Enjoy the interesting things that Nablus has to offer
Nāblus is a city filled with biblical history, a place which will take you back in time. The newer areas of the city stand out in sharp contrast to the ancient remnants of the past. Sometimes called Shechem, Nāblus is just 63 km to the north of Jerusalem and is sited between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal. In an section of the city called Tal Balatah you will find Ancient Shechem. Nāblus is a city of great importance to three Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity and Islam).
Ancient Shechem was established some four thousand years ago and is the location where Abraham entered Canaan. It is also the site where Joshua encouraged the Israelites to keep their covenant with God. Shechem developed into an important commercial hub trading in grapes, livestock, wheat and pottery from 1900 to 100 BCE. Shechem suffered several fires however its remains can still be seen in the city of Nāblus. In the time of the Crusades Queen Melisande built several churches in Nāblus. However, in 1187 the Arabs once again took over the city. During the 1500 it became part of an Ottoman administrative division. Jordan commandeered Nāblus in 1948 but by 1967, Israel reclaimed the city.
People from all walks of life and from many religions will appreciate the importance of Nāblus in religious history. Even those who aren't religious will find the remnants of ancient life most intriguing. In Tal Balatah upon the slopes of Mount Gerizim you can explore the remains of Ancient Shechem. Discovered by Ernst Sellin in 1913, remnants of Shechem such as fortifications, a government house as well as a residential quarter can be seen. Also to be observed there are the foundations of a Baal-Beelit and a Canaanite temple. Within a Greek Orthodox Church in Tal Balatah is a well believed to have been dug by Abraham's grandson Jacob. A location nearby is believed to be the Tomb of Joseph by the Jews. The Samaritans in Nablus are located in Holon and celebrate the Passover each year at the crest of Mount Gerizim.
The modern areas of Nāblus city are well developed. In the heart of the market is the impressive El-Nasser Mosque. El-Kebir Mosque is the largest in Nāblus and was contructed in 1168. Nāblus is particularly famous for the architecture of the Kasbah or market in the old city. It is also well-known for the Palestinian knafeh a rich pastry soaked in syrup.
It is advisable to find out the current situation as regards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict before heading off to Nāblus. However, Nāblus is a fascinating city to visit, one that will leave you feeling enlightened.