Where to go Guide
Deir Istiya village was the home of the Qasim al-Ahmad family, and was built during the reign of the Mamluks. During the Ottoman era, Deir Istiya became a throne village. The name throne village refers to the historical sheikhdoms of the central highlands of Palestine. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the central highlands of Palestine (today the West Bank) were divided into twenty-four administrative domains (sheikdoms). These sheikdoms were ruled by sheiks who belonged to rich or “noble” families. It is where these sheiks and their families resided that we find “the throne villages,” or Qura al Karasi.
The village is a good case study into how town planning was conducted under the Mamluks, with Ottoman additions. In order to revitalize the area and to restore the cultural heritage of Deir Isitya, a Women’s Handicraft Center, a Community Center, and a Visitor Information Center were built as part of a project launched by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in cooperation with the UNDP. The village also houses an olive oil museum set up adjacent to an ancient olive oil press.