Beer Sheba
Capital of the Negev Desert

Beer Sheba, also spelled Beer Sheva is the capital city of the Negev Desert. It is one of the largest Israeli cities with more than 200,000 inhabitants. Since there is enough supply of land the city is spread out, and divided into neighborhoods or “Shchunot”.

It is by Israeli standards a mostly middle class city. Like any other world city it has three wealthy suburbs with villas and manicured gardens. They are Omer, Metar and Lehavim.

A visit to the Israel Air Force Museum is a must while in Beer Sheva

Beer Sheba Attractions

  • Ben Gurion University
    Ben-Gurion University of the Negev was established in 1969 with the aim to bring development to the Negev, a desert area comprising more than sixty percent of the country.

    The University was inspired by the vision of Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, who believed that the future of the country lay in this region.

  • Soroka Medical Center
    Soroka Medical Center is a hospital in Beersheba, Israel. It is the largest medical center in southern region of the country, and the fourth largest in Israel.

    Soroka services diverse ethnic communities, including patients from Bedouin communities throughout the Negev. It is a teaching hospital associated with nearby Ben Gurion University's medical school.

Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheba is our leader's dream come true

  • Ottoman City
    The downtown area is part of an Ottoman city built in the beginning of the XX Century. It features many architectural jewels and restaurants with many culinary delights.

    In other words Beer Sheba is humble and unpretentious compared with the big cities of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.

  • Bedouin Villages
    Surrounding Beer Sheva there are a few Bedouin villages or towns like Rahat, Tel Sheva, Hura and Laqiya.
  • The Bedouin Market
    It is located next to municipal market south of downtown. Every Thursday in the early morning the Bedouin tribes come from the desert to buy and sell their goods.

    In other times it was more picturesque than now. I remember when they insisted on “exchanging” one of our girlfriends for a camel. They really insisted. Today you can still see Bedouins in their attire bartering over coffee and flour.
  • Abraham’s well
    It is located on the crossing of KKL Street and Derech Hebron. These are two round stone walls covered by an arch stone roof.

    The wells are no longer in use but you can still see some water flowing below. Legend says that in this place Abraham watered his large flocks 4,000 years ago.

Soroka Medical Center and Medical School serving the South of Israel

  • Old Railway Station
    “Hatachana BiBeer Sheva” like the old song is located on Tuviyahu Street. It is here where Lawrence of Arabia played his tricks against the Turks during World War I.

  • The Monument to the Negev Fighters Brigade
    It commemorates the Brigade of the Palmach that captured the Negev during the war of Independence of 1948. It was made by one of Israel’s most famous artists, Danny Caravan.

    It is a moving site that shouldn’t be missed. It is located on the northeast of the city just off the road that leads to Hebron.

  • Tel Beer Sheba National Park
    Is located northeast of the city on route 60, is an archaeological dig for many years. They have unearthed an earlier city dating to the 12th to 8th Century BC. It is a circular city with rows of building on both sides.

Monument to the Negev Brigade Fighters

  • The IAF, Israel Air Force Museum
    In the west of Beer Sheba, contains at least 100 planes used during Israel History.

    For example de Czech Messerschmitt that helped stop the Egyptians on their advance into Israel in 1948; the Boeing 707 that was used in July 1976 for the famous rescue of the Air France passengers hijacked and taken to Entebbe Airport in Uganda; an exhibit of Ilan Ramon our hero killed in the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster.

  • The Negev Bedouin
    There are about 150,000 Bedouin living in Israel. They are all Israeli citizens and many have served in the Israeli Defense Forces, IDF, some with great distinctions.

    With the help of the Ministry of Tourism and private organizations, some cooperatives of women’s craft have been developed. Other Bedouin projects include providing treks, camping and Bedouin dinner tents as a tourist attraction of the Negev Desert.

Legend says that Abraham watered his flocks 4,000 years ago here

Brief History

The name Beer Sheva is first seen in the Old Testament as the place where Abraham and his son Isaac lived and from where Jacob fled to Haran escaping from his brother Esau. It is also mentioned as the southernmost city of Biblical Israel

Visit Beer Sheba

On the way to your holiday in Eilat or Ramon Crater or maybe Dimona or the Dead Sea, make a point to stop in Beer Sheba. The visit is a great experience.

Image Credits:
ben gurion university by judith garinkol
soroka hospital by avishai teicher
abraham well by ariel
iaf museum by math knight
negev brigade monument n/a

All courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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