What to See?
The main attractions in the Park include: A Royal Citadel and a Palace of the Last Kings of Judah (8th to 6th Cent BC); Replicas of a Proto-Aeolic capital (original in Israel Museum) and Ashlar stones collected around the site (7th to 6th Cent BC); Ritual baths for religious purposes and a columbarium used for raising pigeons (1st Cent AD); A Roman villa and bathhouse (3rd Cent AD); A large Byzantine era monastery and church complex (5th Cent AD) and Remains from the First Muslim Periods (7th to 10th Cent AD).
The oldest structure excavated in Ramat Rachel is the Royal Citadel from 8th Cent BC, built by one of the kings of Judah (Assumed to be King Hezekiah). Towards the end of 7th Cent BC another Citadel with a palace and a fort was built over the earlier one. Remains of massive 4-5m wide Casemate Walls (a double wall with compartments) surrounding these structures have been unearthed. The Royal Citadel at Ramat Rachel is one of the most impressive examples of Israelite-Phoenician architecture in the biblical period. This citadel is believed to be an administrative center for the Assyrians, followed by the Babylonians and then the Persian Empire.
In addition, approximately 280 YEHUD and 145 LMLK (Hebrew, to the King) stamp impressions and a hoard of several silver coins (1st Cent BC) have been discovered from the site. The other significant findings include the eleven Proto-Aeolic capitals recovered from the ruins of the citadel and a unique seal impression with the inscription to Eliaqim, steward of King Jehoiachin of Judah. The Proto-Aeolic capitals may have decorated the doorposts of the main gate and the entrances to the buildings (see Jeremiah 22:14).