Ein Hemed National Park is a beautiful nature reserve in the hills just west of Jerusalem. Also known as Aqua Bella, as named by the Crusaders, and Khirbat Iqbalā in Arabic; the national park rests in the Nahal Kesalon riverbed and has lovely landscapes of lush greenery, several layer springs, and shady picnic spots.
Established in 1968, the Ein Hemed National Park has several interesting historical sites to explore. During Biblical times, fortresses were built along the road to Jerusalem to control traffic and protect pilgrims visiting the Holy City.
The ruins of an impressive courtyard building can be seen on the north side of the riverbed. Constructed by the Crusaders in 1140-1160 during the reign of Fulk of Jerusalem; the building features two arched walls and several gates, and a 40-foot section of the southern wall. A Muslim cemetery featuring the grave of Sheikh Abdullah rests just south of the remains; as well as a small nature reserve in which oak and terebinth trees were planted in the Sheikhs honor and still stand today.
Visiting Ein Hemed National Park
Ein Hemed National Park is a fairly small park; but a perfect place to stop for a picnic. The park’s lovely shady grassy areas are ideal for kids to explore and play and it’s a great place for a lunch stop on a half-day or a full-day guided trip to Jerusalem.
Sunday – Thursday and Saturday: 8 am – 5 pm (4 pm during winter).
Fridays: 8 am – 4 pm (3 pm during winter).
Holidays: 8 am – 1 pm.