Beit Guvrin National Park

Touring Israel

Beit Guvrin National Park is a national park and an important archaeological site that preserves the ruins of the ancient city of Tel Maresha and the caves of Beit Guvrin. Situated about eight miles from Kiryat Gat in southern Israel, the vast park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and boasts an array of fascinating archaeological artifacts and ruins including a Roman-Byzantine amphitheater; a large Jewish cemetery; a Byzantine church; burial caves; and public baths. 


In This Photo: Olive Press Dated From the Roman Town of Beit Guvrin

History and Archeology in Beit Guvrin National Park

The ancient city of Maresha dates back to the First Temple period when it was an important town of Judah. It had a tumultuous history; being destroyed in 112 BCE, and again 40 BCE; and was later renamed Eleutherolis during the Roman and Byzantine eras. A city of freemen, Eleutherolis had a large Jewish population and was very prosperous until the Bar Kochva Revolution in 135 BC.  Archeological excavations of the site at Beit Guvrin National Park have unearthed a fascinating array of artifacts from the Roman civilization; such as an amphitheater and beautiful Roman mosaics; as well as several churches including Saint Anne’s. 

Photos In Beit Guvrin National Park
In This Photo: The Bell Caves at Beit Guvrin

Don’t miss the chance to join a real archaeological dig and find your own treasures. The park hosts a special archaeology program where visitors can join an authentic archaeological dig for a day on a real excavation site and help in the search for ancient artifacts. 

Interesting Things to See at Beit Guvrin National Park

Beit Guvrin National Park has many extraordinary remains and ruins to explore from an ancient columbarium (a pigeon breeding facility); dating back to 200 BC to a spectacular Roman amphitheater that could seat 3,500 people and is one of only four in Israel.  The Christian St. Anne’s Church hails from the Byzantine era but was later renovated by the Crusaders in the 1100s and its impressive high semi-circular domed stone structure can still be seen today. Beautifully preserved Byzantine mosaics depicting birds and animals were also discovered in the park.

Beit Guvrin Caves

One of Beit Guvrin National Park’s most popular attractions is the burial caves at Beit Guvrin. The caves were once the family tomb of Beit Guvrin’s Sidonian leader, Apollophanes; and were later used as burial caves by the Greek and Edumite inhabitants of Beit Guvrin. 

So it is thought the caves were formed between the 4th to 9th centuries when the chalky limestone was quarried to make roads; plaster; and mortar. In fact, there are about 2,000 caves in the area; the most fascinating of which are the bell caves; which have sheer; smooth beige-colored limestone walls; and completely rounded interiors. Also, there are around 800 Bell Caves in the park; many of which are connected via an underground network of passageways, some measuring over 60 feet in height. 


In This Photo: The Roman Ampitheatre at Beit Guvrin

Some of the bell caves have well-preserved paintings depicting real and mythical animals like a three-headed dog, a cock, and a bright red phoenix. On my private tour of Beit Guvrin that I offer I like to take my guests to see some secret caves I know.

Caving in the Area

In the area, there are some wonderful places you can do some caving. One great example is Luzit Cave; that are very similar in nature. In other words, they are also bell-shaped caved but not open to the general public. But with the assistance of a certified private tour guide, I can bring you down there and we can explore them together! Sone thing that I truly enjoy! Also, did you know that an inscription of a Roman soldier was found there; from the time of the 2nd Jewish Revolt! On my guided tours of the Beit Guvrin, we can crawl through narrow shafts and caves and turn this day into a real adventure!

Beit Guvrin National Park Details:

Entry Fees: Adult 28 NIS, Child 14 NIS, Student 24 NIS.
Landline Phone: (00)972(0)86811020

Opening Hours:

Summer: Sun-Thu, Sat 08:00-17:00, Fri 08:00-16:00;
Winter: Sun-Thu and Sat 8:00-16:00, Fri 08:00-15:00


apt-stamp-white@2x
arik-about

Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Bethlehem

RELATED POSTS

Rachel’s Tomb

Rachel's Tomb is identified as the site where Rachel was buried. Therefore it is considered a sacred place in the eyes of Jew; Christians and Muslims.

Machaerus

Machaerus is a fortified hilltop palace located in Jordan 25 km (16 mi) southeast of the mouth of the Jordan River on the eastern side ...

Synagogue Church

The Synagogue Church is located in the market in Nazareth. According to Christian tradition, in this place, Jesus used to study and pray!

Caving in the Judean Hills

Caving in the Judean Hills is super exciting! There are thousands of caves hidden beneath the surface in the Judean Hills. They were used to ...

Khan al-Umdan

Khan al-Umdan was built in 1784 in the place of the Royal Customs house of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. A nice stop in Acre for sure.

Davidson Center

Davidson Center is an archeological park in its beauty! The park holds archaeological finds from different periods mostly from the 2nd Temple

Wadi Qana Nature Reserve

Wadi Qana Nature Reserve is located between the localities of the Samaria Regional Council and the Karnei Shomron Local Council. The reserve is a declared ...

Ramat Hanadiv Gardens

Ramat Hanadiv Gardens is an extensive nature park established around the grave plot of Baron Rothschild, near Zichron Yaakov.

Mount Gerizim

Mount Gerizim is the holiest mountain for the Samaritans. They see Mount Gerizim as the holy place chosen by God Not Temple Mt. in Jerusalem

Tel Dothan

Tel Dothan is where Joseph was sold by his brethren to the Ishmaelite merchants And he was taken to Egypt! Join me on a tour to learn more!

Need help?

Skip to content