"The Biblical Shkhem" Nabulus by talmid

Nabulus Travel Guide: 6 reviews and 40 photos

The Uncrowned Queen of Palestine

Biblical history and holy places

Nablus, the Biblical Shkhem in the ancient region of Samaria, is today the most populated city in the West Bank and a principal industrial and commercial center. Nablus enjoys a strategic position being at the junction between two ancient commercial roads: one linking the cost to the Jordan valley, the other linking the north and the south of Palestine through the mountains. Known by the historians as 'the Uncrowned Queen of Palestine', it is located 63 km north of Jerusalem between Mount Gerzim and Mount Ebal. It was founded by the Roman Emperor Titus in 72 AD in honor of his father Flavius Vespasian and it was called Flavia Neapolis, i.e. the 'New City of Flavius'. In the early centuries of Christianity, Neapolis was scenary of constant strife between the local Samaritan and Christian populations. The Samaritan revolt against Rome in 529 AD was severely put down by Emperor Justinian and most of the Samaritans were expelled. In 636 AD the Arabs took the town and changed its name to Nablus; it has been predominantly Muslim ever since.
As a result of the Intifada and the military operations in the area, Nablus is currently closed to tourists. UN and humanitarian organizations personnel are allowed to enter. Sometimes, religious groups (mainly ultra-orthodox Jews) make their way to the holy sites in Nablus escorted by Israeli troops. In spite of this, do not get discouraged in your efforts to visit the city; you might be lucky and be allowed to enter this interesting place. Anyways, you can visit the surroundings, which are more accesible for people interested in tourism and sightseeing. Here I will provide you with some information, travelogues, and tips, result of my trips to this region; I will be glad if they will help you to travel around this conflictive part of the World.

Some historic and touristic information was provided by the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

  • Intro Updated Jul 29, 2004
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Comments (7)

  • Nov 4, 2005 at 5:30 PM

    Hi! Auroras in Bergen - that's very very rare - Bergen's a lovely city, but not the place to go aurora-watching - I only saw the Northern Lights ONCE before moving to Tromsø... it can be seen in southern Norway only after quite intense solar storms.

  • gilabrand's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2005 at 6:22 AM

    Thanks for the encouragement on my Beersheva page. Yes - it is time for you to write about about it!

  • Jun 30, 2005 at 9:53 AM

    Thanks for your comment on my page! Unfortunately, I haven't been able to update my Athens page, yet...just moved here 2 months ago. But I am sure you will have a blast!

  • fabrice's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2005 at 11:53 PM

    I am happy I visited before intifada

  • freya_heaven's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2004 at 2:30 AM

    A very interesting peek in to this almost closed town. Thanks Raul

  • ChuckG's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2004 at 11:06 PM

    It's scary to think that this is almost like a city-prison !

  • Laurina's Profile Photo
    Aug 9, 2004 at 10:13 AM

    Is the Turkish bath in the Old City still functioning? ...I remember fondly the shay ma' nana they offered you after the bath and the massage (not the best but still...) It was truly a lovely experience in a place where you least expected it...


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