Imagine jumping into a time machine that could transport you to the biblical lands before all of the modernization of recent years. How did people look? What were their customs? What were the biblical sites like? That's what this website is all about. Follow the links on the sidebar for your trip back in time.

Featured: Jerusalem

Kidron Valley and Silwan, 1898-1914

Today the area pictured here is covered with residential structures, but this photograph shows how the Kidron Valley used to be a garden (the King's Garden?). In biblical times, Silwan was populated only by the dead. Today some of the houses use a tomb chamber for a bedroom.

Historic Views of the Holy Land

The American Colony and Eric Matson Collection Volumes 1-8

Features 4,000 high-resolution photographs taken by resident photographers in the Holy Land from 1898 to the 1940s
(details here...)


Price: $189 $99,

with free shipping in the U.S.

The Collection


The Historic Views of the Holy Land series is an extensive collection of thousands of photographs, drawings, and maps of the biblical lands from the 19th and 20th centuries.

The collection, upon which this website is based, features

  • the most detailed and accurate maps of Palestine made before the birth of the state of Israel

  • pictures from award-winning photographers who traveled through Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, and Greece in the 19th century

  • photographs and drawings which illustrate biblical scenes, including Psalm 23, the Good Samaritan, and the Woman at the Well.

Click one of the volumes above to see the contents of that volume including a list of all the photos.

Learn the details, get the answers to Frequently Asked Questions, subscribe to the monthly newsletter, or search the site.

Or place an order.


"People, I think, still picture Jerusalem as they think it was in the first century. They ask me, "What was it like to 'see' the places that so much Biblical history happened?" Picturesque Palestine enables me to not only tell of the difference but also illustrate what I mean when I say, "It's not the same as it used to be."  (Kyle Patterson, Tacoma, WA)

"The SWP Maps are terrific: view options, superior linking, high quality, a tremendous amount of work.  What a joy to have access to this wealth of information without 1) having access to the sheets; 2) sorting through the sheets, 3) bending over the sheets, etc.  I cannot express enough what a contribution you have made."  (Steven Lancaster, Biblical Backgrounds)

"I would definitely recommend this set to anyone who is interested in the Land of the Bible."  (D. J. Kaufman, Somerset, CA)

Site last updated: May 20, 2021