Emmaus in the 20th -21st centuries


The Dominican fathers L. H. Vincent and F. M. Abel from the French Ecole Biblique of Jerusalem excavate the both basilicas of Emmaus. Ceramic fragments found during this excavation testify to the fact that the site was inhabited already during the Hasmonean and Herodian periods. Frs. Vincent and Abel advance the theory of a Roman villa existing prior to the Basilicas ( Vincent & Abel, Emmaüs, Paris, 1932, pp. 169, 172ff, see here).


The current house with battlements is built on the hill above the ruins by the Fathers of Betharram, the chaplains of the Carmel of Bethlehem.


Polish Independent Carpathian Rifle Brigade holds camp at Emmaus and Latrun, see here. A Tegart fort is built on the "hill of the Roman camp" at Latrun.

July 1941-January 1942

A sabotage training school is held in the Betharram Fathers' house at Emmaus by the Directorate of Special Operations of the British Army (source: Paul McCue, www.secret-ww2.net)


After the Israeli War of Independence, Emmaus finds itself in the demilitarized zone between Jordan and Israel. A UN representation stays in the house above the ruins.


The village of ‘Amwas is destroyed in the aftermath of the Six-Days War.


Dutch Near East Ministry rents the house above the ruins.


Several archaeological campaigns are undertaken by Israeli researchers Yizhar Hirschfeld and Mordechai Gichon at the territory of Canada Park, el-Aqed hill and the Roman bathhouse at Emmaus (M. Gichon, The Bath-house at Emmaus, BAIAS 1986-1987, see here; Y. Hirschfeld, The Aqueducts of Emmaus-Nicopolis, 2002, see here).


The house above the ruins is rented by the French Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).

Dec. 1993

The Catholic Community of the Beatitudes rents the house above the ruins.


The Association Friends of Emmaus-Nicopolis is founded through the initiative of Karl-Heinz and Louisa Fleckenstein, the coordinators of Emmaus excavation project.


Archaeological excavations are led at Emmaus under direction of the Finnish archaeologist Mikko Louhivuori (Israel Antiquity Authority) and the Franciscan Father Michele Picirillo. The buildings belonging to the church complex, numerous mosaics, the sepulchral zone, and the stone quarry are discovered. (K.-H. Fleckenstein, M. Louhivuori, R. Riesner, Emmaus in Judäa, Basel, 2003, p.212-310, see here; K.-H. & Louisa Fleckenstein, Emmaus-Nicopolis Ausgrabungen 2001-2005, Novum publishing, 2010, see here).

2012 and following years

New archaeological campaigns are undertaken at еl-Aqed hill by Israeli researchers, see here.

Cardinal Ratzinger celebrates

the Holy Mass

at Emmaus-Nicopolis,

Easter Monday, April 20 1992