Latrun Police Station & Tank Museum
Visitors to Latrun can explore a memorial to the fallen Israeli soldiers of the Armored Corps on the location of a pivotal battle in the Six Day War. Tours of the Holy Land often stop here to gain a sense of historical context to the successful struggles of the Israeli military to overcome scores of enemies. The site is especially popular with children, who enjoy climbing up and down the many tanks on display. It is also still used by the Armored Corps for military ceremonies.
The outdoor section of the museum displays 110 tanks and armored vehicles, including one mounted atop a British water tower. A Wall of Names includes the inscribed names of 4,965 fallen soldiers of the Armored Corps in all of Israel’s wars. The Gate of Courage projects pictures of the fallen soldiers twenty-four hours a day. The Allied Forces Monument commemorates the courage of the armored forces that fought against the Nazis in World War II. The monument consists of three World War II tanks - American, Russian and British - resting on a mound of giant stones and decorated with the flags of all the countries that fought the Nazis.
An indoor exhibit includes photos, poetry, paintings and cartoons, and shows screenings of historical footage. The Bind of Life synagogue is used for the holding of memorial services.
Due to its strategic location on a hilltop on the way from the coast to Jerusalem, Latrun has been the site of a number of battles. The first biblical reference to Latrun is in the Book of Joshua, when Joshua defeated the Ammonites in the Ayalon Valley in a miraculous victory. The Maccabees set up camp in the valley and emerged victorious from the famed Battle of Emmaus.
During the War of Independence, Latrun was blocked off and remained in the hands of the Jordanians after the armistice agreement. In the Six Day War, Latrun was captured by the IDF and a museum for the Armored Corps was established at the site.