Gaza is one of the most ancient and historic towns in the World. Strategically located on the Mediterranean coastal route, ancient Gaza was a prosperous trade center and stop on caravan routes. Gaza was first inhabited by the Canaanites and several years later, it became a chief Philistine city. It is mentioned several times in the Bible, especially relating to the story of Samson. The city is famous for its hand-woven carpets, wicker furniture, and pottery. Famous also for its fresh seafood, Gaza has numerous restaurants along the beach as well as public parks were visitors can enjoy the pleasant Mediterranean breeze. Nightlife in Gaza offers visitors enjoyable evenings of music and dance at the beach hotels.
The Great Mosque (Al-Omari Mosque)
Located in downtown Gaza, Al-Omari Mosque with its splendid minaret, reputedly occupying the site of the first ancient temple of Marnas and then a Greek Orthodox Church. The mosque was also the site of a Norman church built by the Crusaders in the 12th century.
Napoleon’s Fort (Qasr El-Basha)
Also located in downtown Gaza, this imposing stone building dates back to the Mamluk period. It is known as Qasr El-Basha because Napoleon spent a few nights here on his way through the town in 1799.
St. Porphyrus Church/span>
This 4th century church is where St. Porphyrus died and was buried (420 AD) It is located in the Gaza’s old city and still in use today by the Greek Orthodox Community.
Sayyed Hashem Mosque
Located in Al-Daraj Quarter, the mosque is one of the largest and most beautiful ancient mosques in Gaza. The tomb of Hashem bin Abd-Manaf, Prophet Mohammad’s (pbuh) grandfather who died in Gaza during a trading voyage, is believed to be under the dome of the mosque.
Arts & Crafts Village
A beautifully designed gallery inspired by traditional Islamic architecture, the village offers for sale embroidery, copper, rugs and pottery. It also exhibits modern art from renowned national and international artists.