Dead Sea Area
The Dead Sea is one of the most spectacular natural and spiritual landscapes in the whole world. It is the lowest body of water on earth, the lowest point on earth, and the world’s richest source of natural salts, hiding wonderful treasures that accumulated throughout thousands of years.
In addition to its unique climatic and natural health curing properties, the entire Dead Sea landscape is dotted with ruins of magnificent palaces, strongholds, synagogues, monasteries and mosques.
The “must see” sites in the Dead Sea area are:
Along the southwestern shore of the Dead Sea lies Ein Gedi, a natural spring and waterfall that is also the location of a kibbutz (cooperative community) and guesthouse. Once a rather flourishing village in the time of Jesus, it is mentioned in the Bible in the book of Joshua (15:62) as one of the cities of the Tribe of Judah, and again in Ezekiel 47:10 as a fisherman’s town, although one would have to wonder what they might have been fishing in the Dead Sea.
It was near here that David hid from King Saul (1 Samuel 24:1-2). Read more
To the south lies the remains of Herod’s palace fortress made famous by the first century resistance of Jewish fighters,
who held out against an onslaught of Roman soldiers during the first Jewish Rebellion against the Roman authorities. When the fortress was finally overrun by the Roman troops they found that the entire community had chosen to end their lives rather than to be taken into slavery. Although the rebels had burned all of the buildings, they left vast stores of food and water indicating that the siege could have lasted indefinitely. Read more
Back up north on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea
is the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found hidden in caves. In the time of Jesus, Qumran was the home of the Jewish sect of Essenes. Since the discovery of the scrolls between 1947 and 1956, extensive excavations have been carried out here revealing water cisterns, ritual baths, and a cemetery. Read more
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