Battir: UNESCO world heritage site

Battir is a Palestinian village 6km west of Bethlehem. It is one of the last farming villages in Palestine that still uses a unique irrigation system from Roman times, which is already over 2000 years old.
In 1948 during the war almost every villager fled from Battir. However Mustafa Hassan and some others stayed and took care of the houses and farms. Because the Israelis thought that all the villagers were still there, they did not attack Battir. However, afterwards the armistice line was drawn next to the railroad which passes by Battir. Although some of the land of the villagers was on the Israeli side, they were still allowed to keep their land and farm it. Through this arrangement they were the only Palestinians who could officially go into Israel and maintain their property before the Six-Day War.
Throughout the years the traditional way of agriculture in Battir got very well-known and even brought the attention of the UNSECO to this village. Therefore in 2011 Battir won the price “Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes” for taking care of its irrigation system and the ancient terraces and was added to the World Heritage list.
The surroundings of Battir consist of farmed valleys with stone terraces. They are either used for planting a garden with vegetables or for growing olive trees and grapevines.
Several different organizations invested in the village and built up an Eco-museum which helps to keep the system of management and protection of the agriculture going. When you visit Battir, you will be fascinated by the terraces and the beautiful view this village has to offer. Another site to visit is the Roman spring and bath, also known as an important water source for the villagers. During the hot summer season it is full of children playing with the water.
Starting from Battir you can go hiking on marked trails. While hiking you will have a great nature adventure and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.