The mention of the city appears more than once in the Bible. Together with another settlement – Etzion-Gever. Eilat saw the Jews wandering the sand after the Egyptian Exodus.
In the X century BC the great ruler of the Jewish people, Shlomo (Solomon) built a port “near Eilat” in Etzion-Hevere.
Probably Balkis, the queen of the state of Sheba (most often called the Queen of Sheba), came here to see him. After the King Salomon’s death Etzion-Hever was ravaged and destroyed by invaders from Edom. But later the Judean king Azariah rebuilt the destroyed city and called it Eilat. Name of the second settlement was temporarily forgotten.
Throughout its long history, Eilat changed names several times: the Greeks called it Berenice, the Nabathea – Ayla. After the Arab conquest of the Holy Land, city generally transformed into Aqaba. The Crusaders returned the name “Ayla” to the city, Salah ad-Din turned it into ruins.
Until the middle of the 20th century, until the end of the War of Independence of Israel, Eilat one might say did not exist. Only in 1949, a detachment of self-sacrificing kibbutzniks came here. They founded a small temporary settlement on the coast, called Eilat. For three years, these people, forced to build and work in difficult conditions. Remoteness from civilization, lack of roads, difficulties with simple drinking water, hostile states at hand – have achieved fantastic results. Already in 1952, it was considered a full-fledged settlement – 275 people already lived in it, and in 1953 it became a city.
Today, city is a pride of Israel’s tourism industry.