Apr 21

Israel – Northern Israel – Cities and Sites

Cities and Sites in Northern Israel

The North of Israel comprising of  the Golan Heights and the Galilee region is filled with Jewish and Christian Biblical and historical places of interest. There are an abundance of National Parks and archeological excavations as well as beautiful scenery and rich plant life.

The Sea of Galilee area and Nazareth are of particular interest to Christian Pilgrims who flock here every year to visit the sites where Jesus grew up and performed his miracles.

The whole North of Israel is full of spectacular views and during spring the flowers that bloom  cover the ground with beautiful colors.

Lake Kinneret

Choose a city or site in the North of Israel and click on the  link to read more about it.

Acre
Atlit

Banias
Caesarea

Capernaum
Golan Heights

Haifa

Megiddo

Metula

Nahariya

Nazareth
 

Rosh Hanikra
Safed

Tiberias

Zicron Yaakov

Apr 18

Tourist sites in Israel – North Israel – Acre

One of the oldest cities in the world that has been inhabited continuously back to the time of the Pharaohs,  is Acre (also spelled Akko) and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site due to the amount of impressive buildings with the walls and strongholds that show the marks of a number of occupiers over the centuries..

Acre (Akko)The city is located in Israel’s Western Galilee area on a headland on the North shore of Haifa Bay. The Old City’s beautiful, ancient sandstone walls are washed by the waves from the Mediterranean Sea that crash against them.

aquaduct in Acre (Akko) IsraelIn ancient times Acre was one of the most important cities of the region, captured by Richard the Lionheart in 1191 during the Crusades and then the Ottomans who inhabited it for many centuries.  At some stage Napoleon Bonaparte tried to conquer Acre but failed because of the strong fortifications of the walls. Eventually he retreated after approximately two months of repeated attempts.

Ottoman rule came to an end in 1918 when the British defeated the Turks and Acre became part of the British Mandate area. Britain made use of the fortress as a high security prison.  It was here that they kept captured members of the various Jewish underground groups while awaiting execution. On May 4 1947, the Irgun underground organization planned and executed a dramatic rescue attempt and although only a few of the prisoners were rescued it was still a serious blow for the British and a morale booster for the Jews.

In May 1948 Israeli troops took control of Acre and it was made part of the State of Israel after the War of Independence.

Ancient Turkish Bath in Acre (Akko) IsraelToday Acre is inhabited by Jews and Arabs living side by side and a visit to this fascinating city is part of the Israel experience. Visitors can visit the site of the Memorial Museum to the Underground Prisoners at the site of the Fort.  See the Death Cell and the Gallows with a noose still hanging over a trap door.

Wander through the alleys and underground passages to view a mosque and a Christian monastery, see the ancient Turkish Baths and the Knights Templar Halls with an amazing tunnel and fascinating archeological finds. There are many churches and interesting museums.   Afterwards enjoy a leisurely meal at one of the large variety of Restaurants at the Marina and visit the quaint fishing port.

All the sites in Acre fall under the patronage of the Visitors Center located at the Enchanted Garden where visitors can obtain all the necessary information they will need to tour around the old city. Guided tours of Acre are available for those who wish.

Mar 15

Cities In Israel – North Israel – Haifa

The beautiful Port city of Haifa in Israel is situated on the Mediterranean Sea and built on the slopes of Mount Carmel. It is the third largest city in Israel and its many sided distinctive characteristics make it an interesting and attractive point of call for visitors to spend time in.

Haifa, Israel

photo: www.goisrael.com

It has often been compared to other cities with similar locations such as Naples and San Francisco with its terraced landscape offering a wide variety of magnificent panoramic views. Across the bay in the northeast is the walled medieval city of Acre. In good weather on a clear day, with visibility allowing, the imposing white cliff of Rosh Hanikra on the Lebanese border can be seen in the North and the snow capped peak of Mount Hermon in the Northeast.

Haifa has a long and eventful history that goes back to biblical times and in the 3rd century CE it was mentioned in Talmudic literature as being the home of Jewish scholars including Rabbi Avdimos and after that it was captured and ruled by Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Ottomans, Egyptians, and the British until 1948 when it became part of the State of Israel.
The residents of Haifa, a city which is an outstanding example of tolerance, belong to all three of the main world religions as well as a variety of minority beliefs, all living in harmony and co-existence.

Haifa is the world center for the Baha’i faith and the Magnificent Baha’i Shrine with its golden dome and its spectacular Gardens are a city landmark. The Shrine itself is the burial place of the Bab who was the founder of the faith.

Bahai Temple in Haifa

photo: www.goisrael.com

There are many other impressive landmarks in the city with its many churches, the most famous being the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery at the top of the Carmel with the cave believed to contain the grave of the prophet Elijah according to Christian tradition. The site of Elijah’s cave is revered by Jews, Christians and Moslems alike.

There are also unspoiled magnificent beaches known only to the locals and as yet undiscovered by tourists but plans are being made to develop the area around these beaches into a tourist paradise. There are many places of interest for visitors to see and things to do in the Haifa area and there is a range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets.