death. Centrally located in Tel Aviv, Rabin Square still serves as a popular spot for demonstrations, peace rallies, exhibitions and public gatherings however on most days it looks like a typical city plaza. It is also neighboured by City Hall as well as several main streets.
The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is one of the holiest sites for Jews, Muslims and Christians and is believed to be the site of many significant events for each of these religions.
The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is one of the holiest sites for Jews, Muslims and Christians. Also known as Mount Moriah, Har haBáyit in Hebrew and as the Noble Sanctuary or al-haram al-qudsī ash-sharīf for Muslims, Temple Mount is believed to be the site of many significant events for each of these religions.
Jews believe that the Temple Mount was the location of the First and Second Temples, the first built by King Solomon in the tenth century BC to house the Ark of the Covenant and the second completed in the sixth century BC. Both of these temples, which remain of great significance to the Jewish faith, were destroyed (in the sixth century BC and first century AD respectively). Jews also believe Temple Mount to be the site of many prominent biblical events such as where Abraham was going to sacrifice his son Isaac (on the Foundation Rock housed in the Dome of the Rock).
For Islam, Temple Mount has been an important site even prior to the Prophet Muhammad’s night journey and ascent into heaven (believed to have occurred on the site of the Dome of the Rock). It is said that it was originally the practice of Islam to pray towards Temple Mount, whereas today Muslims pray facing Mecca. In fact Temple Mount is one of the holiest sites in Islam along with Mecca and Medina and is mentioned several times in the Hadith. The Islamic structures on the site, such as the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque, are perhaps the most ancient Islamic structures in existence, dating back as far as to Caliph Omar.
The site also has relevance for Christianity. The New Testament frequently mentions Jesus’ activities on the site including the prediction of the destruction of the Second Temple.
In 324-5AD Helena, the mother of Roman Emperor Constantine I, built a small church on the mount.
Temple Mount has always been the subject of controversy and remains so today. Captured by Israel during the Six Day War of 1967, it is under Israeli sovereignty but under the control of the Islamic wakf. There is a ban on religious activities at the Temple Mount for non-Muslims.
Temple Mount is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls.
The Caesarea Aqueduct is the remaining section of the aqueduct that supplied the Roman city of Caesarea.
The Caesarea Aqueduct is the picturesque, well-preserved ruin of the ancient Roman aqueduct which served the city of Caesarea.
Mostly constructed during the reign of King Herod the Great, the majority of the great public buildings, infrastructure and monuments of Caesarea were built from around 22 BC onwards.
The city became a thriving commercial hub which hosted sporting events and which flourished further under the Byzantines. However, the city had no reliable fresh water supply at the time of construction and the growing population demanded greater supplies of water to furnish the various public and private demands of a Roman city. The aqueduct was therefore built to provide this supply and was further expanded as the city grew in the following centuries.
In later years Caesarea's importance diminished and, though the aqueduct fell in to disuse, it has remained in a relatively good state of preservation to this day.
The Coenaculum in Jerusalem is a Crusader-built structure at the believed location of The Last Supper.
The Coenaculum in Jerusalem is a room built by the Crusaders in the fourteenth century, later taken over by the Franciscans and then transformed into a mosque by the Ottomans in the sixteenth century.
However, for Christians, it is best known as the “Last Supper Room”, the upper room where Jesus Christ had his final supper before being crucified.
In fact, the site of the Last Supper has never been definitively verified and the date in which this particular room was built means that it is not the actual room in which this iconic event took place. However, it is believed to be built on the same site where the original room stood.
Situated on the second floor, the Coenaculum also sits above the site where Jews believe King David was buried, King David’s Tomb.
The Shiloach Pool in Jerusalem is thought to date back to the Byzantine period.
The Shiloach Pool or “Pool of Siloam” in Jerusalem is mentioned in the bible and the current site is believed by archaeologists to date back to the Byzantine period.
It would have been fed by Hezekiah's Tunnel. It is believed that this pool was originally one of two, the second, larger one having existed during the period of the Second Temple (516 BC-70 AD).
Now part of the City of David National Park, the Shiloach Pool contains fragments of pillars thought to have derived from the Shiloach Church.
The Western Wall is the remaining wall of the Second Temple in Jerusalem built by King Herod.
The Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, Ha Kotel and the Al-Buraq Wall, is the sole remaining part of a wall of the Second Temple of Jerusalem.
This temple, which stood from 516 BC, was the holiest of Jewish sites and was built to replace the First Temple. In around 20-19 BC, King Herod renovated the Second Temple, this being the time when the Western Wall was added. For this reason, the temple is sometimes known as Herod’s Temple.
The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans led by Titus in 70 AD, with the Western Wall being one of very few surviving remnants. The name “the Wailing Wall” refers to the fact that it is a place where Jews come to mourn the fall of the Second Temple.
Today, the Western Wall is the holiest of Jewish sites, always surrounded by worshippers, many of whom place prayers in its crevices. While the lower half of what can now be seen dates to the time of Herod, the upper parts of the Wall were added in the seventh century AD.
In addition to the external part of the Western Wall, visitors can also enter the Western Wall Tunnels, which show the extended parts of the structure. This site features as one of our recommended key visitor attractions in Israel.