Destination Guide

The Travel Well Guide

Jericho

City: N/A       State: N/A       Country: Israel
Jericho is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate, and has a population of over 20,000 Arabs. Described in the Hebrew Bible as the "City of Palm Trees", copious springs in and around Jericho have made it an attractive site for human habitation for thousands of years. It is known in Judeo-Christian tradition as the place of the Israelites' return from bondage in Egypt, led by Joshua, the successor to Moses. Archaelogists have unearthed the remains of over 20 successive settlements in Jericho, the first of which dates back to 11,000 years ago (9000 BCE).It is a desert oasis, a beautifully green town that is the breadbasket of the West Bank. At 258 in (848 ft) below sea level, Jericho is the lowest city on earth. The city's main water source is Am al Sultan (Elisha's well), which rises near the Tel es-Sultan, the remains of the ancient city. The tel stands 21-m (69-ft) high, covering an area of 40,000 sq m (44,000 sq yd). Here you can see the archaeology of Jericho's inhabitation - 23 separate levels, includingparts of the Neolithic town. City walls were built as early as 7000 BC, famously broken down by the blast from the trumpets of Joshua's Israelite army.The splendid 8th century Hisham's Palace, 3 km (2 mi) from the town centre, is a wonderful example of Islamic architecture with beautifully preserved mosaics. It was built as a winter residence for the decadent poet-prince Caliph al Walid ibn Yazid. You can see what the royal priorities were from the numerous water tanks, bath houses and pools - said to have been filled with wine rather than water.North of Ain al Sultan, there is an avenue of cypress trees leading to what was once a Byzantine synagogue. The beautifully intact mosaic floor has a central medallion inscribed Shalom al Yisrael (Peace for Israel). And in the wilderness just outside the city, there is the Maqam al Nabi Musa - an Islamic shrine to Moses.Jericho is a popular tourist destination despite the political tensions. The city centre is spacious, with a friendly atmosphere and an attractive main street lined with garden restaurants.

Climate | When to Visit

Visit during: December to February

Directions | How to Reach

It is located nearby Nazareth and is connected to the rest of world via it.

miscellaneous | Important Information

DON'T MISS:Tulul Abu al Alaieq - King Herod's winter palace 2.5 km (1.5 mi) to the west of Jericho. Greek orthodox Monastery of St George - carved out of the rock face in a desert canyon, surrounded by a lush garden.Greek Monastery of Temptation and views from top of Jabel Quruntal, where Jesus fasted and saw the devil. Mosaics of the 4th Century Na'aran Synagogue. Monastery of the Essenes, 20 km (12 mi) south of Jericho - site of the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls.

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