This is a proclaimed National Park that covers an area of hectares and is administered by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. Situated on a hill that is meters above sea level, Sebastia is on the main road that traverses the length of the mountain crest, leading north from Nablus to Jenin. The city of Sebastia was discovered there. It served as the capital of Israel during the period of the First Temple, and Sebastiya, an outstanding Roman bastion, was built upon its ruins in 30 B. And he bought the hill Sebastia of Shemer for two talents of silver, and built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill, Sebastia" I Kings XV I During the Hellenistic era, it became home to a Macedonian community called Sebastia.
According to Josephus , the original name of the town was Shomron , before King Herod renamed it in honor of Augustus Caesar. Sherds from the late Roman ,  Byzantine ,   Early Moslem  and Medieval eras have been found here. Sebastia was the seat of a bishop in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. It is mentioned in the writings of Yaqut al-Hamawi — , the Syrian geographer, who situates it as part of the Filastin Province of Syria, located two days from that city, in the Nablus District. He also writes, "There are here the tombs of Zakariyyah and Yahya, the son of Zakariyyah John the Baptist , and of many other prophets and holy men. Sebastia was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in with all of Palestine, and in it appeared in the tax registers as being in the Nahiya of Jabal Sami, part of Sanjak Nablus. It had a population of 20 households and 3 batchelors, all Muslim. The position is a very fine one; the hill rises some to feet above the open valley on the north, and is isolated on all sides but the east, where a narrow saddle exists some feet lower than the top of the hill. There is a flat plateau on the top, on the east end of which the village stands, the plateau extending westwards for over half a mile. A higher knoll rises from the plateau, west of the village, from which a fine view is obtained as far as the Mediterranean Sea.
In the Palestinian village of Sebastiya, Christians and Muslims alike honour a connection to John the Baptist at a location earlier known for the worship of Phoenician gods and a Roman emperor. Sebastiya with various spellings including Sebaste and Sebastia is about 12 kilometres northwest of Nablus, to the east of the road to Jenin. Overlooking the present village of Sebastiya are the hilltop ruins of the royal city of Samaria. The city is mentioned more than times in the Bible. Excavations have uncovered evidence of six successive cultures: Canaanite, Israelite, Hellenistic, Herodian, Roman and Byzantine. The surrounding hill-country , its slopes etched by ancient terracing, has changed little in thousands of years. When the early Christian community dispersed during the persecution that followed the martyrdom of St Stephen, the deacon Philip preached the Gospel in Samaria and was joined there by the apostles Peter and John. Omri, the sixth king of the northern kingdom of Israel, built his capital on the rocky hill of Samaria in the ninth and eighth centuries before Christ.
Sebastia is a collection of ruins above a village of the same name that is believed to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the West Bank. Situated on a hill with panoramic views across the West Bank, the site includes an amphitheatre which once held people and the remains of a Byzantine church. St John's grave was desecrated in the mid-4th century and his bones partly burned, with surviving portions taken to Jerusalem and later to Alexandria, Egypt, where they were interred at a Coptic monastery. A mosque complex in the village of Sebastia contains a shrine to St John and a small museum 8am to 3pm Sunday to Thursday. Despite obvious neglect many of the ruins are strewn with trash and some are daubed with graffiti , Sebastia is an essential stop on a West Bank itinerary for history buffs. For the less archaeologically inclined, it is a peaceful place to walk among the olive groves and take in sensational views. Sebastia is 11km from Nablus; a taxi with waiting time will cost around NIS. Alternatively, take a shared taxi from Nablus.