Bet Guvrin Things to Do

  • The Bell cave path in Beit Guvrin
    The Bell cave path in Beit Guvrin
    by iblatt
  • The Bell cave path in Beit Guvrin
    The Bell cave path in Beit Guvrin
    by iblatt
  • The Bell cave path in Beit Guvrin
    The Bell cave path in Beit Guvrin
    by iblatt

Most Recent Things to Do in Bet Guvrin

  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo

    Apollophanaes Cave, part II

    by Martin_S. Written Nov 26, 2012
    Apollonphanaes Cave at Bet Guvrin, Israel
    4 more images

    There is an inscription dedicated to one of the people buried there and outside the chambers you will find an explanation sign telling you that the name of the cave is derived from that inscription, that Apollophanaes is the "son of" and what the honors he held during life were, much like people put on headstones in graveyards today.

    An important point is that these are reproductions because of time and vandalism the originals were destroyed. A pity, but in almost every archeological site I have visited, be it here in Israel, or in France, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Turkey.......I have seen many instances of vandalism. The other bad thing I have seen is poor care of what is left to us by many of the authorities, this was very blatant in some of the antiquities we saw in Portugal on a recent trip, but there is evidence of this almost everywhere. We need to learn to take better care of what is left of our past.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo

    Apollophanaes Cave, part I

    by Martin_S. Written Nov 26, 2012
    Apollophanaes Cave at Bet Guvrin, Israel
    4 more images

    The Apollophanaes Cave at Bet Guvrin, okay so do NOT ask me to pronounce this, but it is worth a visit to see this burial site. The decorations, paintings and inscriptions adorning the walls of the main chamber are amazing.
    Zohara is "featured" in the first photo to give you an idea of the size of the main burial chamber. There are an additional two side chambers without any decorations and also one larger niche off to the right (to the direct right of Zohara in the first photo).

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo

    Underground cisterns, part 2

    by Martin_S. Updated Nov 22, 2012
    Bet Guvrin cisterns, Israel
    4 more images

    The second photo here will give you an idea of the depth of this complex. Used for storage of water, the cisterns run for hundreds of meters underground. Also stirrred into this mix of water storage you will find a columbarium in the third photo...used for storing the remains (ashes) of the deceased, but I was thinking more of a letter drop, a sort of post office.
    If you do not have claustrophobia, this will be a place you will enjoy exploring and today they have good access, much better than the last time I visited, giving fairly easy access to almost every corner of this troglodyte world.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo

    The Columbarium, underground of course

    by Martin_S. Written Nov 22, 2012
    Bet Guvrin columbarium, Israel
    4 more images

    Okay so a columbarium is like a tomb, but WHY is the floor so far from the tombs....how did they access the tombs above. I thought it might have been a question of beginning from the top and as they filled the niches, digging deeper...okay that works fine till you look at the distance here between the lowest rank of niches...much higher than I could reach and according to statistics at 180 centimeters I am much taller than the average citizen of that time period. Okay explanations are welcome.
    But for sure whatever this was used for it was/is, huge.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • National/State Park
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo

    Underground cisterns, part 1

    by Martin_S. Written Nov 22, 2012
    Bet Guvrin cisterns, Israel
    4 more images

    Under the homes of Maresha there is a totally extensive complex of cisterns, storage rooms and columbariums...
    They consist of many levels, twisting through underground courses and going up and down stairs hewn into the local rock. A few as you can see from the last photo have not withstood the test of time and are now "fallen" into ruin.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo

    Underground dwellings, Oil Press

    by Martin_S. Updated Nov 22, 2012
    Bet Guvrin underground Oil Press, Israel
    4 more images

    The underground oil press is totally impressive, the entire industry of making oil from pressing olives is taken below ground while the above ground area can be park like. Reminds me of a shopping center in Zagreb that our friend Zdenka took us to visit, only the entrance above ground.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • National/State Park
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo

    Visit the Bell Caves, part 1

    by Martin_S. Written Nov 22, 2012
    Bet Guvrin, Bell Caves, Israel
    4 more images

    The Bet Guvrin complex that includes the ancient city of Bet Guvrin, the Bell Caves and the Maresha settlement. This truly gives you a lot to see. The bell caves are beautiful and they tell us by explanation that they are a result of mining, done from the top down. Cutting a hole in the ground and progressively expanding the hole outwards as you go deeper.
    No matter the explanation, this action has caused a small land of wonder beneath the surface of the earth. Today you can enjoy all this on paved walkways, most of which are accessible for handicaped. Many of the holes permit light to enter and throw the colorful rock walls into relief and cause a sense of natural sculpture.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • gubbi1's Profile Photo

    The Amphitheater

    by gubbi1 Updated Mar 12, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Amphitheater, Bet Guvrin NP, IL
    4 more images

    Leaving or coming to Bet Guvrin NP you should also stop for the Crusader Church and the closeby amphitheater.
    The amphitheater is completely exposed. You can walk up to the seats and through tunnels under the rows of seats. It's size is quite impressive and you can imagine how the fights between the gladiators and the beasts took place here.

    Get to the Parks webpage here...

    Related to:
    • Theater Travel
    • Archeology
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • gubbi1's Profile Photo

    The Fortress

    by gubbi1 Written Mar 12, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Crusader Fortress, Bet Guvrin NP, IL
    4 more images

    Leaving or coming to Bet Guvrin NP you should also stop for the Crusader Church and the closeby amphitheater.
    Attached to the Crusader Church you will find the Fortress of the Crusaders. It is accessible through a small passage in the wall of the church. The fortress was built in the 13th century. There is a wooden walk way that allows you to cross the ruins without climbing. At the end you can take stairs down into the cellars. Quite unexpected...

    Get to the Parks webpage here...
    Crusaders on wikipedia...

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • gubbi1's Profile Photo

    The Crusader Church

    by gubbi1 Written Mar 12, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Crusader Church, Bet Guvrin NP, IL
    4 more images

    Leaving or coming to Bet Guvrin NP you should also stop for the Crusader Church and the closeby amphitheater.
    The Crusader Church is attached to a fortress and was built by the Hospitallers. Even though it has Roman and Byzantine architectural elements, it is a typical Crusader Church. Visiting the church it is impressive that such a huge structure has remained over these centuries. On the floor I found a scratched in board of the game 'nine men's morris' (photo 5). Wonder how long this is already on that floor.... ?

    Get to the Parks webpage here...
    Nine Men's Morris on wikipedia...

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Archeology
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • gubbi1's Profile Photo

    Inscriptions --- Christian Symbols

    by gubbi1 Written Mar 12, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Rosette in Bell Caves, Bet Guvrin NP, IL
    4 more images

    Beside some arabic inscriptions you will also find several christian symbols on the walls. Some look like that the places were used for religious purposes. Unfortunately there are no signs regarding the history of these inscriptions, but maybe nothing is known.

    Get to the Parks webpage here...

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Archeology
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • gubbi1's Profile Photo

    Inscriptions --- Allah

    by gubbi1 Written Mar 12, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Allah in Bell Cave, Bet Guvrin NP, IL
    2 more images

    In the Bell Caves you will see several inscriptions on the walls that are very old. Some of them are high up on the walls, some quite easily reachable.
    One inscription shows the word 'Allah' in arabic. A sign will show you the place.

    Get to the Parks webpage here...

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • gubbi1's Profile Photo

    Bell Cave Complex 2

    by gubbi1 Updated Mar 12, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bell Cave complex 2, Bet Guvrin NP, IL
    4 more images

    The second complex of the Bell Caves is accessible and will amaze you with its size. Before arriving here I though the Bell Caves are smaller holes in the ground of maybe 4 or five meters in height and maybe 4 meters wide, but I haven't imagined such huge structures in which people almost 'disappear'. There are branches of footpathes leading you through these wide caves. You will learn why these quarries have become shaped as they are. At the beginning only a hole was made in the ground. From it the limestone was taken. Once the people got deeper in the ground they started to take the limestone in a circular way. Bringing the stones up to the surface was done by using ropes. With increasing deepness the diameter became larger and larger giving it this typical bell shape. The method had the advantage that the quarries were relatively stable, the people stayed in shade and the limestone did not dry out. The limestone was used in the region aswell as in Bet Guvrin itself.
    Most of the caves that you will find now have a height of about 14 meters, the highest has 25 meters!

    Get to the Parks webpage here...

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • National/State Park
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • gubbi1's Profile Photo

    Bell Cave Complex 1

    by gubbi1 Written Mar 12, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bell Caves Complex 1, Bet Guvrin NP, IL
    4 more images

    There are two main complexes of Bell Caves here in the park. The first complex is not as accessible as the second, but already gives an idea of the massive size of these ancient lime stone quarries. For much of this complex the access is blocked due to the stability of the lime stone structures. Metal bars have been deployed to stabilize the rock, but you will also pass collapsed caves.

    Get to the Parks webpage here...

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • gubbi1's Profile Photo

    Bell Caves round walk

    by gubbi1 Written Mar 12, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Footpath Bell Caves, Bet Guvrin NP, IL
    4 more images

    The Bell caves can be visited on a roundwalk that leads you through a beautiful landscape formed by rocks of lime stone. The footpath starts at the parking of the Bell Caves. The landscape itself (probably almost completely former lime stone quarries) is worth to come here. From the path you have access to the impressive Bell Caves.
    The parking is off the area of the ancient Maresha, so to come here you will need to repark you car!

    Get to the Parks webpage here...

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Bet Guvrin

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

82 travelers online now

Comments

Bet Guvrin Travel Guide

Bet Guvrin Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Bet Guvrin things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Bet Guvrin sightseeing.

View all Bet Guvrin hotels