Latrun, in the Ayalon Valley, just 25 kilometers from Jerusalem, offers a beautiful view of the surrounding fields and Jerusalem hills.
The Monastery of the Silent Monks was built in the 20th Century by French monks and boasts a unique architectural style that mixes Byzantine and Gothic influences. The land surrounding the building features residential buildings, vineyards, gardens and an olive oil making press. The monastery is open for tours and occasional events.
Yad Lashiryon is a national memorial dedicated to the Israeli soldiers from the Armored Corps who died in battle since the nation’s independence in 1948. The location itself was the site of various battles from the time of Joshua Ben-Nun, who fought the five Kings of the Amorites in the 13th Century BC. Important battles during the War for Independence and the Six Day War were fought at Latrun. It was also used by the British Authorities as a detention camp for captured Axis soldiers during WWII, and later for fighters on both sides during the War of Independence. Today, the site features a memorial complex with exhibitions, memorial statues and monuments, a large outdoor amphitheater, and an Armored Brigades Park.
Guided tours are available with advanced booking. Yad Lashiryon at Latrun is open Sunday to Thursday from 8:30am until 5:30pm, Friday and holiday eves from 8:30am until 1:30pm and on Saturdays and holidays from 9am until 5pm.
Also at Latrun are Mini Israel, the mixed Jewish-Arab community of Neve Shalom and the International Center for the Study of Bird Migration.