Halfway between Jerusalem
and Tel Aviv lies Latrun and the remains of the Emmaus (Nicopolis) Church,
first built in the 5th century, over the site believed to be the place
where Jesus appeared to two of his disciples after his resurrection (Mark
16:12-13; Luke 24:13-31). It was rebuilt on a smaller scale by the Crusaders
in the 12th century. Christians have lived here from a very early date.
The bible scholar Jerome in 386 wrote that the town of Emmaus was "where
the Lord made himself known to Cleophas in the breaking of the bread, thus
consecrating his house as a church". Jerome also noted that the Romans
changed the name of the town from Emmaus to Nicopolis. For many centuries
the Arab village of Imwas preserved the biblical name Emmaus, until 1967when
the inhabitants were deported and their homes leveled.
Three Christian communities
are located nearby. The Trappist monastery of Latrun, the French Community
of the Beatitudes, and the Jesus Brotherhood from Germany.
floor mosaic from the 5th century
remains from the 12th century
Crusader church at Emmaus