Tiberias in Israel

2 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Pacman

© Pacman

Tiberias is an Israeli city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. Established around 20 CE, it was named in honour of the second emperor of the Roman Empire, Tiberius. In 2019 it had a population of 45,000.   read more…

Israeli development towns

25 August 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Or Yehuda © Oyoyoy/cc-by-sa-4.0

Or Yehuda © Oyoyoy/cc-by-sa-4.0

Development towns were new settlements built in Israel during the 1950s in order to provide permanent housing for a large influx of Jewish immigrants from Arab countries, Holocaust survivors from Europe and other new immigrants (Olim), who arrived to the newly established State of Israel. The towns were designed to expand the population of the country’s peripheral areas while easing pressure on the crowded centre. Most of them were built in the Galilee in the north of Israel, and in the northern Negev desert in the south. In addition to the new towns, West Jerusalem was also given development town status in the 1960s. In the context of the Arab–Israeli conflict, Jewish refugees from Arab states were initially resettled in refugee camps, known variously as immigrant camps, ma’abarot and development towns. Development towns were subsequently considered by some to be places of relegation and marginalisation in often remarkable architectural monotony, with a strong reference and a mixture of socialist classicism and modernism, which is reminiscent of the socialist orientation of the state after its foundation. Many towns gained a new influx of residents during the mass immigration from former Soviet states in the early 1990s. By 1998, 130,000 Russian-speaking immigrants lived in development towns. Despite businesses and industries being eligible for favorable tax treatment and other subsidies, with the exception of Arad, most of the towns (particularly those in the south) have fared poorly in the economic sense, and often feature amongst the poorest Jewish Areas in Israel. In 1984, the Development Towns project was awarded the Israel Prize for its special contribution to society and the State of Israel.   read more…

Nazareth, home town of Jesus

1 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Grotto of Annunciation © Ramessos/cc-by-sa-3.0

Grotto of Annunciation © Ramessos/cc-by-sa-3.0

Nazareth is the largest city in the Northern District of Israel. Nazareth is known as “the Arab capital of Israel”. Nazareth Illit (lit. “Upper Nazareth”), declared a separate city in June 1974, is built alongside old Nazareth. In the New Testament, the town is described as the childhood home of Jesus, and as such is a center of Christian pilgrimage, with many shrines commemorating biblical events. With the exception of the Old City, the two Nazareths are architecturally uninspired, as are most of the other development towns of Israel, too. In March 2010, the Israeli government approved a $3 million plan to develop Nazareth’s tourism industry. New businesses receive start-up grants of up to 30 percent of their initial investment from the Ministry of Tourism.   read more…

Jesus Trail in Israel

24 December 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Walking the Jesus Trail near Nazareth © Zeromancer44/cc-by-sa-3.0

Walking the Jesus Trail near Nazareth © Zeromancer44/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Jesus Trail is a 65 km (40 mi) hiking and pilgrimage route in the Galilee region of Israel that traces the route Jesus may have walked, connecting many sites from his life and ministry. The main part of the trail begins in Nazareth and passes through Sepphoris, Cana (Kafr Kanna), the Horns of Hattin, Mount Arbel Cliffs, the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Tabgha, and the Mount of Beatitudes. An alternate return route passes by Tiberias, the Jordan River, Mount Tabor, and Mount Precipice. The Jesus Trail runs within the 1967 border.   read more…

Theme Week Israel – Acre, the Crusaders City

17 June 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean

Acre Sea Wall © Almog

Acre Sea Wall © Almog

Acre is a city in the northern coastal plain region of northern Israel at the northern extremity of Haifa Bay. Acre is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the world. The population is at 46,000. Acre is a mixed city. Jewish Israelis live in the New City quarter, while Arab Israelis live in the Old City quarter. Acre is the most “oriental” city in Israel. In 2001, Acre’s Old City has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Acre is the holiest city of the Bahá’í Faith.   read more…

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