Put the capital of the Negev, Beer Sheva, on your to-do list. I just had the opportunity to participate in an in-depth tour of the city’s attractions – Be’er Avraham. Come meet the tourist friendly Beer Sheva. Abraham’s Well was just reopened and deserves many complements. The Carasso Science Park is the bench mark of Beer Sheva’s technological future. Beer Sheva is no longer a stop for a pee on the way to Eilat. Take a look!
Abraham’s Well in Be’er Sheva – ancient well and information center
Abraham’s Well is the site of the well which was dug by Abraham in Genesis 21. The story in Genesis tells of a well which Abraham dug and Abimelech’s servants seized. Abraham gave seven ewe lambs to Abimelech as witness that he dug the well himself. Abimelech accepted the lambs and the two men swore an oath in the place, named Be’er Sheva. It is located at the edge of the Old City and on the Wadi Be’er Sheva. Abraham dug this well at the occasion of the oath Abraham made with Abimelech (Gen.21:22-34). Abraham is the Patriarch of the Jewish people. After leaving Ur Kasdim, he came to the land of Israel and lived many years here in Be’er Sheva. This was the place where he provided the world with spirituality and charity. Additionally, he had been living in Be’er Sheva when Isaac and Esav were born. The site is now completely renewed with a new visitors center.
The well is in the center of the courtyard. It is 3 meters in diameter and 26 meters deep. The top part of the well is lined with stones, probably from the Byzantine period, and the bottom part is cut into the bedrock.
Be’er Avraham is located at Derech Hevron and HaMelacha Streets, near the old city of Be’er Sheva. For more information, call 08-623-4613.
Since this attraction is new and very popular you must buy tickets well ahead of time. Believe me, because I walked in off the street with my grandchildren and there were no more tickets available.
Additional attractions in Beer Sheva
Israel Air Force Museum
- Located Southwest of Be’er Sheva, at the Hatzerim Air force base, the museum takes visitors on a fascinating tour of Israeli aviation history.
- More than 140 aircraft and anti-aircraft exhibits such as missile launchers & missiles are on display. In addition to aircraft used by the Israeli air force, the museum also features some of the enemy craft captured by Israel, including Soviet Migs.
- The museum offers guided tours tailored to various ages and are provided in Hebrew, English and Russian. Special activities, heritage days, and custom workshops may be coordinated. During holidays, special activities and aerial shows take place.
- Hours of operation: Sun-Thu 08:00-17:00, Fridays: 08:00-13:00.
- For information and details please call: (08) 990 6853
Negev Brigade Memorial
This monument commemorates the capturing of Be’er Sheva (Beersheba) and the achievements of theNegev Brigade of the Palmach (the elite fighting force of the Haganah, the Jewish underground army, during the British Mandate in this country) during the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. The monument is situated on a hill overlooking the city of Be’er Sheva and constitutes one of the recognized symbols of the Negev and Be’er Sheva. The monumemt was designed and built by the sculptor Dani Karavan between 1963 and 1968, and it is made of raw concrete consisting of eighteen separate elements, which are symbolic of the Palmach and of the War of Independence. The concrete sheet reminiscent of the Palmach tent, the perforated tower alluding to watchtowers which were shelled with gunfire, a pipeline tunnel suggesting the channel of water in the Negev defended by the soldiers and trenches which remind one of military communication trenches, etc. The Monument to the Negev Brigade is a good stopping point on the way south, where children can enjoy a climb and a crawl on top and in between the structures. Monument to the Negev Brigade Phone: +(972) 8-6463600
The Negev Museum of Art is located in the Old City of Beer Sheva, in a structure that was used in the past as home to the Turkish governor, during the Ottoman reign in Israel. The structure was built in 1906 next to the grand mosque and other governmental buildings. During the British mandate the structure was used as home to the appointed district officer, and later as a girls’ school. After the declaration of independence, the structure served as the city’s municipality building, and was later transformed into The Negev Museum of Art, as part of the Archeology Museum compound. In 2004, an extensive renovation was completed, which included the addition of an elevator and modification of the inner spaces to modern museum presentation standards, and it is now declared as a preserved historic building. The museum contains two galleries holding temporary displays, and a vast entrance yard. Visitors can enjoy temporary exhibitions and live concerts during the summer.
The main artery of the old town of Beersheba is Ha’atzmaut Street, in which is the Municipal Museum, housed in a mosque of the Turkish period. The collection includes material ranging right back to the early settlement on Tel Sheva (fourth millennium B.C.). From the minaret of the former mosque there are fine views of the city and surrounding area.
Municipal Zoological Garden
Located at the North-Western entrance to the city (Israel, Beer Sheva & Area, Kiryat Batz, near the Country Club ), this Zoo displays many indigenous animals. Phone: +97286414777; Fax: +97286414777
Old Turkish Town (old city)
The Old Town was planned by Turkish and German engineers at the end of the 19th century. Its streets form a grid (very uncommon in the region). Many buildings date from Turkish times and have secret gardens behind high walls. Rehabilitated Smilansky Street has the best preserved buildings. Additionally there is a wide array of cheap stores and excellent ethnic restaurants and bars.
British WWI Military Cemetery
Located just next the the Old Town, this cemetery is the resting place of British, Australian and New Zealand (ANZAC) soldiers who fought against the Turks in the First World War.
Located just outside of the city on the Road to Eilat, this market takes place every Thursday morning. Bedouin merchandise can be found next to a wide array of other products.
Located between the Old Town and the central bus station is a vibrant market for any kind of merchandize.
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Located in the northern part of town on the road to Tel Aviv, this renowned university has a vibrant campus with many buildings designed by famous architects. There are two art galleries located in the Senate Building and in the Library, a small museum of medical history in the building of the Medical Faculty and many small exhibits in the buildings of the different faculties.
The Park of the Australian soldier
Located at the corner of Abba Achimeir, Shaul HaMelech and HaRav Eliyahu Pardes. The Park of the Australian Soldier commemorates the charge of the Australian Mounted Division’s 4th Brigade against Turkish positions at Be’er Sheva on 31 October 1917.
Beersheva River Park
The Ecological Park of the Negev’s Captial: A major restoration project has transformed the area into a green park with flowers and recreational activities for the benefit of the people of Beersheva and its environs.
Carasso Science Park
Breeze Creative – Science exhibition for kids for the Carasso Science Park from Breeze Creative
- The park, which extends over some 17 hectares in Beersheba’s Old City, hosts 11 interactive exhibitions; the central attraction of the museum is a nuclear energy display developed in collaboration with the Nuclear Research Center and the Israel Atomic Energy Commission.