Mamshit is a jewel in the crown of Christianity’s earliest days, its desert home on an ancient trading route is a reminder of how Christianity took its message to the world.
Mamshit, in the central Negev, was first settled by the nomadic Nabateans, a stop on the 1,400-mile long Incense Route over which they brought frankincense and myrrh out of Arabia to the Mediterranean. In the fourth century, the Nabateans converted to Christianity, as the crosses some residents carved into the lintels of their homes still attest. Two large and impressive churches, among the most ancient in the world, adorned with mosaic floors, also celebrate the firs presence of Christians here.
Time your visit to the holidays, and you’ll see the original market street comes alive with sights and sounds that recall ancient times. Mamshit, now a national park and a World Heritage Site, reveals not only magnificent desert landscapes and ancient culture, but also an important chapter in early Christian history.