Beit She'an

What is it: The ancient ruins of Beit She'an are some of the most impressive in the world, and certainly the Middle East. In Roman times it was known as Scythopolis and you can still see the three-tiered theatre for dramatic performances that could hold 7,000 people, an amphitheatre for gladiatorial contests capable of holding 6,000 people, the remains of streets and colonnades, and a huge bath and gym complex.
What's it like: It's amazing. It takes some imagination to picture it complete and full of people but even as ruins it's a hugely impressive site.
Where: Beit She'an, srael
When: June 2018
How: I joined a week-long Biblical Lands tour group, which also covered the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (256), the Dome of the Rock (86), and the Sea of Galilee (also removed from the 2020 list). It also included the Dead Sea although I didn't go there. I highly recommend the whole trip - it was fantastic.
Worth noting: Our guide took us to the theatre and demonstrated the excellent acoustics by playing us Susan Boyle's Britain's Got Talent audition.
Place in the 2015 edition: 328
Did it deserve to lose its place in the top 500: No - it's a remarkable place.