Ramla was Israel’s largest and most important city during most of the reign of the Muslims. 

Its excellent geographical features and its location at an international junction have made it a necessary interim station for all those seeking to stop through on their way from Jaffa Port to Jerusalem. 

The city’s founder was Caliph Sulayman, the son of Abd al-Malik of the Omeya Family. Its name derives from the Arabic word for sand “Raml” – because the historical sources indicate that the region that was chosen was not previously settled. Others suggest that its name was given from the translation of its ancient Hebrew name “Hulata Mahoz” which is mentioned in the Mishna. The Jews also called it “Gat” (Philistine). In the Christian scriptures Ramla is known as “Rama” (Rames) or “Ramatayim Zofim” (Arimethea), birthplace of Yosef Haramati, Jesus’ disciple. 

In 1099, Ramla was the first city to be conquered by the Crusades in the Land of Israel, on their way from the north coast to Jerusalem, they found it empty of army and residents, Fulcher de Chartres recounts that the produce that remained in the city’s grain storage facilities was used by the soldiers and their animals during their journey.

The Arches Pool in the City of Ramleh

Photo: Daphna Gilat