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A Brief History of the Golan travel guide

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A Brief History of the Golan

Golan Heights travel guide

The Golan’s first human inhabitants arrived on the plateau some half a million years ago, probably having migrated from Africa along the Syrian-African rift. These early people of the Golan hunted the animals that lived in the vast swamplands and lakes along the rift. In the Late Stone Age, as man began perfecting his ability to fashion tools. groups of people settled In the areas of the Golan that were rich in flint- the raw material fer tools.

The dawn of history on the Golan dates back about 8,000 years, to the Chalcolithic period. For 3,000 years of that epoch, a distinct culture of graziers and farmersInscribed its mark on the plateau and its cliff edges. The remains of grain storage facilities, seeds, olive pits, and lentils in its settlements attest to man’s first major revolution-the development of agriculture. With it Came manent

communities. houses, villages, towns, and urban organization. But the farmers and graziers of the Golan were overcome, about 5,000 years ago, by a wave of nomads that overran the Golan. Their legacy is comprised of hundreds of table like graves dotting the open spaces of the Golan, several massively fortified corrpounds erected on the most invulnerable points of the Golan’s steep mountain ridges, and a few enigmas like the Rujum-el-Hiri and compound, a complex of huge circular concentric stone fences with openings at certain points and stone markers at others. The Rujum-el-Hiri and other “Phantom circles” like it have been identified as everything from astronomical observation platforms to religious edifices and alien contact Points. Whatever they were, those who constructed them, the denizens of the Golan in the Bronze Age. vanished about 3,200 yeas ago.

Once the new realms of the area were founded, the Israelite kingdom to the west and the various Aramaean kingdoms to the east, the Golan served as a buffer zone between these warring rivals.

Sparsely populated, the plateau was the site of repeated battles between the Israelites and their adversaries. It was during this period that one of the cities of refuge in the territory of the people of Israel was established on the Golan-and called Golan.

When the eastern Mediterranean and adjacent inland areas were unified as part of the empire of Alexander the Great, the

Golan was finally settled in earnest. From the fourth century BCE, numerous villages with small fortified structures next to them were erected all over the Golan. By the time Alexander’s heirs were celebrating their inheritance, large towns were coming into being, and the subsequent Jewish commonwealth of the maccabees had reason to consider the Golan a worthy political objective, The large Jewish population of the area, together with the Jewish population of the cities east of the Jordan, made the Golan a prime target of

annexation to the Jewish state. Meanwhile, in the environs of Mount Hermon and the northern Golan, a nomadic tribe of Arabs known as the Itureans was developing a unique mountain culture.

When the Romans conquered the area, putting an end to the feuding remnants of Alexander’s empire and the Jewish commonwealth, settlement and construction
on the Golan boomed. Cities like Banias (Caesarea Philippi), Gamla, Hippos, Gadara, Seleucia, and Sogane became centers of GrecoRoman culture. By the time of Jesus, the Jews of the Golan were a significant fome in the area of his ministry in the Galilee. Jesus fled Herod Antipas, ruler of the Galilee, to the Golan.

Here in the Jewish
villages around Caesarea Pfiilippi and the southern Golan he spent his last days before making his fateful final journey to Jerusalem.

The widespread messianic fervor of the first century, animosity between Jews and Gentiles, and the hardships of Roman taxation together with economic shifts finally ignited into the Great Revolt of the Jews against the Romans. Gamla, Seleucia, and Sogane fortified themselves against the Romans. At Gamla the defenders put up a heroic fight against the besieging Roman legions, but when the lack of a cohesive Jewish force brought about their inevitable defeat, the city’s inhabitants climbed to the rock spur at the summit of their town and flung them selves down, en masse, into the ravine below. Gamla was a hotbed of the Jewish resistance movement: its defenders had resolved that they could not live with enslavement to the Romans.

When the Roman Empire became Byzantine, and the state religion Christianity, the Golan, together with the rest of the eastern Mediterranean, flourished. New towns and villages, churches and synagogues, were built, decorated, and then redecorated as the times and the styles changed. It was a time of prosperity for all.

In 636 the Arab armies of the new religion of Islam defeated the Byzantine frontier troops. After the conquest, the boundaries between nomad and settler dissolved as the desert once again overran the sown land. In 636, the Arabs vanquished the Byzantine army at the critical battle of Yarmuk at

Yakuza in the southern Golan, and the entire region-all the way to northern Syria-fell into Muslim hands. Gradually, in the absence of the unifying hand of the Byzantine empire, the local economy disintegrated. The center of the Muslim world gravitated over time to Egypt, Damascus, and then Baghdad, abandoning the areas in between to neglect. The Golan once again became the pasture lands of nomads and the arena of marauding Bedouin tribes.

When the Crusaders conquered the Land of Israel, the Golan became the border territory between them and the Muslim emirate of Damascus, The area soon deteriorated into a no-man’s-land, Crusader and Muslim raiding expeditions attacking its Bedouins and farmers at random. Both Muslims and Crusaders erected fortified positions, castles, and towns along the Golan, which Passed with every change of fortune from one side to the other, Banias, located on a
strategic leg of the road from Tyre to Damascus, was considered the key to the Holy Land by the Crusaders. Above it, the immense Nimrod’s Fortress became theheadquarters of the secretive sect of the Hashishiya, members of which were for hire to carry out the political murders of Crusader and Muslim leaders. The feared sect’s legacy to the West is the word “assassin.”

Once the Crusaders were vanquished, the Golan again became a backwater; this time of the Mameluke empire. New construction was confined to a few khans (caravansaries) built along the dusty roads connecting Damascus to Egypt or leading to the port of Acre.

With the fall of the Mameluke empire to the Ottomans in 1516, the Golan was rendered even more remote from the centers of
power. During this time, its sparse population was mainly Bedouin. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Druze from Lebanon and Syria and Alawites from Lebanon began to penetrate the plateau, and permanent settlements reemerged in the nineteenth century when security conditions in the area began to improve, Towards the end of the nineteenth century, Circassians, refugees from Bosnia and the surrounding lands who were evicted by the Christian forces, were settled in the Golan by the Ottoman authorities. Arabs from North Africa also attempted to settle in the area together with Jews from the Galilee, who built a few Jewish agricultural villages.

With the fall of the Ottoman empire after the First World War and the Sykes-Picot Treaty, the Golan was divided between the British and the French, the formerapportioned a mandate over the Land of Israel (then-British Palestine, which included Jordan) and the latter allocated Syria and Lebanon as their piece of the Middle East pie. The borders between the British and French mandates on the Golan that were drawn up in the twenties left a number of areas vaguely undecided. For the Bedouin tribes whose daily lives straddled the new border and whose goats grazed indifferently on both sides, the exact border was a moot point.

The creation of Syria in 1946 signaled the end of the French mandate, and when the British finally left Palestine in 1948, the Syrians invaded the entire Golan. After an unsuccessful attempt in conjunction with six other Arab states to destroy Israel at the moment of its inception, the Syrians transformed the Golan into a fortified border area-a military zone from which to launch a second round of offensives against Israel complete with heavy fortifications, bunkers, and military camps, Towns and villages for the families of military personnel were also erected. Periodically, the Syrians, sitting in their fortified positions above the Israeli
settlements in the Hula and Jordan valleys, shelled the Israeli villages below.

In 1965 the Syrians attempted to divert the sources of the Jordan River through the Golan so that they would not flow into Israeli territory. Artillery skirmishes and military attacks broke out time and again between the Israelis and the Syrians. In 1967, Syria, Egypt and Jordan launched another attack on Israel. After a six day battle, the Arab armies were beaten back by the Israelis, who also conquered the staging areas of their attackers. Among them was the Golan.

The Syrian villagers of the Golan fled with their retreating army and only the villagers of the four Druze villages on Mount Hermon remained in their homes. After resolving never to negotiate with Israel and declaring the resolution to an international audience, the Arabs try to annihilate Israel Israel once again in 1973, but are routed This time, the Israelis, advanced eastwards to take areas of Syria east of the Golan.

Following their losses, and in view of the fact that Israeli forces were now within artillery range from Damascus, the Syrians were compelled to negotiate a disengagement agreement with Israel via American mediation. following the agreement, the Israeli army retreated from the areas conquered In 1973 and additional areas of the Golan. Military forces on both sides were regulated, leaving a minimal number of troops and tanks, and a UN observer force set in place Since then, for the last quarter century, the Golan has been at peace.

Sea of Galilee - a picturesque lake, Israel's largest fresh water lake

Sea of Galilee - a picturesque lake, Israel's largest fresh water lake

Located east of Lower Galilee and west of the Golan Heights, the Sea of Galilee is a picturesque lake. Israel's largest fresh water lake, the Sea of Galilee is the largest source of water for drinking and irrigation in Israel (about 25% of its water consumption is derived from it). There are dozens of regulated bathing beaches along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, which is fed by the Jordan River and other streams.  Despite the relevant law, few beaches are open to the public free of charge, and some offer challenging activities like boating, jet skiing, and water skiing.  As part of the Christian faith, Jesus performed various miracles at the Sea of Galilee, such as walking on water and multiplying five loaves of bread and two fish for thousands of believers.  In addition, the Sea of Galilee is a popular tourist destination for Christian pilgrims because the Jordan River exits the Sea of Galilee there where Jesus was baptized. Itineraries Jesus Trail Expanded encyclopedic entry on Wikipedia A 65-kilometer road in the Lower Galilee and in the Land of Kinneret. The path starts in Nazareth and ends in Capernaum and passes through the holy sites of Christianity. editing Kinneret Circular Trail - a trail initiated by the Society for the Protection of Nature, which allows an orderly and free walk around Lake Kinneret. The trail is marked with white-purple-white trail markings. As of 2010, approximately 30 kilometers of trails have been prepared around the lake, the total circumference of which reaches approximately 60 kilometers. Annual events and festivals Below are the most prominent annual events in the Kinneret region: Kinneret swimming event - Every year, in the autumn season, a popular swimming event called Sea of Galilee takes place in Kinneret. The name Sachiha is a little misleading, since it is a 1.5, 6, and 3.5 km long swim (up to 4.2 km, depending on the level) and not the crossing of the lake in its entirety. The Sea of Galilee is the largest popular swimming event in Israel. Kinneret Marathon - Once a year in January the Kinneret Marathon takes place. Its route from Tiberias to near Kibbutz Ein Gav and back. Once a year there is also a circumnavigation of the Sea of Galilee by bicycle.

Discover the Unique Beauty of El Al Stream: A Comprehensive Guide to Hiking in Golan's Scenic Terrain

Discover the Unique Beauty of El Al Stream: A Comprehensive Guide to Hiking in Golan's Scenic Terrain

Unraveling the Etymology of El Al Creek. The captivating El Al stream in the southern Golan winds through the narrow Wadi Dufila canyon, colloquially known as the "Haunted Bush Creek." This picturesque stream spans 20 kilometers, the trek through its alluring central section offering a sight to behold. Adorned with two grand waterfalls, each with their own unique charm and inviting water pools at their bases, Nahal El Al holds the title as the southernmost perennial stream in the Golan region. The "Black Waterfall," a beautiful basalt spectacle, cascades from an impressive height of about 8 meters. In stark contrast, the "White Waterfall" is a limestone structure that flows from an approximate elevation of 20 meters. This year-round stream and its idyllic natural pools are sightseers' delights. The pathway through this wondrous terrain can commence at Moshav Eliad and conclude at the parking lot adjacent to the waterfalls, near Moshav Avni Itan. Alternatively, the journey can be experienced in reverse order. Strollers can enjoy a route parallel to the stream, teeming with life throughout the year. Exploring the Route Embarking on this journey, you'll descend into the stream as directed by signs, following the red-marked path through an olive vineyard, between hedgerows, and into the gorge that descends from the El Al village ruins. After crossing the gorge, you'll encounter a picturesque viewpoint. It's here where the stream forms a "knee," altering its flow direction from southwest to northwest. Continuing along the red path near the olive grove, you'll descend a white chalk rock slope towards the white waterfall after about 500 meters. Once you near the waterfall, a staircase fashioned from railway sleepers diverts you to the pool at the base of the waterfall. Progressing further to the Black Waterfall, you'll resume your journey along the red-marked path, situated at the top of the white waterfall, and cross the stream. The path meanders alongside the stream, within a thicket of haunted bushes, and ascends slightly after about 500 meters. The path stays a few meters above the gorge, where the white rock gradually transitions to black basalt rocks. As you continue your trek, ensure you follow the "transparent" marking (two white stripes with no color in the middle) towards the black waterfall. This waterfall cascades onto basalt rocks, forming a small pool surrounded by dolav trees that cast a cooling shade. Finally, return to the red trail, cross the stream's shallow bed, and ascend a steep climb back to the parking lot in Moshav Avni Eitan. Geological Wonder The coexistence of a white waterfall and a black waterfall is a truly unique and fascinating spectacle. The Golan's basalt kilhos blanket thick layers of white marine sedimentary rocks. The water first creates a waterfall as it travels beneath the black basalt rock, then continues to cut deeper until it reaches the sedimentary rocks beneath the basalt, forming a second waterfall. Note: Swimming in the creek pools is undertaken at the swimmers' own risk. Given the route's length, it's recommended to arrange transport at the endpoint. You can return to the starting point via a 3.5 km boardwalk connecting Eliad and Avni Eitan. Travel and Safety Guidelines: In the Golan, adherence to the marked path is critical; crossing fences or straying off the path can lead to dangerous minefields. Never venture into areas designated for army shooting training! Always pass through cattle fences at designated points, opening and closing gates as needed. Avoid climbing or cutting fences, and exercise caution when crossing or walking on roads. Overnight stays are only permitted at designated sites, and fires should never be left unattended or lit under trees. Toilet paper should not be burned, and all trash should be taken with you to preserve the natural beauty of the area.

The Panda Resort & Spa is situated in Moshav Neve Ativ, at the foot of Mount Hermon

The Panda Resort & Spa is situated in Moshav Neve Ativ, at the foot of Mount Hermon

The Panda Resort & Spa is situated at the foot of Mount Hermon - Moshav Neve Ativ. Neve Ativ is a seat at the northernmost end of Israel and belongs to the Golan Regional Council. Neve Ativ was established in 1968 by the fighters of the Nut Patrol. About 150 residents live in the settlement and the nature of the community is secular. Over the years, it became a worker's seat of the Agricultural Union movement. The area is surrounded by green mountains and blooming fields, and the winding roads to the settlement infuse its residents with a pastoral and picturesque atmosphere. In Neve Ativ we celebrate the holidays together, memorial day gatherings, nature walks, lectures and shows for children. In Moshav you can find community services such as a pool and a synagogue. Imagining your vacation in a beautiful wooden cabin at the foot of Mount Hermon would be wonderful. With a refreshing cup of coffee or herbal infusion picked fresh from the garden, you wake up each morning to the sound of birds chirping in the trees, the wonderful silence, the mountain air and a view of breathtaking nature. Here in the heart of a quiet and pastoral nature reserve, it's a vacation unlike any other: the Neve Ativ Resort and Spa Hotel from the Panda Hotel chain. There are 40 dunams of forest and wild nature at the resort, a perfect mix of luxury and peace for guests who want a quiet and peaceful vacation in a perfect location in the country's north. After the re-establishment of the hotel, the hotel team, headed by the hotel's CEO, works to provide you with the hospitality experience and service down to the smallest details. In addition to outdoor parking, there is 24-hour reception service, daily room service, and an outdoor swimming pool complex which is exclusively available to hotel guests. Neve Ativ Resort and Spa Hotel from the Panda Hotel chain offers couples and families a variety of seasonal packages. Winter guests can enjoy a wonderful ski vacation, while summer visitors can enjoy wild spaces with nature corners, green carpets of grass, and mountain views that will make them feel like they are in Switzerland.

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