Monday, July 27, 2009

A fantastic resource for those thinking of visiting our lovely country

I have been led to a website that is a fantastic resource for anyone thinking of coming to visit Israel. Things to do, places to stay, restaurants. They will even help plan itineraries.

Just for reference, this is what it has on Beit Shemesh- ask anyone local- takes more time to read this than to do anytihng around here so far as we knew!

City: Beit Shemesh

Region: Central / Jerusalem Area

Beit Shemesh is located in the Jerusalem region at the start of the Judean Hills. Beit Shemesh is located 30km/20miles west of Jerusalem.

Driving Directions to Beit Shemesh:
Beit Shemesh is approximately 10 kilometers from hi-way 1 (Shar Hagay exit). Travel hiway 38 until you reach Beit Shemesh.

Cities/Town Close By: Bet Guvrin, Beitar Illit, Jerusalem, Kibbutz Tzora, Latrun area, Modiin,Yishi

Population: approximately 75,000

rolling hills

Modern Day:
Beit Shemesh was established in 1950 as a "development town primarily for new immigrants. Today Beit Shemesh is a thriving city with many modern conveniences and modes of public transportation (bus, train, taxi). Modern day Beit Shemesh was named after the Biblical Beth-shemesh.

Biblical History:
Beit Shemesh is referenced in the book of Joshua (21,6) and the book of Samuel (6,12).

Beit Shemesh can be traced back over three thousand years to the times of Yehoshua. Excavations near Beit Shemesh show the existence of a Hyksos and later a Canaanite town dating back to the 18th century B.C.

In the 13th century Joshua took the town (Joshua 21,16). In the 11th century the Philistines defeated the Israelites in a battle and captured the Ark of the Covenant; but its possession brought them bad luck and they were forced to return the Ark to the Israelites. The cart carrying the Ark, drawn by two Oxen, passed through Beth-shemesh (Samuel I 6,12) and then continued to Qiryat Yearim, near Abu Ghosh. About 800 B.C. there was a battle between King Amaziah of Judah and King Jehoash of Israel (2 Kings 14,11).

Near by Parks/Forests: Brittish Park, Beit Guvrin National Park, Ein Hemed National Park, Castel National Park, Eshtaol Forest, Gilo Forest, Herodium (Herodion) National Park, Jerusalem Forest, Latrun area, Martyrs Forest, Peace Forest, Presidents Forest, Sataf, Stalactite caves, Sorek-Salmon Ridge, U.S. Independence Park, Yishi Forest, Park Begin near Mevo Beitar

Modern Day History Sites: Harel/Burma Road, Netiv HaLamed Hei, Har Yaale, Nes Harim etc

Caves: Stalactite caves, Bat caves, Twin caves, Bar Kochba caves, Beit Guvrin National Park, Ukbah caves, Luzit caves

Biblical Sites/Tels: Tel Bet Shemesh, Emek Haela, Tel Azaka, Tel Yarmut, Tel Shocho, Kever Dan, Kever Shimshon

Shopping Malls: BIG Center

Museums: None

Theaters/Perfomance Centers:
Beit Shemesh Conservatory

Festivals: Festival Beit Shemesh is the largest Jewish Rock and Soul Music Festival in Israel (October). The Three day festival includes daily activities for the Family, including Nature hikes, Bicycle Trails, Children's workshops, Arts and Crafts fair, Judaica, Painting, Sculpture exhibitions, Druse Hospitality tents, Jeep rides, Food vendors etc.

Things to Do:
Hiking, Biking, Discovery, Archeological Digs

click here

Lodging: Bed and breakfast apartment, apartment rentals, local kibbutz lodging

Off the Beaten Trail

Tel Yarmut - read here

Tel Safit / Gath Archaeological Park- read here

Derech Burma West - read here

Nes Harim - read here

Seriously, go check it out.

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