Sukkot trip in the center of the Golan

 Between Katzrin and Aniam – Between past and present

During Sukkot we chose to travel with the kids to the Talmudic Park in Katzrin. We thought the holiday is a good time to tour the site that incorporates the heritage of the Jewish people. Ancient Katzrin exited in the talmudic period, in the 2nd and 7th centuries AD and was called Caesarion. The park itself is a reconstruction of the city from the Talmudic period and contains the remains of a synagogue, residential buildings, oil factory and streets.

The olive press - Ancient Katzrin

The olive press – Ancient Katzrin

Ancient Katzrin

Ancient Katzrin

The synagogue is from the sixth century AD and it contained two floors at the time. The entrance gate is wide and facing north, and the stage next to which the Holy Ark was placed, is facing Jerusalem. The hall itself was divided into two rows of columns, every column having a Greek writing at the top. Along the walls of there were two rows of stone benches. The synagogue had the remains of carvings and reliefs such as the Menorah with five nests, vine and others.

The ancient synagogue in Katsrin

The ancient synagogue in Katsrin

The ancient synagogue in Katsrin

The ancient synagogue in Katsrin

The children can be given a mission – if the trip is one with kids – to discover the engravings and reliefs in that synagogue.

Menora - The ancient synagogue in Katsrin

Menora – The ancient synagogue in Katsrin

Talmudic village has other interesting structures such as “House of Rabbi Avon” where you can peek at the everyday life of members of ancient village. At the house, you can see the kitchen,  the pantry, the living room, the bedroom and the courtyard that were equipped with things used during the Mishna and the Talmud. Additionally visitors can see the olive press where olive oil produced in the past. Also inside the park there is a building called “the Talmudic Experience”, where there are screenings of two films, each presenting problems from the Talmud – the films are less appropriate for younger children.

The "Talmudic Experience" in old Katsrin

The “Talmudic Experience” in old Katsrin

We drove a few minutes from the Talmudic village to the complex “Golan Magic”(Kesem HaGolan in Hebrew). The complex incorporates two stations: the first is a film on a 180 degree screen that tells about the landscapes of the Golan Heights and integrates effects that activate different senses. The second is a model that uses a light and sound show to tell about the history of the region, resettlement and its battle legacy. In the compound itself there is a meat restaurant called “Brewhouse” which is located inside the brewery “Bazelet”.  The excellent beers are manufactured there and you can get an explanation of how they are prepared. We were not hungry yet when we visited the spot and we preferred to delay your lunch to one of the following stops.

Kesem HaGolan in Katsrin

Kesem HaGolan in Katsrin

From Katzrin we drove several miles to the east, and we came to an intersection. From here, we turned left and after a few hundred meters, near a sign pointing in the direction of Eden Springs. The waters of  Eden springs (or Salukia Springs) are the waters the company “Mei Eden” draws and fills their bottles with. However, the company opened the springs as a tourist site and the place is a refreshing stop during a day trip to the Golan Heights. The site offers lawns, fountains and a short circular track.

Eden Springs

Eden Springs

Eden Springs

Eden Springs

Eden Springs

Eden Springs

Eden Springs

Eden Springs

You can bring a blanket, a ball, some games and relax and this beautiful corner. From there we went back to the main road, turned right toward Tzomet HaMapalim and at this intersection, we turned right and drove about ten minutes to the town Aniam. The entrance to the village extends to a pedestrian mall called Artist Village, and contains a series of buildings used as workshops of various artists where they sell their produce.

Aniam artists village

Aniam artists village

Aniam artists village

Aniam artists village

Aniam artists village

Aniam artists village

There are shops for ceramics, jewelry, photos and more. There are two restaurants in the town one of dairy and one of meat. We visited as mentioned during Sukkot and relatively to other times we were visiting the place was crowded with people and the atmosphere was very pleasant. We bought a new ceramic bowl that we use for serving of various salads and stews. It was already late afternoon and we were very hungry. We chose to eat at a restaurant called “Yaeli”, a dairy restaurant. We waited a long time for the order and Noa lost her patience a little. However the portions were very large and tasty.

Aniam artists village

Aniam artists village

 

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