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The Gilboa Nature Reserve
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The Gilboa Nature Reserve

Galilee travel guide

Located above Emek Harod and Beit Shean valleys, Gilboa Nature Reserve is situated on the slopes of a mountain. Visitors come to the Gilboa to admire the Gilboa Iris and its abundant blossoms in the spring, to walk along its beautiful hiking trails, and to admire its picturesque views.

Gilboa’s Olive Hotel is located on top of the Gilboa and offers views of the three valleys: Valley of the Springs, Harod Valley, and Jezreel Valley.

Tel Kolila means total beauty in Arabic, the Arabic name of Mount Shaul. In fact, the mountain that stands out from the steep escarpment of the Gilboa provides a spectacular view of the surroundings. The top of the mountain has a short footpath that provides additional views of the surrounding area.

About 160 meters above the valley is Givat Jonathan, named after Jonathan ben Shaul. The name Horvat Karmat comes from the Arabic name Tel al-Karam. There is a wave of stones on top of the hill in memory of the seven sons of the valley who died during the War of Independence. From prehistoric times until the Byzantine period, human settlements can be found in the area. As mentioned in the Gideon chapter, Ein Harod was north of Givat HaMorah in the valley, and the Midian camp was to the north of it (Judges 7:1, 5). Ein Jelud, at the foot of Givat Yehonan, is the Arabic name for Ma’ayan Harod, and it may preserve the sound of the original name Gilad.

The remains of the small Arab village of Khirbat Umm Sarkhan, as well as Roman and Byzantine buildings, quarries, and cisterns, can be found in Horvat Ner. At the end of Horvat Ner’s extension, the view is spectacular – Emek Harod, the eastern Galilee mountains, Beit Shean, the Jordan Valley, and the Wall of Gilead.

Gilboa’s highest peak is Mount Barkan. In the vicinity of the mountain, Gilboa Irises are in bloom. The trail descends from Mount Barkan to Emek Haneem and Tel Yosef. There are still communication channels from the War of Independence in the mountain area.

In the Vanishing Valley, there is a tiny spring called Ein Hamel. Near the spring, a trough was built during the British mandate. During the British Mandate, Sergeant Moshe Rosenfeld was the commanding officer of the Shata Police Station (now a prison). Rosenfeld followed fruit thieves who belonged to the gang of Ezz a-Din Kasem and they murdered him near the spring.

From the intersection of Nof Gilboa Road (Route 667) and Beit Alfa Road (Route 6666), Nahal Yitzpoor descends steeply for a short distance. A beautiful flower blooms in the stream in the spring. We regret to inform you that the extension that was used for parking near the road has been closed.

Places of Interest in Nazareth

Places of Interest in Nazareth

1. BASILICA OF THE ANNUNCIATION, CHURCH OF ST. JOSEPH CARPENTRY COMPLEX Imposing modern two storey Basilica, erected over earlier Byzantine & Crusader church, marks the traditional Roman Catholic site of the Annunciation. The interior enshrines the sunken Grotto of the Annunciation - actual remains of the 1st century maiden home of Mary. 2. CHURCH OF STJOSEPH'S CARPENTRY Situated in the same complex as the Basilica of the Annunciation. Traditionally the original workshop of Joseph and Home of the Holy Family, it contains ruins of 1st century Nazareth. 3. SISTERS OF NAZARETH CONVENT Close to Annunciation complex, housing Youth Hostel and religious hospice, with 1st century excavations including Herodian Tomb (by appointment only). 4. ANCIENT SYNAGOGUE & GREEK CATHOLIC CHURCH Within the marketplace is a humble structure of thick, curved stone walls (known as the Synagogue Church) that is the site of the ancient synagogue where Jesus preached as a young man. It stands adjacent to the Greek Catholic church. 5. THE WHITE MOSQUE - EL ABYAD The El Abyad mosque , situated at the edge of the Old Market, was the first to be built in Nazareth in 1812. 6. ANGLICAN CHURCH (Jesus' Church) Designed in the shape of the cross this was the second Anglican church to be built in the Holy-land. Completed 1871. 7. SOURCE OF MARY'S WELL st. GABRIEL GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE ANNUNCIATION The crypt of this ornate 18th century church houses a 1st century spring of water believed to be the source of Mary's Well. The spring is connected to the site of the Well by an underground aqueduct. 8. MARY'S WELL Opposite the St. Gabriel Greek Orthodox Church a modern stone structure in a small garden setting marks the site of Mary's Well. 9. St. MARGARET (Hospice) Anglican orphanage for girls, built in 1874 by Prussian architect. 10. MASCOBIA Russian hospice for pilgrims, built in 1904 by the Russian Duke Sergio, near St. Gabriel Church - influenced by Russian Architecture. 11. GREEK ORTHODOX BISHOPRIC The house of the Bishop, built in 1860 and includes small church completed in 1863. 12. SARAYA The governor house -erected in 1 730 as summer house of the Galilee Governor Daher El-Omar - some addition had been done in 1857. (There is a plan to restore it to be as a Museum). 13. MARONITE CHURCH Also known as the Church of St. Anthony, and situated next to Mensa Christi, was completed in 1774. 14. MENSA CHRISTI (Jesus' Table) Known as Kniset El-Balta (Jesus's table). Here is said that christ dined with his disciples. This church houses a large chalk-stone rock scored with graffiti by countless pilgrims throughout the ages. It was erected in 1860 and belong to the Franciscans. 15. SALESIAN CHURCH OF JESUS AS AN ADOLESCENT Magnificent panoramic view from its site on the peak of the hill. Fine example of modern Gothic architecture. 16. MAQAM NABI SA'IN Shrine erected in the highest point of Nazareth, sacred to both Moslems and Christian were they use to vow. 17. THE OLD MARKET A bustling, colorful Middle Eastern bazaar near the Annunciation complex. 18. KAHN EL-BASHA The Pasha caravanserai, the most important in the city for many centuries, renovated in 1812 by Abdullah Pasha and is part of the White Mosque trust. 19. MAQAM SHIHAB EL-DIN Domed tomb shrine of a Moslem leader - the nephew of Saladin, after the Crusaders. 20. MAQAM EL-SHIEKH AMER Domed Shrine of the brother of Shihab El-Din, rennovatedin 1911. 21. CARMELITE CONVENT 22. FRERES DE BETHARRAM MONASTERY Once known as the White Monks. 23. FRENCH HOSPITAL Interesting architecture. 24. DON GUANELLA 25. EL SALAM MOSQUE A modern, impressive mosque built in the 1960's. 26. COPTIC CHURCH Erected by the small Coptic community of Nazareth in 1952. 27. BAPTIST CHURCH 28. HOLY FAMILY HOSPITAL On the outskirts of the city, interesting architecture with imposing statue of the Virgin Mary nearby. 29. ST, JOSEPH'S SEMINARY 30. SISTERS OF THE ANNUNCIATION (BISHARA NUNS) Noted for the painting of religious icons. 31. NAZARETH HOSPITAL (E.M.M.S) 32. KASER EL-MUTRAN Greek Orthodox Church, built in the place where according to their tradition is the place of the lady's Fright. It was erected in 1862 with the money of a rich Russian woman. 33. THE MOUNT OF THE LEAP OF THE LORD (Mount of Precipice) 2 km. outside the city, where according to legend the people of Nazareth attempted to throw Jesus into the abyss. Site of the Cave of the Leap - one of the most important archeological discoveries in the world, dating back 50,000 years - to the Late and Middle Stone Age periods. 13 human skeletons and over 15,000 artifacts from these Stone Age periods were unearthed. The Nazareth Municipality is now undertaking a massive project to develop this Mount into a major tourist site. 34. ST. CLAIRE'S CONVENT 35. SALESIAN SISTERS 36. HAMMAM (Turkish Bath) Erected behind Mary's Well in 1887 by Tanous Qa'war, the first Mayor of Nazareth. 38. LITTLE SISTERS OF JESUS

Zippori National Park

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. 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.

Bashert Restaurant Safed

Bashert Restaurant Safed

The food at Bashert Restaurant is some of the most innovative and magical that I have ever tasted. The chef's menu combines advanced cooking methods with a twist of fine cuts of meat from the smokehouse, and the result is a variety of dishes that are simply incredible. The chicken soup with dumpling is Jewish gnocchi with shredded meat, blinches with smoked liver, and the title gem, juicy slow-smoked asado from the smokehouse and Bashert's 8-hour smoked brisket, are all must-tries. The restaurant is strictly kosher, and kosher by the Orthodox Jewish community. If you're ever in Safed, don't miss out on this dining experience of a lifetime. Address Jerusalem 35 Safed, Israel 073-231-1331

The Galilee
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