Aside from the popular usual sites for most participants during a Christian tour of the Holy Land, there are numerous other fascinating places of interest to visit.
The holy and historic site of Mt. Gerazim has Samaritan ruins that include a temple precinct and a city that was built during the Persian and Hellenistic periods and subsequently destroyed by the Hasmoneans. There are also Byzantine ruins that include a church and Monastery that were built on top of the Samaritan ruins. 90% of the world’s population of Samaritans live near this site which is sacred to the Samaritans who believe that it was originally the chosen site for the holy temple.
Not far from this is the ancient city of Shiloh situated in Samaria north of the Israeli settlement of Beth El. Shiloh was the religious capital of Israel for about 300 years before Jerusalem and in the Book of Joshua it is mentioned as a place of assembly for the people of Israel to set up the tabernacle.
In the area there is also the important archeological site of Sebastia that dates back 10,000 years and includes Canaanite, Israelite, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine remnants.
Another area of interest to Christian visitors to the Holy Land is located in the Beit Guvrin National Park which has a number of important sites including Tel Mareshah which was fortified by Rehoboam the son of King Solomon and also a Roman amphitheatre and many interesting caves that existed under the houses. These were used as storerooms and cisterns in ancient times. In the Bell shaped Caves there are still marks that were left behind by the original excavators. Due to the excellent acoustics in the Bell Caves, concerts and other events are held in these caves right up to present times.
Many visitors to the Holy Land visit Tel Beit Shemesh which is situated in the picturesque rolling hills southwest of Jerusalem. Although there are many remains at this archeological site that have not yet been restored, the Bible is everywhere. To date excavations have revealed remains going back to the Canaanites, the Philistines and the Israelites. A massive wall has been excavated indicating that Judean Kings understood that this area was essential to the defense of their realm.
Although all the above are not the usual places visited during a Christian tour of the Holy Land, they are all well worth seeing.
Read about Popular Christian sites in the Holy land
See some of our groups that have toured with us