Korazim National Park
Meet Korazim National Park
Korazim National Park preserves impressive remains of a Jewish village from the time of the Mishna and the Talmud, including remains of a magnificent synagogue. Primordial landscapes, a view of the Sea of Galilee and a site mentioned in the New Testament attract Christian pilgrims.
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Main points of interest
- Ritual bath (mikveh)
- Arched Houses
- Olive oil presses
- Tomb of Sheikh Ramadan Abu-Karaza
- Assemblage of architectural items
Five quarters are known in Korazim. The main, wealthy quarter has been partially excavated and reconstructed, as well as a few houses from the western quarter. In keeping with urban planning in the Roman period, Korzaim was built of large insulas, each of which was delimited by four streets. These are the main elements that visitors see.
The Synagogue is of the typical Galilean type, built of basalt stones. The building’s façade, which faces south, is the most elaborately decorated part of the structure. It includes a plaza from which nine steps ascended to the synagogue’s three doorways. The largest doorway, in the center featured a magnificent gable.
In its northwestern corner, the wall of the synagogue rests on hewn bedrock. Benches lined the walls of the nave (16.70×22.80 m). Twelve columns forming a U-shape, supported the building’s second story.
Some scholars believe that the purpose of the second story was to emit daylight. The impressive displays in the synagogue include an opulent conch shell decoration and a replica of an engaged pillar that flanked the Holy Ark. There is also a replica of a seat, made of basalt, called the “Moses seat,” bearing an inscription honoring the donor of the money to make the seat. The walls are lined with fine reliefs most of which depict human, animal and mythological imagery, plants and geometric patterns.
The synagogue was intended not only for prayer, but also for gatherings and court hearings. The rooms adjacent to it apparently served as an inn for visitors, dwellings for public figures, charitable institutions and study halls.
The ritual bath (mikveh) complex: The ritual bath was situated in the center of the town and was part of a group of public buildings that included the synagogue. A row of columns and engaged pillars divided the complex into two parts. The structure has an entrance to the ritual bath pool, which had two steps above ground and seven below. The pool’s roof was made of basalt beams about 2 m long. Near the ritual bath is an ovoid cistern at the center of which is a column that supported a stone roof. This cistern may have been the otzar – a reservoir of water that was not drawn, as required by religious law for a ritual bath. Today the otzar is covered with a metal grate.
Dwellings: East of the synagogue part of an insula was discovered consisting of two houses of wealthy families. Each house had an inner courtyard, dwelling rooms, cisterns and storage rooms. Between the two insulas runs a paved, curving street with a trough and a cistern. Some of the rooms were roofed with stone beams about 2 m long, which can be seen scattered nearby. Arches built along the walls supported the roof.
The Arched Houses: In the western quarter are arched houses dating from the Mamluk period (fourteenth–fifteenth centuries CE). The houses were built in the Hauran style on foundations from the fourth century CE. Two of the arched houses survived almost to their original height. The buildings feature three double arches on which roof beams were laid. Windows were built into some of the inner walls, in a construction style unique to the Hauran region. This construction element was first discovered in Korazim and so it is known as “Korazim windows.”
Olive oil presses: Three olive presses were found in Korazim. One, at the edge of the western quarter, dates from the fourth or fifth century and has been partly reconstructed. Two other olive oil presses are in an area not open to visitors.
Sheikh Ramadan Abu-Karaza: The sheikh’s tomb is situated in the shade of an old Mt. Tabor oak tree. The tomb was apparently built in the late Mamluk period, was associated by the local Bedouin with one of Saladin’s warriors. In the past, people would visit the tomb to make vows and settle disputes.
Assemblage of architectural items: This display includes threshold stones, a cornice, slender columns (possibly from the second floor of the synagogue) and a grinding stone.
Korazim National ParkUseful Information
Entrance to the park closes one hour before cited closing timeSummer hours: Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 17:00 - 08:00 Friday and holiday eves: 16:00 - 08:00 Winter hours: Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 16:00 - 08:00 Friday and holiday eves: 15:00 - 08:00 Holiday eves: 13:00 - 08:00 Yom Kippur eve: 13:00 - 08:00
Picnic tables, view of the Sea of Galilee, huge Christ-thorn jujube trees, an ancient Mount Tabor oak
Dogs are allowed when leashed and muzzled (dogs are not allowed in the synagogue).
From the parking area, located near the cashier’s booth and the visitor service center an accessible path goes to the center of the site and the synagogue.
Accessible elements: Parking, cashier, visitor service center, toilets, shaded picnic areas, faucets, a concrete path from the parking area to the center of the antiquities site including the synagogue, hand rails along steps, directional and informational signage.
The path to the olive oil press and its surroundings as well as the loop trail, are compact gravel of a comfortable width and slope, suitable for people with difficulty walking and for children.
The park is located on road 8277 between the Korazim junction and Almagor, 10 minutes east of Ami‘ad junction.
Reserving a visit to Korazim National Park
|Adult in group||19.00 ₪|
|Child in group||8.00 ₪|
|Israeli senior citizen||11.00 ₪|