Discover the natural wonders of Jericho
Jericho, a small town in Israel has a fascinating past dating back thousands of years. Today it is popular amongst tourists because of its historical and archeological importance as well as its flourishing flora.
Jericho is best known from the Bible's detailed description of the Israelite's take-over of the city, when the walls of Jericho fell. When the Promised Land was distributed amongst the tribes of Israel, the tribe of Benjamin gained the region of Jericho. During the 9th century BCE under the rule of King Ahab Jericho was re-established.
After the King Zedekiah of Judah was exiled by the Babylonians and during Persian reign Jericho was abandoned. In later years Hellenistic Jericho was constructed in the south. The Maccabees occupied the city in 161 BCE and in 30 BCE Octavian presented the city to Herod. Hellenistic Jericho was annihilated by the Romans. Eventually another settlement formed where the current city is situated. In 634 AD the Arabs took over the region and a fortress and mosque were founded here by the Omayyad Caliphs.
Israel commandeered the city following the Six-Day War of 1967. The Gaza and Jericho Agreement of 1994 placed the city under Palestinian Authorities. Israel reclaimed the area but the Palestinians gained final authority on 16 March 2005.
Jericho's past has left behind many remnants for tourists to explore. Just 2.5km from the heart of Jericho is the tell, the location of ancient Jericho. The most successful excavations took place from 1930 revealing much about the region's past. Nearby is the Mount of Temptation or Qarantal. A chapel was constructed on the crest of the hill by St. Chariton in 340 AD as well as in a cave. The Greek Orthodox Church constructed a Sarandarion monastery here in 1895.
Two large palaces are situated just outside of Jericho. The Hasmonean Palace was possibly built by King Alexander Jannaeus. Herod likely extended the palace adding opulent decorations. This palace was designed with Roman baths, an audience chamber and a huge swimming pool. Hisham's Palace was constructed in 724 AD by Caliph Hisham. It was never completed and suffered much damage during an earthquake. The palace was only discovered in 1937. Inside is an impressive mosaic with images of three gazelles feeding under an orange-tree with a lion attacking one of them.
Jericho is a city of historical significance and much to discover.