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The Ancient Synagogue: The scholar Edward Robinson discovered the ruins of this magnificent synagogue in 1852, and since then the site has undergone several excavations. Below that are a series of switchbacks that eventually lead to the Bedouin village of Hamaam. [4], In 38 BCE, we are told by Josephus, partisans of Antigonus fighting against Herod who was conquering the land with Roman support, were either killed in their cave hideouts or committed suicide.[3][5][6]. The newer synagogue was very different from the previous one, but the builders used many items from the old synagogue when they erected the newer one. Arbel sits across from Mount Nitai; their cliffs were created as a result of the Jordan Rift Valley and the geological faults that produced the valleys. The reserve contains several rare varieties of flowering plants, such as the Eastern hyacinth (in bloom during December) and the Sharon tulip (in bloom at the end of February and in March), as well as unique varieties of cliff plants – among them centaureas, rosularias, and dianthuses. The Arbel cliff: The path with red markings now proceeds up the enormous and steep Arbel cliff, rising to 180 meters above sea level, and 390 meters above the level of the Sea of Galilee, which is the product of the same events that created the Great Rift Valley, and other geological rifts in the Lower Galilee. These were extended in the 17th century by the Druze, but the original caves are documented to date back to the Second temple period. Mount Nittai is included in the Arbel reserve, but it is off-limits to visitors. [3] Josephus mentions in his Antiquities that the Greek general captured the many people who had taken refuge in the caves at Arbela. This is the cave fortress (Qalaat Ibn Maan) from the 17th century, presumably built by Ali Beg, the son of the Druze emir Fakhr-al-Din of the Maan family. The early historian Josephus described these events in his writings, where he mentioned the rebels who were staying in caves near the Arbel village: ”… these caves were in the precipices of craggy mountains”, describes Josephus, “and could not be come at from any side, since they had only some winding pathways, very narrow, by which they got up to them” (The Wars of the Jews, book 1, chapter 16). The cave fortress. It is recommended to walk UP this trail. The cave system was finally refortified into a cave castle by Ali Beg, the son of 17th-century Druze ruler, emir Fakhr ad-Din al-Maani. ... North of the Arbel stands Mount Nittai, with an impressive cliff of its own, rising to 98 meters above sea. This video is unavailable. The main changes made were th addition of a rounded niche in the southern wall that was intended for the Torah Ark and a Torah- reading platform, a restored stone floor and an additional entrance in the northern wall, which possibly was part of an additional facade for the building. The path descends towards the foot of the mountain, and bends west. The bird-watchers lookouts are: The Kinneret lookout: overlooks the southern Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee. On the south side of the cliff, there is a gradual prolonged climb through agricultural and pasture land and from the peak there is a steep 400 meters drop. But there’s a lot more to explore at Mount Arbel. You also do not want to miss the synagogue ruins as well as the cave fortress. Do you have questions regarding this content? The remains currently at the site are of the newer synagogue. Turn right at Moshav Arbel and just before entering the moshav, take a left and follow the road until you get to the park entrance. 3. It gradually rises eastward, ending in a massive limestone and dolomite cliff, overlooking the plain of Ginosar and the Sea of Galilee. Directions. There are four villages on the mountain: Kfar Zeitim, Arbel, Kfar Hittim, and Mitzpa. At the top of the cliff you can take a breath, take another look at the magnificent view, and complete the hike. For changing the range of view, push the arrows together. You are now inside the Arbel National Park after you entered it through the back door. Arbel cliff alows you stunning views towards mount Nitai, Wadi Hamam, Migdal and Lake of Galilee. The Zealots fought to the death, not one having surrendered. 20, paragraph 6", "List of National Parks and Nature Reserves", Detailed description how to climb mount Arbel, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mount_Arbel&oldid=953177744, Protected areas of Northern District (Israel), Former populated places in Southwest Asia, Wikidata value to be checked for Infobox mountain, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 26 April 2020, at 02:29. Herod only managed to defeat the rebels by placing his best soldiers in boxes that were then suspended and lowered towards the caves. Watch Queue Queue 9:2). If you’re looking for a budget-friendly guided hike of Mount Arbel, read this. Watch Queue Queue. Arbel, a moshav and also a mountain in Northern Israel, offers stunning views over the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) from this sheer cliff face. Apparently the synagogue perished in a fire, possibly due to the big earthquake of 749 that damaged many communities adjacent to the Great Rift Valley. The main trail which includes the caves and fortress ruins requires going down and climbing and takes about three hours. 0:05. Recently the Israel Nature and Parks Authority recreated the main entrance to the building from its original parts that were strewn about the site, and it now adorns the site in its entirety. In its early period it had a hall with three rows of columns, together creating an incomplete (three-sided) quadrilateral. … Mount Arbel (Hebrew: Har Arbel) is a mountain in The Lower Galilee near Tiberias in Israel, with high cliffs, views of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, trails to … Arbel, with its 110-metre vertical drop, is the only known mountain in Israel to serve as a base jumping site. Mount Arbel (photo credit: Shmuel Bar-Am) Yet although he fought and defeated most of the opposition, Herod could not vanquish the guerrilla cave dwellers of Arbela. View from Mount Arbel. The “black” trail descends from the Carob Tree Lookout to the … The columns supported the galleries above, and benches lined the walls. Arbel sits across from Mount Nitai; their cliffs were created as a result of the Jordan Rift Valley and the geological faults that produced the valleys. Bird-Watchers’ Trail: The Israel Nature and Parks Authority established a trail at the top of the cliff specifically for bird watchers. It is also the site of ruins of an ancient synagogue. Presumably these caves were used in 37 BC by Galilean Zealots in their fight against Herod, who was acting on behalf of Mark Antony. This leads down the steep cliff to the cave fortress mentioned above. Mount Arbel (Hebrew: הר ארבל‎, Har Arbel) is a mountain in The Lower Galilee near Tiberias in Israel, with high cliffs, views of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, trails to a cave-fortress, and ruins of an ancient synagogue. Ask them here. 1. From caves to fortresses, there are many historical places to explore on the cliffs of Arbel. North of the Arbel stands Mount Nittai, with an impressive cliff of its own, rising to 98 meters above sea level. Turn left up the red path, which will lead you to a large cluster of grottos, with enormous walls in their fronts, made alternately from black basalt and white limestone rocks. The Cave Fortress: The path then turns east, descending down a steep slope. Recently the Israel Nature and Parks Authority restored the lintel above the entrance to the ancient synagogue, and is currently working on the preservation of the cave fortress. There’s nature, for one: Arbel has its own little ecosystem, with animals and flowers that you can always catch a glimpse of. The Arbel nature reserve is part of the Arbel plateau – a basalt high plane in the Lower Galilee region. [5], The area was declared a nature reserve in 1967, covering 1400 dunams. Win a pair of adidas TERREX winter hiking boots, Learn more about the apps for Android and iOS, A trail leading to the cave fortress, which includes a challenging climb up a stake ladder. The eastern part of the northern wall had a compartment carved into it, with a small door – possibly used for collecting donations.It seems that the original building was demolished at an unknown time, and a newer synagogue was erected in its place, apparently in the 6th century AD. The Carob Lookout: From the site entrance follow the black markings towards the Carob lookout, named after the Carob tree on the edge of the cliff. 2. Mt. The reserve covers the immediate area around the cliff.[9]. From here there are metal handholds driven into the rock to aid those who want to make the climb down to the valley below. [10] A hike to the top of Mount Arbel from the south is included in the Israel National Trail, and an approach from the west is part of the Jesus Trail; the trails converge temporarily at the peak. A bird-watchers’ trail for the whole family. Scenic Lookouts. It offers views of Mount Hernon in the Golan Heights and trails to a cave-fortress. The peak, at 181 metres above sea level (380 metres above the surrounding area), dominates the surroundings (much of the area is below sea level) and from the lookout atop the mountain, almost all of the Galilee into the Golan Heights including Safed, Tiberias and most of the Sea of Galilee, is visible. Continue with the ‡Black‡ markers for 600 m and reach the National Park’s entrance. Mount Nittai is included in the Arbel reserve, but it is off-limits to visitors. level. Image of galilee, cliff, fortress - 29560516 Mount Nittai lookout: overlooks Mount Nittai to the north of Arbel. Climb carefully, use the ropes and the stakes set in the rock. We took a shorter and easier trail alnog the cliff. (5) Pay the entrance fee upon exiting, and follow the unmarked paved road for 1.1 Km until you reach a junction with the ‡Green‡ marked trail and a small parking lot (6). After some 800 meters the black-marked path meets another one, marked red. Mount Arbel (Hebrew: הר ארבל‎, Har Arbel) is a mountain in The Lower Galilee near Tiberias in Israel, with high cliffs, views of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, trails to a cave-fortress, and ruins of an ancient synagogue. Do not forget to stop down the road at the Arbel Synagogue ruins. Help others by being the first to add a review. Make a mental note: The “red” trail descends from the entrance area to the Cave Fortress. The stakes installed by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority are very helpful during the descent. Graham Corbin vanror. Late Roman and Byzantine period: the Arbel synagogue, The Times of Israel article about the cliffs of Arbel (2013), "The Wars of the Jews, Book II, ch. It is also Josephus who, writing about himself in the third person, tells us how he fortified the caves and used them as storage base at the beginning of the First Jewish–Roman War in the year 66 CE, when he was in charge of the defense of Galilee: Nearby are the ruins of an ancient Jewish settlement with a synagogue, built in the 4th, rebuilt in the 6th and kept in use until the 8th century CE. The lookout reveals one of the most beautiful vistas in Israel: the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights, Mount Hermon, and the eastern parts of the Upper and Lower Galilee. Stunning views towards Mount Nitai, Wadi Hamam, Migdal and Lake Galilee. 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