>  Top Jewish Tour Destinations in Israel   >  Latrun’s Armed Corps Museum (“Yad La-Shiryon”)


Latrun is a historical site set on a hill overlooking the road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. in the 1930s the British built a fortified road station at the site, which was later a significant battle site in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. Since the 1980s, it has been incorporated into “Yad La-Shiryon,” Israel’s memorial for its fallen armored corps soldiers, and a tank museum.

History of Latrun

latrun fortressLatrun’s region constantly strategically monitored the main roads heading to Jerusalem from the coast. Here, Joshua battled against Canaanite kings in the nearby Ayalon valley (Joshua 10:1-11). Later, Judah the Maccabee trapped the Seleucid Greeks, who were camping in Emmaus, opposite Latrun. In the 12th century CE, the Crusaders erected a fortress on Latrun’s summit, whose remains can be seen today.

Following the 1936-1939 Arab revolt, the British built several police forts at strategic locations. They were called Tegart Forts after their chief designer. The Tegart fort of Latrun monitored the local roads and included a detention camp. In 1948, when the British cleared the fort, Jordanian legionnaires took over. They began to shell Jewish vehicles headed to Jerusalem, putting Jerusalem’s Jewish residents under siege. So, the young Israeli army made several attempts to conquer the fort, including the first use of tanks, but they all failed. Latrun remained under Jordanian control until the Six-Day War in 1967.  Since the Israelis used tanks for the first time in the 1948 battle of Latrun, in 1982, the state of Israel established in Latrun “Yad La-Shiryon.” It is a combined memorial for the fallen soldiers of the Armored Corps and one of the most diverse tank museums in the world.

Tour to Latrun and “Yad La-Shiryon”

The IDF maintains the Latrun complex. Military representatives lead tours of the site, providing detailed explanations of the tanks on display and the region’s military history. The tank exhibition comprises over 150 armored fighting vehicles of Israel, the enemy captured, and other museum purchases. It is an excellent experience for tank buffs, but not only. The site is open every day of the week and has an admission fee. Guided tours in English have to be pre-arranged.

A tour of Yad-Lashiryon can be combined with a guided day tour in the Judean Foothills (the Shephelah).

Contact us to inquire more about a private tour to the Shephela:

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