Region: Southern Coastal Area
Location: Located off of highway 4, south of Ashdod, west of Kiryat Gat
Driving Directions to Ashkelon: coming soon.
Cities/Town Near By: Ashdod, Gedera, Kiryat Malakhi, Kiryat Gat, Lachish, Rishon LeZion, Rehovot, Sderot, Yavne.
Population: approx. 108,300
Landscape: Mediteranian Sea Coastal
Modern Day: The population of Ashkelon in 2007 is 108,300. Ashkelon has a newly built sports complex and a culture hall. The Ashkelon is a modern city offering the full range of services and shopping to its residents. The Ashkelon Marina is one of the largest and most beautiful in Israel.
Biblical History: Ashkelon is a coastal city in southern Israel that was one of the oldest known seaports in ancient Israel dating back to the Bronze Age. It has been controlled by the Canaanites, the Philistines, the Babylonians, the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Muslims and the Crusaders.
Ashkelon became one of the five Philistine cities that were constantly warring with the Israelites and the kingdom of Judah. According to Herodotus, the Philistine temple was destroyed and pillaged by "Scythians" (653-625 BCE). When the seaport fell it was the last of the Philistine cities to hold out against Nebuchadnezzar which finally fell in 604 BCE, destroyed ending the Philistine era.
When the Israel was conquered by Muslim Arabs in the 7th century Ashkelon was conqureed from the Byzantine Christians.
The city grew under Arab rule, Jews living in peace with the Arabs and good relations with the Egyptions throught the 11th century.
During the Crusades, battles between the Muslims and Crusaders continued for 100 years. Ashkelon was an important city due to its location near the coast. In 1099, an Egyptian army which had been sent to relieve Jerusalem defeated by a Crusader force.
In 1153, King Baldwin III controlled Egyption Ashkelon after five months of siege.
In 1187, Muslim Saladin destroyed the fortifications built by the Crusaders and took control of Ashkelon.
In 1191, Richard the Lion Heart, King of England conquered Ashkelon
In 1270 the Muslims defeated the Crusaders once again, destroying all.
The old section of Ashkelon has remained in ruins to this very day and no new settlement has been erected on the ancient site. The National Park, site of Ashkelon's ancient cities, is located on the southern coast of modern Ashkelon. The main entrance road passes through the 12th century Crusader city walls and the massive Canaanite earth ramparts. The cliff's at the shore were integrated into the city's walls and later strengthened by large Roman granite columns. Several ongoing excavation sites near the sea reveal the city's biblical past.
The Ashkelon was conqured by the British during World War I on November 9, 1917.
Near by Parks/Forests: Ashdod Nitzanim Sand Dune Park, Bet Guvrin-Maresha National Park, British Park, Tel Lachish, Tel Tzfit and Ashkelon National Park
Caves: Amatzia Caves, Bet Guvrin-Maresha National Park, Tel Lachish Caves
Biblical Sites/Tels: Tel Lachish, Valley of Elah, Valley of Ayalon, Kibbutz Revadim and the nearby Tel Ekron, Tel Tzfit, Tel Ashdod
Shopping Malls: Giron Mall, Hutzot Ashkelon Mall, Lev Ashkelon Mall
Museums: Carlsberg-Israel Visitor Center, Ashkelon Khan and Museum
Theaters/Perfomance Centers: coming soon
Festivals: Al Hagal end of the summer festival, World Jewish Film Festival
Things to Do: Sayarei Lachish Amusement Park, Ashkeluna Water Park, The Beach, Archeological Digs, The Outdoor Museum, The Ashkelon Marina, Roman Burial Tomb, The National Park
Dining: click here
Lodging: click here
City Map: click here
City Website: click here