Region: Central / Jerusalem Area
Location: Beit Shemesh is located in the Jerusalem region at the start of the Judean Hills. Beit Shemesh is located 30km/20miles west of Jerusalem.
Driving Directions to Beit Shemesh: Beit Shemesh is approximately 10 kilometers from hi-way 1 (Shar Hagay exit). Travel hiway 38 until you reach Beit Shemesh.
Cities/Town Close By: Bet Guvrin, Beitar Illit, Jerusalem, Kibbutz Tzora, Latrun area, Modiin,Yishi
Population: approximately 75,000
Landscape: rolling hills
Modern Day: Beit Shemesh was established in 1950 as a "development town primarily for new immigrants. Today Beit Shemesh is a thriving city with many modern conveniences and modes of public transportation (bus, train, taxi). Modern day Beit Shemesh was named after the Biblical Beth-shemesh.
Biblical History: Beit Shemesh is referenced in the book of Joshua (21,6) and the book of Samuel (6,12).
Beit Shemesh can be traced back over three thousand years to the times of Yehoshua. Excavations near Beit Shemesh show the existence of a Hyksos and later a Canaanite town dating back to the 18th century B.C.
In the 13th century Joshua took the town (Joshua 21,16). In the 11th century the Philistines defeated the Israelites in a battle and captured the Ark of the Covenant; but its possession brought them bad luck and they were forced to return the Ark to the Israelites. The cart carrying the Ark, drawn by two Oxen, passed through Beth-shemesh (Samuel I 6,12) and then continued to Qiryat Yearim, near Abu Ghosh. About 800 B.C. there was a battle between King Amaziah of Judah and King Jehoash of Israel (2 Kings 14,11).
Near by Parks/Forests: Brittish Park, Beit Guvrin National Park, Ein Hemed National Park, Castel National Park, Eshtaol Forest, Gilo Forest, Herodium (Herodion) National Park, Jerusalem Forest, Latrun area, Martyrs Forest, Peace Forest, Presidents Forest, Sataf, Stalactite caves, Sorek-Salmon Ridge, U.S. Independence Park, Yishi Forest, Park Begin near Mevo Beitar
Modern Day History Sites: Harel/Burma Road, Netiv HaLamed Hei, Har Yaale, Nes Harim etc
Caves: Stalactite caves, Bat caves, Twin caves, Bar Kochba caves, Beit Guvrin National Park, Ukbah caves, Luzit caves
Biblical Sites/Tels: Tel Bet Shemesh, Emek Haela, Tel Azaka, Tel Yarmut, Tel Shocho, Kever Dan, Kever Shimshon
Shopping Malls: BIG Center
Theaters/Perfomance Centers: Beit Shemesh Conservatory
Festivals: Festival Beit Shemesh is the largest Jewish Rock and Soul Music Festival in Israel (October). The Three day festival includes daily activities for the Family, including Nature hikes, Bicycle Trails, Children's workshops, Arts and Crafts fair, Judaica, Painting, Sculpture exhibitions, Druse Hospitality tents, Jeep rides, Food vendors etc.
Things to Do: Hiking, Biking, Discovery, Archeological Digs
Dining: click here
Lodging: Bed and breakfast apartment, apartment rentals, local kibbutz lodging
City Website: click here