Battir is 7 kilometers southwest of Jerusalem. The property includes a series of agricultural valleys extending from Wadi Al-Makhrour to the west of Beit Jala towards the village of Hussan, and encircling the town of Battir. This cultural landscape is characterized by extensive agricultural terraces, water springs, ancient irrigation systems, remains of human settlements, agricultural watchtowers and olive presses.
Battir on the World Heritage List
During its 38th session held in Doha, Qatar, in 2014, the World Heritage Committee inscribed “Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – the Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir” on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Battir Landscapes met criterion (iv) and (v) specified by UNESCO as the site represents: (iv) an outstanding example of landscape which illustrates a significant stage in human history, and (v) an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or human interaction with the environment.
Battir Town Hall:
A non-profit service organization whose vision is that the town of Battir should thrive with its heritage. The first village council was formed in 1980 to administer the merger. It was converted into a municipal council (city government) in 2016. The Municipal Council currently consists of 11 members and one of the most important tasks of the Council is the provision of infrastructure services, garbage collection and disposal, construction and asphalting of roads, cleaning of roads, provision of various social services, promotion of reading through the Battir "Municipal Public Library" and promotion of tourism through the Battir Tourist Information Center.
Municipality Place: Downtown, near Battir's main spring, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, fax 2737531
email@example.com Telefax no. 2737531 Email
Remarkable Attractions of Battir
There is an abundance of things to do in Battir, and enjoy its beautifully green and luscious valley. The best time to visit is in the spring when Battir is at its greenest, but it is a wonderful place to come all year round.
It’s beautiful mountain landscape is still made productive to this day, thanks to the unique agricultural terraces and irrigation channels fed by springs, a system which has persisted for two millennium.
Al-Khirab (Remains of Human Settlement)
Archaeological findings that date back to the times of the Canaanites, Roman, Byzantine, Mamluk and the Ottoman. Seven Khirab can be found within the cultural landscape of Battir: Khirbet Battir, Khirbet Al-Rukba, Khirbet Bardaman (Bardamout), Khirbet Al-Harith, Khirbet Al-Quseir, Khirbet Um Al-Shukaif, and Khirbet Karzaleh.
The Roman Pool
A Part of the Roman irrigation system that exists by Ein Al-Balad; a place in which the water is collected and then distributed by the irrigation canals to the agricultural lands managed by the eight main families inhabiting Battir
The Roman Citadel / Castle
Remains of ancient Roman citadel that served as a garrison for Battir, and a horse stable that is known by Al-Bubareyyeh is located behind
Maqam Abu Zeid (Shrine)
Located to the north of the ancient pool of Ein Al-Balad and is dedicated to Abu Zeid’s wife, Rabiea’ Al-Adawieh. In the local narrative, it is believed that the shrine belongs to the mystic Aby Zeid Al-Bustami that Saladin, the Ayyubid leader, gave orders to build, in addition to many others throughout Palestine after its liberation from the crusaders in order to give the country an Islamic appearance.
Maqam Al-Sheikh Khattab
A shrine constructed for Al-Sheikh Khattab who is thought to be one of those who first settled in Battir.
One of the most important water springs in the historic centre, and is part of the ancient irrigation systems that feed the landscape terraces of Battir. An ancient Roman bath and a statue for the Roman soldier who led the fifth and the eleven troops during the Jewish Bar Kokhba are situated by the spring.
The spring and its square “Al-Maidan” has been rehabilitated in 2017 through the British Council in cooperation with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
An Islamic endowment that dates back to the Ottoman period and served as a place of worship for some Islamic mystics. Part of the mosque can still be found in the Girls’ School near the ancient pool of Ein Al-Balad.
Battir Guest House – Dar Abu Hassan
A traditional building in the historic center that has been rehabilitated to serve as a guest house for tourists coming to the area.
Jami’ means a place that collects and gathers things. This water spring gained its name due to its location in a central valley in which all other valleys meet and so the water coming from the valleys is being collected in this spot. It is a Roman construction and is connected to the irrigation system to provide the agricultural lands with water.
The picturesque terraces of Battir are the predominant feature of the area. They represent clear examples of a landscape developed by human settlements near water sources, and adaptation to nature.
Along Al-Makhrour-Battir Route, around 230 manatir have been recorded and are still standing on the landscape. Manatir “watchtowers” are stone structures located outside the villages nearby agricultural fields, and once used by farmers to watch over their fields during the harvest season.
A permanent limekiln structure is located a short distance from the town of Battir. It is believed that this particular limekiln was constructed for mass production, most probably for the nearby city of Jerusalem or other cities located along the route of the railway.
Limekilns are temporary structure developed by the Roman to burn limestone and produce lime to use as mortar for building purpose.
Ancient Olive Presses
Among Battir landscapes, many traditional olive presses are found in the fields and near the watchtowers. Additionally, the remains of two olive presses were found in Khirbet Bardama and Khirbet Al-Quseir.
The Battir Eco-Museum was established in 2010 in one of the rehabilitated traditional buildings in Battir (Dar Al-Bader). The museum is actually a dynamic project aimed at preserving, interpreting, and managing the local community and heritage, organize tours of the agricultural terraces, and offers meals and refreshments.
Stunning and beautiful series of trails, featuring natural rock slopes, remains of roman irrigation systems, caves, olive and fig trees, and so much more. It's located between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The trail starts from Al-Makhrour Valley (Wadi Al-Makhrour) to Battir or vice-versa.
You are encouraged to:
- Try the traditional food at the local restaurants;
- Do your picnic in the charming terraces where allowed;
- Visit the local handicrafts shops;
- Buy the local handmade food;
- Visit the cultural and archaeological sites in the area;
- Experience and enjoy the hiking, biking and climbing.
Precautions while touring in Battir:
For your safety and the protection of the World Heritage Site please note the following:
- Coordinate with the municipal council or/and Battir Eco-Museum prior to embarking on the tourist route;
- Entry into agricultural land is strictly prohibited;
- Harvest or picking any plant or fruit is prohibited;
- Abuse of animals and hunting is strictly prohibited;
- Do not leave any disposal behind;
- Do not throw trash or cigarette butts on the floor;
- Do not step on the railway in any case. The area is under surveillance by Israeli forces.