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Nablus panorama.jpg
Administration : Palastina autonomous areasPalestine Palestinian Territories
Area: West Bank
Governorate : Nablus
Founded : 1995
Coordinates : 32 ° 13 '  N , 35 ° 16'  E Coordinates: 32 ° 12 '58 "  N , 35 ° 15' 58"  E
Area : 28.6  km²
Residents : 146,493 (2014)
Population density : 5,122 inhabitants per km²
Time zone : EET
Community type: city
Mayor : Adly Yaish
Website :
Nablus (Palestinian Territories)

Nablus ( Arabic نابلس, DMG Nābulus , Palestinian-Arabic Nāblis, Nāblus , from the Greek Neapolis 'new town', Hebrew שְׁכֶם Sch'chem , AHL Šĕḵem ) is a city in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories with 146,493 inhabitants (as of 2014). It lies between two mountains (Arabic: Ibāl and Jirzim, in the Bible Ebal and Garizim ). The biblical Shechem ( Jabal an-Nār , 'mountain of fire') and the Roman foundation Flavia Neapolis were predecessor settlements at this point.

Nablus is the seat of the an Najah National University . On the outskirts of Nablus, Joseph's tomb is venerated by Jews, Muslims and Christians.


205,392 inhabitants live in the Nablus district including the refugee camps (Askar and Balata) and the surrounding villages. There are 14 Israeli settlements in the Nablus district. In 2014, the Palestinian Central Statistical Office put the population of the city of Nablus at 146,493. Today around 400 members of the Samaritan people live there among the Muslim and Christian population .

The panorama of the city of Nablus



The settlement of the valley between the mountains Garizim and Ebal (with Nablus as today's center) began in the early 4th millennium BC. The place known from the Old Testament was Shechem (or Shechem) here. It played an important role in trade between the Mediterranean and the Jordan Valley and was mentioned several times in the books of the Old Testament. Politically, Shechem was initially on Egyptian territory, but it had its own king. As a result of destruction in the middle of the 12th century BC Shechem was abandoned for around 100 years. After the liberation from the Egyptians, Jeroboam I , from 926 to 907 B.C. The first king of the northern kingdom of Israel , Shechem as its capital. Under the rule of the Israelite king Menachem (745–738 BC) Shechem was destroyed again, 724 BC. The city fell into the hands of the Assyrians and remained uninhabited for 150 years.

In the succession of the replacing ancient great powers, Nablus was finally within the borders of the Babylonian Empire, then in the Empire of the Persians. After the victory of Alexander the Great over Darius III in 333 BC. At Issos the entire Middle East including Palestine came under Greek rule. Shechem was now part of a Macedonian colony. Alexander supported the Samaritans' concern to develop Shechem into their center. 63 BC The Romans took Palestine under their general Pompejus and made it the Roman province of Judea. The formal foundation of today's Nablus in the neighborhood of the old Shechem goes back to the Roman emperor Vespasian in the year 72. In honor of his father Flavius ​​Vespanianus, he named the city Flavia Neapolis. Roman veterans and other colonists settled here. In the 2nd century, Emperor Hadrian built an amphitheater, the remains of which can still be seen today.

middle Ages

Under Umar ibn al-Chattab, the second caliph after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, a new major Muslim power emerged in the Middle East in the first half of the 7th century. Neapolis became Nablus - the Arabic variant of the previous name.

Nablus once again developed into a flourishing trading center in the Orient - a role the city maintained until the 20th century. Some historians therefore speak of Nablus as the "uncrowned queen of Palestine". Under the successive dynasties of the Umayyads, Abbasids and Fatimids, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Samaritans and Persians lived peacefully together in Nablus. In the 10th century, the Arab geographer Al-Muqaddasi referred to Nablus as "Little Damascus". In 1099 Nablus voluntarily submitted to the victorious advancing armies of the European crusaders under Tankred of Taranto. The city was now on the territory of the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem and some crusaders also settled here. In the course of the intrigues surrounding the succession of King Baldwin II of Jerusalem, Queen Melisende, Baldwin II's daughter, moved her residence to Nablus in 1150. The rule of the Christian crusaders ended in 1187 with the conquest of Nablus by the Muslim sultan Saladin.

In an earthquake with a magnitude of possibly 7.5 on the Richter scale in 1202, the city was destroyed but quickly rebuilt. In 1260 the Mamluks took control of Nablus and stopped the advance of the Mongols. In 1517, Palestine came under the rule of the Ottoman Empire as part of the province of Damascus. Nablus was one of six districts of Palestine with five sub-districts. The boundaries corresponded to traditional catchment areas of the respective families. The influence of the foreign state power in the distance remained small and the economic importance of Nablus remained unbroken.

20th century

In 1908, planning began for a connection from Nablus to the Hejaz Railway. When the Ottoman Empire entered the First World War, the rails of the Afula – Nablus railway line had already been laid until shortly before Nablus; the railway then ended in 1915 at the city's train station . The victory of the English on September 19, 1918 in the Battle of Nablus was an important component in the defeat of the Ottomans. In the Treaty of Sèvres with the Ottoman Empire of August 10, 1920, the British mandate of "Palestine and Trans-Jordan" was created, which now also included Nablus. Nablus was not spared from the increasing tensions between Arabs and Jews in the 1930s. When a military convoy was attacked in October 1938, 19 people were killed near Nablus. In 1937 the mayor of Nablus narrowly escaped an assassination attempt. When British troops withdrew from Palestine in May 1948 after the Second World War and David Ben Gurion declared Israel's independence, Nablus received its current status. The Askar and Balata refugee camps were set up in the city and, according to the UN, are still home to almost 40,000 people.

A terrorist attack was carried out on April 26, 1978 on a parked bus in a square in Nablus, in which 34 young Germans, volunteers from the Action Reconciliation Service for Peace , were. After a four-day excursion to northern Israel and a stopover in Nablus, the bus was on its way back to Jerusalem when a young Palestinian threw his self-made pipe bomb, filled with sawed-off nails, into the bus through an open window. The two volunteers Susanne Zahn and Christoph Gaede died and five other people were seriously injured.


The economy in Nablus today is severely restricted by the political framework for the Palestinian autonomous territories and the practical dependence on Israeli authorities. A specialty is the production of edible oil. As early as 1300 the Arab geographer Al-Dimashqi reported: “The city stands like a palace in its gardens and has a large number of trees. The oil from their olives is brought to all the countries of Egypt, Syria, the Hejaz and the Arabian desert ”. The oil is also used to make soap. The manufacture of Nabulsi soap can be traced back to the 10th century and contributed significantly to the economic boom.

The textile industry, especially jeans manufacture, is also a strong pillar. The Kunafah dessert is in great demand beyond the borders of Nablus . After all, Nablus has hosted the Palestine Stock Exchange (PEX) since 1995. 49 companies are listed on it (as of October 2015).


The old town of Nablus with many relics of historical buildings and the shopping facilities in its souq is a tourist attraction in itself. The destination of pilgrims is the so-called Jacob's well , which is mentioned in the Gospel of John. Jesus is said to have met a woman from the Samaritan ethnic group at him who offered him a drink. Today there is a Greek Orthodox church above it.

The archaeological site Balata with the traces of Shechem should be mentioned. The remains of an amphitheater from Roman times have been preserved. A visit to the remaining Samaritan community on Mount Garizim is also possible.

sons and daughters of the town

Twin cities

Nablus maintains the following city ​​partnerships :

city country
Hasavyurt RussiaRussia Dagestan, Russia
Como ItalyItaly Lombardy, Italy
Dundee United KingdomUnited Kingdom Scotland, United Kingdom
Florence region ItalyItaly Tuscany, Italy
Lille FranceFrance France
Naples ItalyItaly Campania, Italy
Poses PolandPoland Poland
Rabat MoroccoMorocco Morocco
Stavanger NorwayNorway Norway
Tuscany ItalyItaly Italy
Nuremberg GermanyGermany Germany

See also

Web links

Commons : Nablus  - collection of images, videos and audio files
  • Zajel Youth Exchange (Website of the voluntary organization Zajel from Nablus, which is part of the university. In addition to the latest news from the region, there is also a lot of information on the history and culture of the city and other cities in the West Bank.)

Individual evidence

  1. Hans Wehr, with the help of Lorenz Kropfitsch: Arabic dictionary for the written language of the present . Arabic - German. 5th edition. Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1985, ISBN 3-447-01998-0 , p. 1240 .
  2. ^ Leonhard Bauer, with the help of Anton Spitaler (Ed.): German-Arabic dictionary of the colloquial language in Palestine and Lebanon . Arabic colloquial dictionary. German Arabic. 2nd, enlarged and improved edition. Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1957, DNB  450262200 , p. 212 .
  3. ^ Palestinian Central Statistical Office
  4. The bomb and the question of “why?” In: Israelnetz .de. December 12, 2018, accessed January 6, 2019 .
  5. بلدية نابلس - Public Relations. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on September 16, 2016 ; accessed on September 28, 2018 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. ^ Nuremberg International - Information on the foreign relations of the city of Nuremberg