Ramla has had a Christian presence at least since the twelfth century, due to its traditional identification as Rama, the hometown of Joseph of Aramathea. It is a fascinating off-the-beaten track destination for Christian travelers.
Jews, Christians and Muslims live side-by-side in this city near Lydda, off the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway.
The lovely Franciscan parish church of St. Joseph is a landmark – Napoleon Bonaparte stayed here in 1799. The Great Mosque, near the colorful local market, is an almost perfectly preserved Crusader church, while the six-storey medieval White Tower is an architectural gem of global importance. It reveals a beautiful biblical view of the lowlands as well as a modern one - the tower of Ben-Gurion International Airport and the Weizmann Institute of Science are also visible from here.
The adventurous should visit Ramla’s soon-to-reopen eighth-century water cistern, where they will be able to rent rowboats to paddle among the ancient arches.