Beit -She’an ruins lie in the northern part of the Jordan Valley of Israel. Following archaeological digs of the area, it appears as if first settlement had been established in the 5th millennium NCE, in the area. The region had been blessed with much water and fertile soil, thus turning into a major crossroad.
This site had also been mentioned in the bible, while Israelite tribes were unable to capture Canaanite Beit She’an. After a fierce battle, nearby Mount Gilboa, the Philistines hung the bodies of King Saul and his sons on the city’s outer walls.
The biblical story continues telling the story of King David, who conquered Bet- Shean together with Megiddo and Ta’anach cities.
In 731 BCE, the city was destroyed by the Assyrian King Tiglath-pileser III.
The city had met with many conquerors over the span of years, such as Arabs, Byzantine warriors, Crusaders, Roman,
The ancient ruins are the pride of the city. It has undergone massive restoration and reconstruction works, allowing special events and sound and light or other performances to take place in its ancient streets and in its theater-arena.
The biblical hill, rising some 50 meters above its surroundings, has a spectacular view of the great city and of the Beti-She’an Valley. Other attractions include the spectacular 7,000-seat Roman theater, where gladiators once fought; the Byzantine bathhouse and the main colonnaded street.
A major event in the history of the city was the year of 749 AD, at which the city had experienced a very serious earthquake that led to much destruction of the historical monuments.
After the founding of the State of Israel, in 1948, Bet Shean was re-established and began to grow and flourish.
What should I know about the trip?
The tour of the National park is an easy-road tour of about two hours. A vehicle is also available to take visitors around the perimeter, stopping at the main sites.
Guidance is available at the entrance, to enable a better understanding of the various sites within the park.
The main sites to explore are:
-The spectacular 7,000-seat Roman Theater.
-The Byzantine bathhouse.
-The main colonnaded street.
The newly established “Shean Nights” show, a full-senses experience of sound and lights, at the theater, is featuring virtual images of life in an exciting and vibrant old city, enabling a glimpse of how the life had been some thousands of years ago.
Once it starts, the audience in wrapped with the tastes, sounds and spices of an ancient world, enabled by a three-dimensional audiovisual presentation.
Performances take place in: April-November, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturday nights, at dusk, by reservation.
How to reach?
Beit-Shean is located within the city itself, signs guide to its whereabouts as of entrance of the city.
The city is located near the Gilboa mountain at the southern part of the Galilee (part of the north of Israel).
-Visitors are recommended to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water.
-The best season for the tour is during the Spring, Autumn and Winter. Summer is very hot.
-Reservations for the sound and light show are compulsory.
-Evenings at the park may be cool.
-Opening hours: April-September; Sunday-Thursday 0800-1700
-For the sound and light show reservations: *3639: 0800-1700