High up on Mt. Gerizim, towering 880 meters above sea level, Mount Gerizim National Park is among the most fascinating sites in Israel. Josephus Flavius wrote that the Samaritan temple built here was an exact replica of the temple in Jerusalem (the one that stood for a few hundred years before Herod enlarged and rebuilt it). The Hasmonean King Yohanan Horkanos destroyed the Samaritan temple in 111 BCE and it was never rebuilt. In the 5th century CE Emperor Zeno built a fortified compound with a massive and magnificent octagonal church in its center. Today visitors can see the impressive archeological remains, enjoy the breathtaking view and learn some of the history of this site.
Nearby sites: Yosef Lookout, with its view of the city of Shekhem. The Samaritan neighborhood with its sacrificial sites, tehina factory and Samaritan Museum. Blessing on the Mountain – visitors center, good food and fine wine. The Atlantic pistacia nature reserve, and for dessert – a dip in Amsha Spring.
Since this site is an official national park, it is managed by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and there is an entrance fee.