Ashdod Israel is the fifth largest city in Israel. Today Ashdod is a thriving city with a landscape that covers almost all the space between Ashkelon and Rishon LeZion.
It is a beautiful Riviera City and above all the largest and busiest Israeli Port surpassing Haifa. It is also a major regional industrial center.
The Beaches of Ashdod offer all facilities for visitors
There was an ancient Ashdod from the times of the Canaanites around the 17th Century BC. It has been settled by Philistines, Israelites, Byzantines, Crusaders and Arabs. The location on the Mediterranean coast has attracted residents for 4,000 years and archaeological diggings have discovered many cities that existed here since the Bronze Age. It is better known as the capital of the Philistines (nothing to do with Palestinians, please) in Biblical times.
It was also an important port during the Greek and Roman dominations and home to a thriving Jewish Community until the 7th Century. As time went by, what was left of ancient Ashdod was a small fishing village.
Monument at the entrance to the beach in Ashdod
A modern thriving city
Located about 40 Km south of Tel Aviv Israel, the modern city was constructed on the sands near the ruins of the ancient town. Construction began in 1956 and from the beginning was a planned city preventing the nuisances of cities that grow without any initial planning, like many cities of Israel.
By 1968 it was declared a city and at the end of 2010 the population was close to a quarter million inhabitants in an area of approximately 48,000 square km or 18,000 square mile. It is connected to the north and the south by Israel Railways, in Hebrew Rakevet Israel besides many lines of interurban modern buses to practically any location in Israel.
Ashdod Israel City Hall
Israel’s fastest growing city
It is Israel’s fastest growing city mainly because it has absorbed more immigrants than any other city mainly in the last 30 years with the arrival of the immigrants from the former Soviet Republic
The city government has made all possible efforts to keep with the planning and offer their residents a beautiful town with many wide boulevards most of them leading to the beach; beautiful parks are all over and many facilities like malls, supermarkets and more. This has brought many young couples from much more expensive areas like Tel Aviv, Jerusalem of Herzliya to Ashdod where prices are lower.
The city is also a center of all kind of industries like pharmaceuticals, chemicals, electronics, biotechnology, metals, paper, wood and furniture and plastics. These industries provide the infrastructure to keep growing and perhaps surpass Rishon LeZion and become the 4th largest city.
Because of all that said, Ashdod Israel is a melting pot of cultures. In the streets and shops you may hear Russian, French and English at the same time. But the children grow as full Israelis speaking Hebrew and in one generation the melting pot and the many languages won’t be noticed.
Ashdod has a few nature reserves carefully planned to contra-rest the immense growth of the industry and the port. On the southern side of the Lachish River near the sea there is an attractive park with turtles. North of the city is the Mevo Ashdod Reserve with a savannah inhabited by herds of gazelles living among the almond trees, fig trees and eucalyptus.
Top Cruise Lines include Haifa and Ashdod in their itineraries
in Ashdod Israel
The city has been trying to develop a Tourism Industry. The quality of its beaches is incredible and it provides 10 km of coast, more than many cities in Israel. There is a marina and many major hotel chains are considering Ashdod as a great tourist center for the future.
In the meantime many Mediterranean Cruises operated by some of the Top Cruise lines offer itineraries stopping in Haifa and Ashdod. They call these itineraries Holy Land cruises, because it provides the cruisers the opportunity that while being on a ship with all amenities they can visit the Holy Land and take a glimpse of the Holy Sites.
When the ship arrives in Haifa the tourists have many options of shore excursions to visit mainly the Galilee region, the Sea of Galilee and the sacred sites of Nazareth, Megiddo, Capernaum and the Mount of Beatitudes.
They go back to their ship for dinner and entertainment and the next day when docking in Ashdod, they usually visit the Old City Jerusalem and all what the Holy City has to offer. Most of these visitors fall in love with the country and then plan to take the family on a full Holy Land Tour.
Keep an eye on Ashdod Israel, this city will surprise us all when it becomes a huge Mediterranean Riviera competing with all others on the shores of this great sea.
credits for images
ashdod beach by ori
ashdod city hall by david shay
all courtesy of wikimedia commons
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