Jerusalem’s history makes it an incomparable setting for Polis’ programs. It’s a city where Ancient Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and Arabic have all thrived. Living in this crossroads of cultures, languages, and religions profoundly impacts how Polis students understand their coursework.
Students at Polis enjoy living in Jerusalem, which is a vibrant and dynamic city filled with different languages, cultures and ethnicities. In addition to the well-known religious and archeological sites, there are many bars, restaurants, museums, and shopping malls in the city.
There is history on every corner of this land, and students take advantage of Historical Geography courses to explore ancient cities.
Beit She'an houses incredible archeological finds from both biblical times and during the Roman/Byzantium period. It was the center of many battles during wars of the Holy Land as it sits in a strategic location in the north of Israel.
Qumran is an archaeological site surrounded by a complex of eleven caves where most of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. It is located near the northern section of the Dead Sea. You can read a blog about one of our Historical Geography trips to Qumran here.
Akko is one of the most ancient cities still inhabited today in Israel. Its beautiful Old City, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001, is as attractive to sight-seeing tourists as it is to students of the history of the Holy Land. Akko has thousands of years of history and sites which are holy to four religions, Muslims, Jews, Christians and the Baha'i.
Gamla is often called 'The Masada of the North', the ancient city lies in the Golan Heights and was the site of a large siege during the first Jewish revolt against the Romans. Read our Graduate Student Fernando de Morais' blog about a Polis field trip to Gamla here.
Avdat, which sits in the Negev desert, was an important city in the Nabataean Empire. It served as a station along the Petra-Gaza road which was used to transport spices. It was later annexed by the Roman Empire. Avdat, along with several other ancient archeological sites along the Incense Route, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
Nazareth is without a doubt one of the most important places for Christians and a must-see location for any pilgrim coming to the Holy Land. Alongside its historical significance, Nazareth is also one of the largest Arab cities in Israel and will provide an authentic cultural experience for any who visits.
Masada is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Israel. It is the site of the prolonged siege between the Romans and Judean rebels which was famously recounted by Josephus. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.
Shiloh was the site of the first Tabernacle erected by Joshua upon the Israelites entrance into the the Holy Land. It stood as the holiest site for the Jewish People for hundreds of years until King David elevated Jerusalem as the capital city. There is now an archeological park in Shiloh, where visitors can see the original site of the Tabernacle which has the exact same measurements as written in the Book of Exodus.
Megiddo, known by its Greek name as Armageddon, is the home of more than 3500 years of recorded history. From one of the earliest recorded battles in human history - between forces of Pharaoh Thutmose III and rebelling Canaanitevassal states - to the modern battle of Megiddo in 1918 where Britain defeated Ottoman forces during its conquest of Palestine. Megiddo also contains the remains of a roughly 5000 year old Great Temple, one of the largest ever discovered in that time period. Megiddo also holds great religious significance, and it also recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.