Israel is known for being part of a segment of geography known as The Holy Land. With the convergence of three prominent religions, it is no surprise that much of Israel is rich with culture and history that dates back centuries. From religious architecture and botanical gardens unlike any other, Israel has much to offer any visitor.
Thanks to Dan Hotels, the supplier sponsor of this column, you can use this 60-Second Geography article in your own travel agency’s newsletters and websites.
Israel: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa
Israel, most known for being a sacred staple in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, is a country resting on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean. Jerusalem is not only the capitol of Israel, but the largest city within the country and one of the oldest in the world, with roots dating back to 3000BCE. The Old City is walled away from the rest of Jerusalem, and contains several key religious sites. Spend an morning exploring the Dome of the Rock, one of the oldest surviving works of Islamic architecture. It has been called Jerusalem’s most recognizable landmark; its signature gold-plated roof added in 1959-61, then again in 1993.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is said to contain the tomb of Jesus, as and the Al-Aqsa Mosque can be found here as well. Also found in Jerusalem is Yad VaShem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, is the ultimate source for Holocaust education. Yad VaShem incorporates meaningful education initiatives and exhibits; the center’s efforts to successfully impart the memory of the victims and events of such a dark time in history are unlike any other and absolutely worth a visit when in Jerusalem. Ranked among the world’s leading art and archeological museums, The Israel Museum in Jerusalem contains a far-ranging collection of nearly 500,000 objects in just over 50 years. You could easily spend an entire afternoon on the museum’s 20 acres.
Tel Aviv, Israel’s second largest city and home to over 50 different neighborhoods, is considered a hub for economics, culture, and entertainment. See a show at the Habima Theatre, one of the first Hebrew language theaters. Or, take a stroll through Yarkon Park. The park boasts sports facilities, an aviary, extensive botanical gardens, a water park, and even two concert venues. Within the park you will find the Rock Garden, one of the largest of its kind spanning 10 acres with over 3,500 species of plants which speaks to its incredible geographical variance. If all that beauty gets you hungry make sure to try some Halva ice cream, a Tel Aviv staple dessert topped with date syrup and pistachios.
The Old Port of Jaffa can be found in Jaffa, Tel Aviv’s oldest city. Warehouses that were once a hangout for sailors and lone artists, are now full of life; galleries of art, bookstores, and cafes can now be found in the deeply renovated buildings. The White City is also a sight to see. A collection of buildings built in the unique form of Bauhaus style developed in the 1930’s by German Jewish architects, The White City is not only a UNESCO site, but contains the largest concentration of this type of architecture in the world.
If you are seeking unique knowledge on your visit to Tel Aviv, the Israeli Museum at Rabin Center is the only museum in Israel to explore the development of Israel as a young democracy. The museum presents two parallel stories: the history of the state and Israeli society, and the biography of Yitzhak Rabin. The museum offers guided tours in both English and Hebrew, and contains over 1,500 still photographs as well as hundreds of pieces of memorabilia to view.
Located on Israel’s Mediterranean shoreline lies Haifa, Israel’s major northern city, and third largest in the country. In Haifa you will find the scenic Mount Carmel. Its higher altitude causes it to give greater levels of rainfall, covering the property with pine forests, with Carmel National Park being one of them. In the Spring over 650 species of plants blossom.
Bahá’í Gardens and World Centeris another beautiful offering from Haifa, which also happens to be the center of the Bahá’í Faith. Compromised of 19 terraces that span up the northern slope of Mount Carmel, at its heart stands the golden-domed Shrine of the Báb , which is the resting place of the Prophet-Herald of the Bahá’í Faith. The inner gardens around this area close at noon each day, and the gardens offer daily free walking tours of the property complete with guides speaking all different languages to accommodate their visitors.
The Haifa Educational Zoo, originally built in 1949 and renovated in 2002, hosts more than 100 species of wildlife including mammals, amphibians, and plant life; a family friendly environment, located right outside the zoo is Gan Ha’Em, or “Park of the Mother”. Built to celebrate the lives of mothers everywhere, Gan Ha’Em houses sculptures, cafes, and play areas for children and mothers of all walks of life.
On select dates in July and August Dan Hotels will offer a free upgrade to Deluxe Rooms and offer especially low rates starting at $300 per room per night, Breakfast, WiFi and taxes included. Lower rates are offered for 4-6 and 7 and longer nights stay.
On select dates in July and August Dan Hotels will offer especially low rates starting at $300 per room per night, Breakfast, WiFi and taxes included. A Child (under 12 years old) stays free in parent’s room. Lower rates are offered for 3-6 and 7 and longer nights stay.
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