Bet Guvrin Travel Guide

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

Bet Guvrin Things to Do

  • Apollophanaes Cave, part II

    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...

    more
  • Apollophanaes Cave, part I

    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...

    more
  • Underground cisterns, part 2

    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...

    more
  • The Columbarium, underground of course

    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...

    more
  • Underground cisterns, part 1

    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.

    more
  • Underground dwellings, Oil Press

    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.

    more
  • Bet Guvrin, Bell Caves, Part 2

    A few more photos of the Bell Caves to give you an idea of the diversity of colors and shapes. The last photo here shows very clearly the bell shape.

    more
  • Visit the Bell Caves, part 1

    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...

    more
  • The Amphitheater

    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...

    more
  • The Fortress

    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...

    more
  • The Crusader Church

    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...

    more
  • Inscriptions --- Christian Symbols

    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...

    more
  • Inscriptions --- Allah

    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...

    more
  • Bell Cave Complex 2

    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...

    more
  • Bell Cave Complex 1

    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,...

    more
  • Bell Caves round walk

    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...

    more
  • The Tel

    In the center of the area of ancient Maresha you will find the Tel, a fortified mountain. There are ruins of towers and protective walls. On the Tel you have a great view over the region towards the Hebron Mountains. Like much in the park also these structures date back to the 3rd to 2nd century BCE.Get to the Parks webpage here...

    more
  • Garden Cave

    The Garden Cave is a combination of a cave with a yard in which you will find fruit plants. Unfortunately this cave has no desciption on the flyer that is handed out when entering the park. You will not be able to enter the cave, but walk through the inner yard. Have a look at the photos which I took here in the yard.Have a look here where you...

    more
  • Church of 'Sandahanna'

    Originally the church was named with the latin name 'Santa Anna', which was mispronounced 'Sandahanna' in Arabic. This became the Arabic name of the ancient Maresha in Arabic. The church was built during the Byzantine periode and later renovated by the crusaders, but as you see only a part has remained. You will be able to see these remains already...

    more
  • Sidonian Burial Caves

    Not only during the life people used their caves, but also for the dead there were caves in which they got burried. The formally beautifully decorated Sidonian Burial Caves have several tomb niches. In one of the two caves (item 8) many paintings and an inscription have been restored. It is fascinating to see what kind of animals are shown here....

    more
  • Underground System

    The most impressive caves in ancient Maresha are in my opinion hidden at the item 7 of the parks sites. It is a whole underground system of rooms and cisterns with a columbarium and an olive oil plant. The path you follow leads through small openings and iron bridges through the caves. Partly I had the feeling that I got lost as no end was in...

    more
  • Dwelling House

    The Dwelling House are ruins of a building that was used as dwelling and trade place in the Hellenistic Periode. Originally it had two floors. Below you can descent to the cisterns, which you will surely find impressive due to their size. Walking through them you will pass through a hole in the wall leading to a neighboring cave that was used as a...

    more
  • Bath Cave

    The Bath Cave consists of two small rooms in which people could take a shower. A hole in the wall with a small channel transports the water from a neighboring room into the shower. This allows to keep distance between the bather and the person taking the shower. It is believed that the Bath Cave was used in rituals. More than twenty caves like this...

    more
  • Olive Oil Plant

    In cave 5 you will find an olive oil plant. Olive oil was a major income source in the ancient town of Maresha. About 22 olive oil plants have been discovered in Mareshas underground sofar. It is quite impressive to see what people have constructed into these caves.Get to the Parks webpage here...

    more
  • Columbarium Cave

    Pigeons were an important good in the ancient times. They supplied meat, eggs and fertilizer (dung), but were also used for religious purposes. To keep them, columbariums were built giving space to them to lay eggs and to bring up their small ones. The Columbarium Cave with its 2000 niches is the largest columbarium found in Israel. It is built...

    more
  • Polish Cave

    This cave received its name as during the Second World War in 1943 Polish soldiers visited the place and cut the words 'Warsaw, Poland' with the Polish eagle into a pillar of the cave. Originally the cave was a water cistern made during the 4th to 3rd century, then later converted into a columbarium in which pigeons were hold.Get to the Parks...

    more
  • Bell Caves in the Beit Guvrin National...

    The ancient city of Beit Guvrin existed between the late-Hellenistic period and the late-Byzantine period. The ruins are located within the Beit-Guvrin - Maresha National Park.The Bell-shaped caves are man-made quarries, dug during the Byzantine and early Islamic periods. The workers first dug a narrow hole in the hard nari rock layer, and soon...

    more
  • Beit Guvrin National Park

    This national park has hundreds of caves, some used for human dwellings 3000 years ago. For centuries, the locals took advantage of the soft chalk rock in the area and dug hundreds of caves for different uses such as: storage, burial place, columbarium, shelter, etc.Nowadays some of the bigger bell caves are used for weddings and other events.The...

    more
  • Beit Govrin National Park

    Beit Govrin National Park is situated in the Judean plain region. The area consists of limestone hills, a soft stone comparatively, which enables easy quarrying. Due to the softness of the rock, many caves were carved in the surrounding hills in the course of the years, transforming it into a mysterious underground labyrinth.

    more
  • Bet Guvrin-Maresha National Park

    Bet Guvrin National Park is on the Beit Shemesh-Kiryat Gat road opposite Kibbutz Bet Guvrin. (Also spelt 'Beit Govrin')This photo was taken inside "The Polish Cave" one of the numerous caves in this National Park. It was given this name by visitors because in 1942 this cave was visited by Andres soldiers of the Polish army and they carved the words...

    more

Instant Answers: Bet Guvrin

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

72 travelers online now

Comments

Bet Guvrin Travel Guide
Map of Bet Guvrin

View all Bet Guvrin hotels