"All around Beit-Shemesh" Bet Shemesh by iblatt
Bet Shemesh Travel Guide: 4 reviews and 7 photos
Beit-Shemesh (literal translation: House of the Sun) itself is a modern Israeli town in the foothills of the Judean mountains. It has its residential neighborhoods and an industrial zone, nothing much to do here for a tourist.
However, all around Beit-Shemesh there are quite a number of interesting places to see, hear, taste...
East of the town, a winding scenic road will lead you to the magnificent Soreq stalactite cave.
If you choose to go a few kilometers to the west you can visit the winery of Kibbutz Zorah, the monastery of Dir Rafat and the adjacent Moni winery.
You will have a view of the valley which is being transformed into the Israeli version of Napa valley, covered with vineyards.
A few kilometers south of Beit-Shemesh on Route 38 you will find the monastery of Beit-Gemal, with its Byzantine-style church.
A short distance to the north of the town there is the Martyrs' Forest, with the intoxicating scent of pine trees and Martyrs' Cave, a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.
Ancient history is well represented in the Beit-Shemesh region, and if you close your eyes (or maybe open them wide??) you can see the Biblical Samson roaming the hills, you can visualize St. Stephen being interred after his martyrdom, and a few kilometers further south you can imagine the young David confronting the Philistine giant Goliath.
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