Burnt House in Wohl Archaeological Museum Jerusalem

Burnt House

Originally uploaded by maddavethorp

The Burnt House is an excavated house situated six meters below current street level, The house is dated to the Second Temple period located in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and is believed to have been set on fire during the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE.

The Burnt House is a magnificent structure, located some six meters underground, found during excavations of the “Upper City.” It is named so because it serves as a unique testimony to the destruction of Jerusalem during the first century, and the fire set by the Romans. Archaeologists at the site discovered stone tablets, grindstones and ovens, large pitchers, bowls and measuring cups, and researchers believe that there was a perfume workshop at the site. Apparently the house was burned during the Roman conquest of the “Upper City” , in the large fire that also engulfed the Temple. The structure is also called Kathros House because of an inscription found at the site. The Kathros family was one of four priestly families that abused their positions.

Visitor Information for the Wohl Archaeological Museum
Address: 1 Hakara’im St., Jewish Quarter, Jerusalem, Israel
Phone: 02-628-3448
Hours: Sun.-Thursday. 9-4:30, Fri. and Jewish holiday eves 9:30-12:30.

Beit She’arim National Park

Beit She’arim, also known as Beth She’arim or Besara (Greek), is the archeological site of a Jewish town and necropolis. The site is part of the Beit She’arim National Park, which borders the town of Kiryat Tiv’on on the northeast and is located close to the modern moshav of Beit She’arim.

The caves along this route were first discovered from 1936 to 1940 by professor Benjamin Mazar for the Palestine Exploration Society. They were prepared for visitors in 2009. The names of the caves derive from the drawings incised on their walls.

The Jerusalem Talmud cites Beit She’arim as the burial place of Rabbi Judah HaNasi. His funeral is described as follows: “Miracles were wrought on that day. It was evening and all the towns gathered to mourn him, and eighteen synagogues praised him and bore him to Bet Shearim, and the daylight remained until everyone reached his home (Ketubot 12, 35a). The fact that Rabbi Judah was buried here is believed to be a major reason for the popularity of the necropolis in Late Antiquity. One of the catacombs has been identified as his burial site.

Visitors to Beit She’arim can enjoy guided tours and hike around the beautiful hills.

It is situated 20 km east of Haifa in the southern foothills of the Lower Galilee. The park is managed by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.
Call 04-9831643

The Jerusalem Bird Observatory – JBO

The Jerusalem Bird Observatory – JBO, houses the Israel national bird-ringing center and is a part of the Israeli Ornithological Center of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI).

The JBO strives to protect urban wildlife sites. All of its Ecological, research, and educational activities are non-profit.

The JBO is located in the center of Jerusalem near the Knesset. Visitors can stop by for an eco-experience. Bird watching and presentation about bird migration in Israel is available for tourists visiting as groups or individuals.

The JBO provides Israeli students, particularly children living in Jerusalem and other urban areas, with a unique opportunity to experience the environment first-hand. Student activities include “close encounters” with ringed birds, birdwatching tours, a birdwatching club, lectures about bird life, nature conservation, and presentations of current research being conducted at the JBO.

Meetings may will include a bird walk followed by a lecture or video presentation on a wide variety of topics relating to birds such as the wonders of migration, how birds fly, raptors of Israel and more and may feature a variety of guest speakers.

Some presentations will be in English and are open to all – beginner to experienced.

Most meetings will start at the Bird Observatory although a couple will start in other locations. A schedulue will be provided on registration.

For more information and to register:

Call Alen 0523-869488
Or email ibrc@netvision.net.il

Zippori National Park

The city of Zippori, founded in the Hellenistic/Maccabees era by Alexander Janneus, is located on hill in the Lower Galilee half way between the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) and the Mediterranean Sea. Josephus Flavius, a first century C.E. historian, described it as “the ornament of all Galilee.” The city’s name may have originated from the Hebrew word “tsipor” meaning bird and highlighting the view from the top of the hill.

Zippori archaeological and historical site

The city may get its name from the Hebrew word “tsipor” (bird) because the view from the town gives a sense of flying.

Zippori, was conquered by the Romans in 37 B.C.E but during the revolt against Rome in 66 C.E., the Jews of Zippori elected not to take arms; conversely they opened the city gates to the legions of Roman Emperor Vespasian. In return the city was saved and renamed Eirenopolis or “city of peace” as evidenced by coins minted in Zippori during that period.

The city had developed into an essential site, in the Land of Israel, for Jewish religious and spiritual life during the second century. The Bar-Kohba revolt of 135 introduced an influx of jewish refugees into the Galilee who by the Third Century were the town’s majority. Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi, who also redacted the Mishnah, headed and relocated the Sanhedrin (Supreme Jewish religious and Judicial body) to Zippori during the Third Century. Long after the Sanhedrin was moved to Tiberias, Zippori retained its status as an important center of Bible study and many prominent sages taught in its academies. Zippori was an important trade market for traders due to it being strategically located on and around major trade routes.

Zippori National Park

Zippori National Park, encompassing the ruins and archaeology findings of the ancient Roman- and Talmudic-era city of Zippori, is located in the rolling hills of Lower Galilee, west of Nazareth.

Telephone: 04-6568272

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Rosh HaNikra – Galilee, Israel

Rosh HaNikra is a geologic formation in Israel, located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, in the Western Galilee near the border with Lebanon. It is a white chalk cliff face which opens up into spectacular grotto, resulted from an ongoing geological process over thousands of years.

The grottoes are a natural wonder, fascinating in its mystery and breathtakingly beautiful at all hours of the day and throughout the year.
The length of the walking track at the site of the natural grottoes is around 200 meters. The grottoes are lit up and therefore allow for nighttime visits.

During World War II, the British dug a tunnel for the railway running between Haifa and Beirut to facilitate the movement of supplies from Egypt to the north. When the British withdrew in 1948, Israeli forces took over Rosh Hanikra and the Palmach blew up the railway bridges in the grottoes to prevent the Lebanese army from invading from that direction when the War of Independence began.

Museums in Haifa

There are three major areas in Haifa; the lower city is the “downtown” area where major businesses and factories are located, as well as hotels and year-long swimming beaches alongside the port area. The middle city is called Hadar HaCarmel and includes the market and a busy commercial area. The upper city is stretched on Mt. Carmel, where most entertainment and shopping areas and a lot of the residential areas are located. Commuting between the different areas can be done with the only subway in Israel, the Carmelit, which travels from sea level downtown all the way up the Central Carmel in 6 minutes.

Many museums can be found in Haifa. No matter what your taste or interest are, whether it’s art, technology or national history – you can probably find a museum that will attract you in Haifa:

Haifa Museum of Art

The Haifa Museum of Art is located in an historic building built in the 1930’s in Hadar HaCarmel. The Museum of Art focuses on Israeli and international contemporary art, alongside thematic exhibitions which deal with various aspects of Israeli and international art.

Tikotin Museum of Japanese art

The Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art, which stands on the brow of Mt. Carmel, is devoted entirely to displaying and conserving Japanese art works, and is the only one of its kind in the Middle East. It is a municipal institution, founded in 1959, with the assistance and initiative of
Felix Tikotin (1893-1986) of Holland, and the late Abba Khoushy, who was Mayor of Haifa at that time.
The Museum’s collection comprises some 7000 items including paintings, prints, drawings, screens, textiles, ancient illustrated books, ceramics, miniature carvings (netsuke), metal and lacquer works, antique swords and handicrafts, mainly from the 14th-19th centuries. It also includes modern Japanese works of art.

The Reuben & Edith Hecht Museum in Haifa University

The Hecht museum contains thousands of unique archaeological items illustrating the theme “The People of Israel in the Land of Israel”, from the private collection of Dr. Hecht.
In the Art wing you’ll find French painting from the years 1830-1930, and Jewish art from mid-19th to early 20th century, including – Corot, Manet, Monet, Pissaro, Van-Gogh, Soutine, Modigliani and more.

Chagall Artists House

The Chagall Artists House was established in 1954 as an initiative of the Painters and Sculptors Association, and serves as a venue for one-man shows and group exhibitions, publication of catalogues and periodicals, international exchange exhibitions, projects accompanied by events such as artists dialogues, lectures on various aspects of art, chamber music concerts, etc.

Mane Katz Museum

The late renowned Jewish artist bequeathed his home, paintings and other artworks to the city.

The National Museum of Science, Technology and Space

Established in 1983, the Israel National Museum of Science is situated in the historic landmark – the old Technion building. Through a vast assortment of interactive exhibits and laboratories in its Education Center, it seeks to transmit basic scientific concepts – on mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics and acoustics, robotics and genetics, aeronautics and communications – that help people understand not only how items they use daily function, but also their underlying principles.

The National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum is occupying a modern four-story building located near the entrance to Haifa from the south. This museum, founded by Arie Ben Eli in 1953, chronicles over 5,000 years of maritime history, with emphasis on the Eastern Mediterranean, cradle of shipping in the Western World.

Clandestine Immigration & Naval Museum

The museum is devoted to the Clandestine Immigration and to the history of the Israeli navy. The ship “Af-‘Al-Pi”, which ran the British blockade during the Mandatory period, is on display.

Dagon Grain Silo & Archaeological Museum

Grain storage and handling in ancient Israel and the Near East, including a display of working tools.
Description: The beautiful city of Haifa is also an entertainment and culture center and has a unique museum to offer for almost any taste or interest.

Churches in Israel

Christian Pilgrims have been visiting Israel for centuries. No wonder: the land where Jesus and the disciples lived is filled with historical sites and ancient churches that hold a tremendous importance for Christian believers. Many important churches in Israel are spread throughout the country, and are visited by thousands of believers every year. 

The following is a shortlist of some of the most significant churches in Israel:

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Holy Sepulcher Church

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, is the first among the Christian shrines. According to Christian belief, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (refereed to as Golgotha, the Hill of Calvary, by most Christians) is where Jesus was crucified and buried. The resurrection has been celebrated there for many centuries as the most sacred place in all of Christendom.

The Chapel of the Ascension

The Chapel of the Ascension in Jerusalem is believed by Christians to be where Jesus ascended into heaven. It is a holy site for Muslims as well, and serves as a church and a mosque. The first church was built there in 390 AD., the current chapel was built in 1150 AD., and the mosque was added in 1620 AD. It is located just south of the Mount of Olives.

The Church of the Nativity

The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is one of the most ancient churches in the world, and one of the most important churches in Israel. It was built over the supposed birth place of Jesus, and is considered sacred to Muslims as well.

The Church of the Annunciation

Church of the Annunciation

The Church of the Annunciation, sometimes referred to as the Basilica of the Annunciation, is located in Nazareth, where – according to Roman Catholic tradition – Mary was told by Gabriel that she will be the mother of Jesus. The Church of the Annunciation is a pilgrims’ must-see and a tourists’ long time favorite. 

Church of St. Gabriel – According to the apocryphal Gospel, the Church of St. Gabriel (St. Mary’s well) is the actual place where Gabriel made the announcement to Mary. It is also located in Nazareth. 

The Church of St. Joseph is another main Christian attraction in Nazareth. Known as the supposed location of Joseph’s carpentry shop, the Church of St. Joseph is visited by many believers every year. The lower level contains the Grotto of the Annunciation, believed by many Christians to be the remains of the original childhood home of Mary.

Masada – world heritage site a tourist destination by the Dead Sea

Masada is the most visited site of all the archaeological sites in Israel and one of its main tourist attractions. It contains ancient palaces and fortifications located on top of an isolated rock plateau in a stunning desert site overlooking the Dead Sea. And it holds a great historical value, too.

Masada (meaning ‘fortress’ in Hebrew) became known for its attributed mythic significance in the First Jewish-Roman War (also known as the Great Jewish Revolt). In the first century A.D. nearly a thousand Jewish rebels who believed in zero-tolerance toward the Roman rule took over the fortress and were surrounded by the Roman army, which left behind the most complete siege works in the world. When defeat appeared imminent, the rebels chose to commit suicide instead of giving in and spending the rest of their lives as slaves. This made Mesada a symbol of the human spirit’s yearning for freedom.

The Israel Nature and Parks Protection Authority had expertly restored the ruins of Masada, so visitors can almost re-live the last days of this heroic story’s main characters. The latest attraction is the remarkable new museum, with nine dramatically lit rooms displaying some precious finds alongside life-size statues. In the Masada museum, visitors can easily picture the lives and deaths of these Jewish fugitives, who refused to surrender.

Beyond the mythic importance of this site, you will find the Dead Sea and desert mountains views absolutely stupendous. The cliffs on the east edge of this Dead Sea site are about 1,300 feet high and the cliffs on the west are about 300 feet high. The fortress can be reached from two directions today – either from the Dead Sea in the east, via the original and steep “snake path”, or from the west on a path built from the old Roman ramp, offering an easier climb or a cable car.

Masada is a world heritage site and a very popular tourist destination. It is definitely one of your must-see sites while visiting the holy land. Visitors can stay at many of the hotels located at the Dead sea Ein Bokek area, Ein Gedi, and Kalia.