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Katzrin

Ancient Qatzrin Park – קצרין העתיקה

The ruins of the ancient Jewish Talmudic Village of Katzrin (Katsrin or Qatzrin)  are located in the central Golan, some 13 km. northeast of the Sea of Galilee. The village was built on a gentle slope surrounded by fertile fields. A number of perennial springs in the wadi (dry riverbed) north of the village provided some water, but the main source was the spring located in the village, from which water was channeled to a small collecting pool cut into the basalt bedrock. Over the hundreds of years of the village’s existence the level of its streets rose, and retaining walls had to be constructed around the spring, to allow continued drawing of water.

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The location of Katzrin, mentioned in ancient Jewish sources, was identified at the end of the 19th century. The synagogue was discovered in 1967 during a survey, in which an ancient gravestone bearing the Hebrew inscription Rabbi Abun, may he rest in honor was also found. The reconstructed village is across the street from the modern city of Katzrin, which has an archaeological museum to complement your experience, and can also be a good place for a break before or after your visit. During the summer and holidays guides, dressed as ancient, local residents will explain the daily life in the ancient Talmudic village. The Talmudic village park also offers an audio-visual show about Rabbi Elisha ben Abuya (Acher). I don’t know why they chose to present this story, since it is not the most important subject in Jewish religious tradition and did not occur in Katzrin or in the Golan. Althought the movie is confusing, don’t miss the Dura Europos style room in which the movie is screened.

A synagogue was first built in the 4th-5th centuries – a modest, square building with six columns. In the 6th century, a large and elegant synagogue was built on its ruins; during the years of its use, it was renovated several times, and additions were built. Constructed entirely of basalt.
In the 6th century, the synagogue was paved with colored mosaics, of which only small portions have been preserved.
The Katzrin synagogue was in use even after the Muslim conquest; it was apparently destroyed during The Seventh Earthquake  (Ra’ash Shvi’it) in 749, which also destroyed most of the village. A small mosque was built in the northern part of the synagogue in the Mamluk period, but it was in use for only a short time. The village was then abandoned and covered by debris until its discovery.
There is an admission fee.

The Golan Heights Tourist Visitors Center


Golan Magic is the ideal place for a family outing or a group get-together. It is the perfect spot for beginning your hikes, deepening your knowledge of the Golan and getting the information you need about everything new and exciting in the area.
Here, in Golan Magic, you will catch a glimpse into a magical world you’ve never seen before; Golan Magic is smack in the centre of the Golan Heights in the Chutzot Hagolan Commercial Center, about 2 km east of Katzrin, next to the Golan Brewery and the Mey Eden Visitor Center (presently closed for renovations).
This vast and beautiful complex, a pioneer of its kind in Israel, combines new and exciting attractions: an exceptional movie which depicts the Golan Heights in a spectacular multi-sensual display spread on Israel’s only 180 degrees screen; an exact model of the Golan Heights, the largest in the country, accompanied by an audiovisual show, telling its story. Together with the incredible attractions you are welcome to step into Taste of the Galilee and the Golan, the coffee shop which is a combination of a kosher dairy restaurant and a shop selling local produce and cosmetics. Here you can benefit from the blend between the fruits of this fertile region and man’s creativeness. You can purchase these quality products right here.
There is an admission fee.

Golan Archaeological Museum

The museum is situated in the city of Katzrin. It displays various Hebrew inscriptions from ancient synagogues in the area. Look for the display on Rujm el Hiri, especially if you don’t have the time to climb the tumulus in the field. You can learn something about the Bronze Era in the Golan and perhaps something about  giants. There are interesting archaeological finds from many pagan, Roman and Byzantine non-Jewish sites. There is a special hall devoted to the heroic history of Gamla. displays many archeological artifacts that were discovered in the Golan Heights, as well as a fascinating audiovisual presentation on the story of Gamla, the city renowned for its heroic resistance during the Jewish Revolt against the Romans.
There is an admission fee.


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