This Map Shows Where the Hanukkah Story Happened

See where the events described in the Hanukkah story are believed to have occurred and what they look like now.

The Hanukkah story began with a confrontation in Modi’in in roughly 168 BCE and ended several years later, when the Maccabees — the band of Jewish fighters who battled the Syrian empire — regained control of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it. The seven major battles of the Maccabean Revolt took place in what is now the West Bank, also known as Judea and Samaria.

Click on each location to learn more about what happened there and what is currently at this site. Dates listed are from Wikipedia, which cites Josephus Flavius, the First Book of Maccabees and the Second Book of Maccabees. My Jewish Learning’s article on the Hanukkah story, reprinted from Celebrate! The Complete Jewish Holiday Handbook, features a somewhat different timeline.

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Discover More

The Book of First Maccabees

An effort to legitimize the Hasmonean dynasty.

The Book of Second Maccabees

A Diaspora perspective with an emphasis on martyrdom

The Maccabees: Heroes or Fanatics?

The Maccabees triumphed over the Syrian Greeks and liberated the Temple, but their legacy is not so clear.