Wednesday, December 14, 2011

By the Beach of Ashkelon

 While visiting the coast of Ashkelon last week, we decided to walk along the water. We never did that before. There's a beautiful path from the main beach entrance to the Holiday Inn Hotel.

The path is dotted with fun and comfortable benches for sun tanning, spots for surf watching, exercise areas for adults, and fun equipment for children to play on. Their playground equipment was in the shape of whales plunging into the ocean.

We discovered something else along the beach path - a five or even eight hundred year old burial place of an Arab shiekh. Right there over looking the beach. There's no bio of Sheikh Awad, so I can't say who he is. But I can tell you what I read.
The domed burial place is dated from the Mameluke era (1260-1516 AD).
The central chamber has a prayer recess (machrab) in the southern wall facing Mecca. This building is part of a series of holy sites built by the Mamelukes along the coast, in their attempt to strengthen the western frontier of the country.

One more note about the newly refurbished boardwalk. It is dotted with the nicest lamp posts along the way. The tops of each lamp has a crown of a castle. It's not really a castle. It's the outline of the old city of Ashkelon, which was a port city with a high wall around it. 

The lamp light crowns lend a grandeur and a pride to Ashkelon that tie the city to its ancient past.

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