Nimrod, Nazareth, and more driving.
Nazareth Travel Blog› entry 4 of 13 › view all entries
December 8th, 2007 – by: gopackjo
Started the day leaving at about 6am from Qatzim, Katsim, or however you spell it. The rental car went up for about 45 minutes until I got to the Nimrod Fortress on the slopes of Mount Hevron. The fortress is situated on a high ridge at 2,600 feet, and was built in 1229 by famous Muslim ruler Saladin's nephew. It was meant to protect Damascus from a possible attack on Damascus by the 6th Crusade.
Even though it was abandoned after the Ottoman Empire stopped using it in the 16th century, and an earthquake shook things up in the 18th century, it is very well preserved. The architecture was very typically Muslim of the era, and it was a great contrast to the Moorish buildings I saw in Spain and Morrocco a few years ago. It also was a different style from yesterday's visit to Caeserea, with it's mostly Roman, Byzantine, and Crusader styles.
The drive down the slopes of the Golan Heights culminated with a great view of the Sea Of Galilee as I decended to it's shores. A nice little 3,500 foot elevation change down to below sea level. I continued on towards Nazareth until running into some Hanukkah holiday weekend traffic getting into town. After 90 minutes in said traffic, I was amazed to find a parking space very quickly and for free near the Church of the Annunciation.
The Church of the Annunciation is the largest Christian church in the middle east. And legend says that it is set on the location where Mary was visited by the Archangel Gabriel and told that she had been selected to be the mother of Jesus. Many different structures were built over the years, and the current one dates back to 1730, and is the fourth church created on the site. Technically it's not a very impressive sight to see, but the location and the history is an amazing thing.
The drive back into Tel Aviv was uneventful, but I did feel like I knew where I was going as I made my way back to my previous hotel. Overall, a very interesting day!
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