Jericho, the oldest town in the world
Jericho is famous for being the oldest city in the world, nearly 9,000 years B.C. to the present day: Jericho is a haven of peace in the middle of the desert, it is the lowest city in the world less than 250 metres below sea level in the Jordan Valley. Jericho, since 1993, has been located in zone A, which is part of the Palestinian territory. Also called "the city of palm trees", thanks to its fertile and water-rich soils, very particular in this arid geographical area.
According to the Bible (Old Testament), it is recalled that Jericho was the first city in the Holy Land to fall into the hands of the Israelites under the orders of Moses' successor, Joshua, upon their entry into the Promised Land in 1200 B.C.
The city would have been conquered by Joshua and the Israelites after the establishment of an extraordinary military strategy and a mysterious ritual.
According to the Bible account, Joshua sent two spies who went to RA'HAB, a prostitute. The latter offered them shelter and food, in exchange they promised not to touch her or her family during the siege of the city.
The spies, after learning the ins and outs of the city's weak points from Rashab, returned to Joshua and prepared for the attack.
It is recalled that Jericho's ramparts were impassable, Joshua ordered to go around the city three times while blowing the trumpet and a sign came down from heaven, during the third tour: Jericho's walls gave way and the city was taken by Joshua.
The multitude of archaeological sites in Jericho demonstrates the imprint of religion on this city and the work of the inhabitants who have succeeded one another and who have paid, through their heritage, a tribute to their God or divinities.
Visit the Mount of Temptation, a must for anybody visiting Jericho
The Quarantine Monastery is a Greek Orthodox Greek monastery built more than 350m high.
In the New Testament he tells the story of Jesus' Temptation by the devil for 40 days and 40 nights in the desert.
Built in the 12th century, it was renovated in the 19th century.
We will be in the middle of the Judean desert, easily accessible by cable car.
From the mountain we can contemplate the splendid Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, the mountains of Jordan and also, on a clear day, it is possible to see the city of Amman, capital of the Hashemite Kingdom.
Being accompanied by a tour guide will allow you to immerse yourself in the meanders and experiences through the atmosphere of this highly symbolic place.
Archaelogical site called Hisham’s Palace
Near the bottom of the fortress is an archaeological site called "Hisham's Palace.
It is built in three parts, the first one is the palace, filled with places reserved for agriculture.
The archaeological excavations were carried out by American archaeologists named Hamilton and Baramki in the late 20th century.
Their work has brought to light sumptuous statues and presents life under the first Muslim dynasty, more commonly known as the Umayyad dynasty.
The name of this palace is Hisham Abd El'Malik, it was built in 743 AD.
The infamous history of this palace is well known because only 4 years after its construction, the palace was destroyed by an earthquake.
Jericho is located on the Syrio-African fault, and every century a great earthquake strikes the area around the Jordan Valley.
Archaeological research that has allowed us to uncover magnificent mosaics of the Hisham Palace, which bear witness to Muslim art in the 8th century.
What is striking is to see effigies of animals and characters, totally prohibited according to Islam.
Historians have given a theory: according to them, at the beginning of Islam, religion was not yet very well constitutionalized and ancestral rites and customs still reside.
Among these mosaics, we can see a magnificent tree with branches filled with fruit. To his left, a lion trying to eat a deer. On the right, we can see a calm landscape with two deers.
It is this mosaic as a whole that is called the "Tree of Life".
Some remains of Hisham's palace are now in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.