Among many global achievements for Israel one has particular pride to many scholars. The recognition of six Israeli sites by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s World Heritage List. The Israeli sites had to meet UNESCO’s strict criteria to be included on the 830 prestigious sites around the world. Israel has great pride of it’s heritage and protects and fosters these UNESCO sites to ensure the availability of them for future generations.
Masada was honored by UNESCO as a great symbol of Jewish identity and it’s history of human struggle for freedom from oppression. The construction of Masada by King Herod the Great is also considered an amazing example of early Roman villa, and the Roman siege work present to this day surrounding the plateau are preserved and considered unique. Today Masada is one of the most popular Israel tour attractions in the middle east.
The Old City of Acre
The Old City of Acre commonly known as Akko, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world dating back to the time of the Pharaoh Thutmose III. Acre won its place because of the wonderfully preserved medieval town both above and below street level and its status as an outstanding example of an Ottoman walled city whose ramparts with stunning views of the Mediterranean you can still walk on.
The White City of Tel Aviv
UNESCO also considers the White City of Tel Aviv to be of great importance – in harmonized architecture of the Modern Movement. The structures of the White City is Tel Aviv’s latest attraction, as many visitors and locals are now seen regularly on the streets of the neighborhood.
The Baha’i Holy Sites of Haifa and Akko
The marble walls, granite pillars, golden dome and manicured gardens flowing down a slope of Mount Carmel make the Baha’i Shrine in Haifa a spectacular attraction for tourist. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee added the Baha'i Shrines and Gardens in Haifa as a World Heritage Site. The resting places of the faith's founding fathers Baha'u'llah and the Bab, this Heritage site represent the first connected with a religious tradition from modern times. The meticulous landscaped gardens and shrines are a site of annual pilgrimage for the 5 million-strong Baha'i faithful, but also for hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world.
The Desert Cities of the Negev – The Incense Route
The Incense Route in the desert of Negev is the part of the 1,500 mile long frankincense and myrrh trade route from Arabia to the Mediterranean that crosses the Negev. The route is from the Nabateans who built along it some two millennia ago. Shivta, Avdat, Mamshit, and Haluza – all amazing places to visit – transported not only precious spices, but also multi-cultural exchange and ideas. The farming that developed along the way displayed how a people could make the hostile Negev desert environment thrive.
Biblical Tels – Megiddo, Beersheba and Hazor
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has determined that Biblical Tels are also a significant sites of culture along major ancient highways of trade. Megiddo, Beersheba, and Hazor water systems display great ingenuity and ancient cooperation between communities. The World Heritage sites also show biblical narrative and the ingenuity of ancient civilizations.