Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Katzrin village, columns stand
in the ancient synagogue
Katzrin (Hebrew: קצרין‎, also spelt Qatzrin or Kazerin) is the administrative center and largest town in the Golan Heights, which Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The town offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. To the south is the Sea of Galilee , to the north Mount Hermon, and to the west the hills of the Upper Galilee. Katzrin was established in 1977 after the government of Israel decided settling and populating the Golan Heights was of prime importance for Israel. In addition, Katzrin was planned as an urban center that would provide a variety of services to the rural communities and military bases scattered throughout the Golan. In 1981, Israel annexed the Golan Heights (including Katzrin). Costumed guides demonstrate and explain construction methods, agricultural and manufacturing processes in Hebrew and English.


The Katzrin Synagogue was built in the 6th century CE atop a more modest 4th-5th century synagogue. Fragments of a mosaic floor have been found. The synagogue was apparently destroyed by the Golan earthquake of 749. In the Mamluk Empire, part of the standing ruin was roofed and used as a Mosque. After a brief period, this use and the village itself were abandoned until 1967.


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