Mount Gerizim

Yuval Dax

Meet Mount Gerizim

The Mount of Blessings โ€“ at the top of Mt Grizim the remains of the ancient Sacred Precinct of the Samaritans have been found, and around them, the remains of a large city from the Hellenistic period

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Points of interest

  • The Sacred Precinct
  • The Altar of Isaac
  • Giv’ot Olam
  • The tomb of Sheikh Ghanem
  • The Octagonal Church


The Sacred Precinct:

A large city from the Persian and Hellenistic period has been uncovered on Mt Grizim, built around a sacred precinct. The city was divided into four residential quarters, and the walls of the buildings around the outside of the city served as a city wall. In the city, the remains of streets and homes, two market squares, and shops have been found. To the south of the Sacred Precinct are the remains of a large building containing dozens of rooms. Within this structure was an olive press, a splendid residential building, and shops. Most of the buildings had a central courtyard surrounded by rooms: a reception room, bedrooms, and bathroom. The city spread over 400 dunams, and appears to have housed some 10,000 people.

At the highest point of the city, the Sacred Precinct was built. This precinct was surrounded by a well-fortified wall, and in the center stood the temple. Two stages of construction were found in the precinct: in the early stage, during the Persian period (end of 5th century BCE), the builders made do with a relatively small area (96 x 96 m), and at a later stage, in the Hellenistic period (2nd century BCE), it was extended to cover an area of 100 x 200 m. The precinct was intended to receive the thousands of believers coming to the Temple for the three pilgrimage festivals, and offering the Passover sacrifice there.

The Altar of Isaac:

A rock surrounded by a fence. According to Samaritan tradition, the sacrifice of Isaac took place on this rock.

Giv’ot Olam rock:

A large rock surface that Samaritan tradition holds to be the Foundation Stone. The name given to the rock commemorates the blessings given by Moses to Joseph: “With the finest produce of the ancient mountains and the abundance of the everlasting hills” (Deuteronomy 33:15).

The 12 stones:

The Samaritans identify this site with the place where the children of Israel set up stones on crossing the River Jordan.

The tomb of Sheikh Ghanem:

A single, domed structure in the north-eastern corner of the precinct. According to Muslim tradition, this is the tomb of Sheikh Ghanem, born in the village of Burin, who was one of the soldiers of Saladin. Jewish traditions from the Middle Ages view it as the burial site of Hamor, father of Shchem. The Arabs of Nablus and the surrounding area customarily swear oaths and offer sacrifices at the site.


Mount Gerizim

Useful Information
Opening Hours
Holiday eves: 13:00 - 08:00 Yom Kippur eve: 13:00 - 08:00

Entrance to the park closes one hour before cited closing time/

Summer time hours: Mon.โ€“Thurs. 08:00โ€“17:00
Friday and holiday eves 08:00โ€“15:00
Winter time hours: Mon.โ€“Thurs. 08:00โ€“16:00
Friday and holiday eves 08:00โ€“15:00

Getting there
How to get here

Mt Grizim is near the community of Brakha. Coming from Ariel, take Road 505, or from Jerusalem take Road 60 north to Tapuah Junction. From Tapuah Junction, continue north to Mahane Horon Junction, then turn towards Brakha. At the entrance gate to Brakha, turn right and continue through the Samaritan neighborhood to the site (following the signs).

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Entrance fees
Type Fee
Adult โ‚ช 22.00
Child โ‚ช 10.00
Adult in group โ‚ช 19.00
Child in group โ‚ช 8.00
Student โ‚ช 19.00
Israeli senior citizen โ‚ช 11.00