It concerns the earliest city of the Holy Land. It is a city of Jordan, in the west side of the Jordan Valley. It consists of one of the earliest settlements in the world which was inhabited without interruption and was the most fortified city of the Canaanites. It occupies an important strategic position, from which one can easily enter the interior of the Holy Land.
From pre-historic times until today at the oasis of Jericho, the main transportation arteries cross, which lead from the north to the south and from the east to the west. Edifices from the Iron Age indicate that the city was settled again after its total destruction and the second exile of its inhabitants in the 6th century. Pompius coming from Skythopolis to Jerusalem, went through Jericho and destroyed the two forts which were constructed by Strabon and were called Thrax and Taurus. Herod the Great decorated and fortified the city, by building the fort Cyprus, palaces and the hippodrome. This tyrant lived his last days here.
During the Roman period the city was rebuilt southwest of early Jericho according to the Hellenistic –Roman plan. Hieronymus mentions that during the siege of Jerusalem, Titus destroyed her in 70AD due to the revolt of her inhabitants. Jericho is one of the most important pre-historic places in the eastern Mediterranean. Her strategic location exerted a special attraction to others. The passing of Christ was regular, every time, He would go to Jerusalem from His birth place, Galilee. This clearly was shown on the occasion of His meeting with the chief publican Zakcheos but also by the healing of the blind from birth and with His last ascent to Jerusalem.
On the 4th century AD, Jericho was declared a bishopric seat while on the 5th and 6th century she became an important shrine and a monastic centre. Many Churches were built in Jericho during the Byzantine period. Especially, the Spring of Elisseus, the Cave of the Prophet Elijah, the Sycamore tree of Zakcheos were the most frequently visited shrines. Jericho is called today by the Arabs Richa. A small area replaces the ancient fortified city. The only settlement that draws special attention is the Castle of Jericho (Bourz-Ericha) which is used as a residence by the Sheik.