In July 2015, UNESCO inscribed the caves of Bet She’arim as a World Heritage Site. Flanked by green Mount Carmel on one side and the mountains of Lower Galilee on the other is a soft landscape of rounded, whitish hills. Here and there, Mount Tabor oaks grace the slopes, remnants of a once-great forest. On one of these hills, Sheikh Abreik Hill, was the ancient city of Bet She’arim. But most interesting here is not the hill – it’s what’s inside it: magnificent catacombs hewn by the ancient inhabitants with skill and talent that inspires us to this day.
The Bet She’arim hills, with Mount Carmel in the background The number of burial caves here is vast: many have probably not yet even been discovered. The Israel Nature and Parks Authority has prepared some of these impressive caves for visitors, installing electricity, planting and caring for trees and lawns and building an information center at the beginning of the visitor trail. Picnic tables have been installed around the parking lot. Landscaping in the national park combines planted species of trees with wild ones. At the height of winter the beautiful pink blossoms of the Judas trees appear along with abundant and colorful wildflowers. They all make the visit a unique experience.