Castel: Key to the Siege of Jerusalem

From the Castel fortress, you look down on Road 1, the main route from the coast to Jerusalem. For centuries, this was the only road to Jerusalem. It threaded through Sha’ar HaGai, in Arabic Bab al Wad, the Gate to the Valley, and it led through the Judean Mountains to Jerusalem. Whoever controlled this road, … Continue reading Castel: Key to the Siege of Jerusalem

The Road to Jerusalem: Latrun

Near Latrun, just southwest of where Road 3 crosses Road 1, a small memorial overlooks a wide valley. The valley looks beautiful and peaceful under the warm late winter sun. The farmland in a dozen shades of green stretches to the Judean mountains where the Latrun Trappist Monastery and the old British Tegart fort can … Continue reading The Road to Jerusalem: Latrun

Ein Kerem’s Holy Hill

When the second Temple stood in Jerusalem, Ein Kerem was part of the belt of towns around Jerusalem that supplied the city. Each small town had its specialty: wood, oil, animals, grain. As its name—the Spring of the Vineyard–suggests, Ein Kerem’s specialty was grapes for wine. When the Muslims conquered the land from the Persians … Continue reading Ein Kerem’s Holy Hill