Nablus Travel Overview
Today’s Nablus is Shechem of the Bible and is located in the West Bank. Nablus is the largest Palestinian city between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea and is a hub for Palestinian culture. According to the Bible Nablus was where Jacob first arrived when returning from Mesopotamia, and where he bought land and dug a well for his flock and family. The city has been called many names- from Schechem to Neapolis (named by the Romans) to Nablus. Nablus is renowned for their olive oil soap and the popular food Knafeh, the ladder for which they hold a World Record for making the largest Knafeh ever!
Covered by a Greek Orthodox monastery, Jacob’s Well is a historical place for many religions. Jacob’s Well is a holy site in Christianity as according to John’s Gospel, Jesus rested at the well and had a conversation with a Samaritan women. The actual well has survived the centuries and today one can find a Greek Orthodox monastery covering the well, open to visitors. One may access the well through the monastery by taking the stairs down to a crypt where the well is located.
Nearby Jacob’s Well, on the outskirts of Nablus, sits the holy site: a funerary monument of Joseph’s tomb. The site is the second holiest to the Samaritans and a holy site for Jews and Christians. According to the Bible,
“And Joseph’s bones, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt,were buried at Shechem in the tract of land that Jacob bought for a hundred pieces of silver[a] from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem”
– Joshua 24:32
The site is the believed burial place of Joseph, although modern research has yet to prove that the tomb belonged to Joseph.
Al Qasaba (The Old City of Nablus)
The Old City of Nablus is densely populated and filled with historical monuments such as the al-Manara Clock tower. Additionally the streets are lined with markets and vendors. The authentic vibe is not something you want to miss!
Tell Balata Archaeological Park
Located near Nablus, this archaeological park is an excavated city, with a massive wall and gates from the Middle Bronze Age. There are ancient Biblical references of the city due to its strategic location between Mt. Grizim and Mt. Ebal. Research has found the remnants are from around( 1700-1200) BC as well as artifacts from the Chalcolithic Period (4000-3500 BC). The site can be visited every day between 8 am-3 pm
The market or “shuk” is a great place to take in the feel of Nablus, eat some kanafeh and buy souvenirs from the locals. Within the shuk there are also Hammams (Turkish Baths). The Turkish Baths were built in the 1600s and have retained their authenticity They are open every day from 8:00 am to 12 am for men, except on the days they are reserved for women- Sunday and Tuesday from 8 am to 5 pm.
Where to Eat
If you are in the mood for some world famous Knafe check out Arafat Sweets (located on the main square) or Al Aqsa (just inside market).
Al Aqqad- located just outside the Old City, this casual eatery serves shwarma and different sides.
Assarya- located in a glass atrium just by the main entrance to the Old City, this sit down restaurant serves Arabic and Western foods.
For more information and to book your individual or group pilgrimage today please contact us!