by Wojciech Fedoruk - 11 months ago
Bet Guvrin-Maresha National Park, inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in about one hour drive from Jerusalem to the south, in a very nice area next to the boarder with Palestine. The complex consists of excavations in Maresha and more famous caves in Bet Guvrin. The whole site is quite large, which makes it difficult but doable without a car. Unfortunately, due to the lack of time that day we were not able to visit Maresha, so we focused on the caves of Bet Guvrin.There are in general two types of caves in the park – first ones, much smaller and shallow, served as burial places during Sydonian times. They are covered with well-preserved paintings and Greek inscriptions. Then, around 1km ahead, there are famous bell caves – about 800 beautiful grottos spread over a picturesque area. Although they look like made by nature, I was surprised to find that most of them were actually human-bored. Most of them have holes in the center of the ceiling and sunlight plays inside making the interior view very intersesting.I found this site one of the most interesting in Israel and it is strange to me that it is so rarely visited. During our visit in December only few tourists were there and even the entrance was free (or maybe we just did not notice the ticket office).