Slideshow
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 >>

map
Western Wall Jerusalem - Score:8.05000
Western Wall Jeru...
User:poesie1928
Spot:Jerusalem
HaKotel - Score:8.00000
HaKotel
User:danny
Spot:Jerusalem
Yad Vascem 'hall of childrens' - Score:7.93333
Yad Vascem 'hall ...
User:poesie1928
Spot:Jerusalem
Dome of the Rock - Score:7.90909
Dome of the Rock
User:OlliB
Spot:Jerusalem
Evening over the Sea of Galilee - Score:7.75000
Evening over the ...
User:ISRANAT
Spot:Sea of Galilee
Skyline von Tel Aviv bei Nacht - Score:7.75000
Skyline von Tel A...
User:poesie1928
Spot:Tel Aviv

Israel

Fast Facts

Country Name: State of Israel
Capital: Jerusalem
Languages Spoken: Hebrew, English, French, Spanish, Russian and German
Currency: New Israeli Sheqel (equivalent to 0.3 USD). There are foreign exchange outlets where American and Canadian dollars and Euros are exchanged.
Time Zone: 3 hours ahead of GMT (GMT+3 Hrs)
Religion: Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Climate: Mediterranean type
Population Density: About 290 according to an estimate
Country Code: 972

 

Israel is officially known as the state of Israel is established in 1948 as the Jewish state and a democratic republic. It is struggling for the safe existence and is in constant pursuit for the peaceful coexistence with its neighbors. Israel is a Western Asian country located on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. Other than Turkey, Israel is one of the only two democracies in the Middle East. Israel is the world's only Jewish state with majority of Jews and also is the home to Arab Muslims, Christians, Druze and Samaritans as well as the other religious and ethnic minority groups.
The name Israel originated from the word in the Bible (Genesis, 32:28) where Jacob is renamed Israel after successfully wrestling with an angel of God.

Knesset is the legislative authority and the executive authority is the government. The president of Israel is elected by the Knesset once in every seven years. The role of the president is symbolic as he has no part of the three branches of government and no political status but he is in the highest office.

History

Jewish people have their origin from Abraham who established the belief that there is only one God i.e. the creator of the universe. The patriarchs of the Israelites are Abraham, the son of Abraham (Yitzhak) and grandson Jacob. The patriarchs lived in the Land of Canaan, later known as the Land of Israel. The twelve sons of Jacob were the kernels of the 12 tribes which later developed in to the Jewish nation and name Jew derived from the word Yehuda (Judah), one of the 12 sons of Jacob.

Jews, Muslims and Christians consider Palestine as a holy land and the homeland of the modern state of Israel that was known as Canaan to ancient Hebrews. The name 'Palestine' is derived from the word Philistines and Philistines are people who occupied the southern coastal part of the country in the 12th century B.C. In 1000 B.C. a Hebrew kingdom was established and was later divided into the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. These kingdoms were later invaded by Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Persians, Romans and Alexander the Great of Macedonia.

By AD.135 Palestine has left with few Jews as most of them lived in the scattered and tenacious communities of the Diaspora which are the communities formed outside Palestine after Babylonian exile. Emperor Constantine converted in to Christian faith and after his conversion Palestine became the center of Christian pilgrimage. In 634-640 the Arabs took Palestine from the Byzantine Empire and were interrupted by Christian Crusaders. Until 20th century Muslims ruled Palestine and British forces defeated the Turks in Palestine and governed the area under a League of Nations from 1923.

During Zionist movement in 19th century, Jews started to settle in Palestine as early as 1820 and this effort to establish Jewish homeland was approved by the British in the Balfour Declaration of 1917. Due to harassment of Hitler, Jews came to Palestine during 1930s and the genocide of 6 million Jews increased the international interest and sympathy for the cause of Zionism. The proposal of partition of Palestine in to Arab and Jewish sectors was opposed by Arabs in Palestine and surrounding countries. In 1947, UN voted for the partition of Palestine and on May 14, 1948 British officially withdrew from Palestine. Then the Jewish National Council announced the State of Israel and US recognition came within hours.

Next day, Arab forces form Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq invaded the new country and by the cease fire on January 7, 1949, Israel increased its original territory by 50% by taking Western Galilee which is broad corridor through central Palestine to Jerusalem and part of modern Jerusalem. A continual tension between the Jews and the Palestinians living within Israeli territories are still there.

Geography and Tourism Attractions

The country is bordered by Lebanon in the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan in the east and Egypt on the southwest. Israel has a variety of geographic features ranging from Negev desert in the south to the mountain ranges of the Galilee, Carmel and the Golan in the north. Israel is divided into three main regions such as the coastal plain, the mountain region and the Jordan Valley Rift.

Tourism plays a major role in the culture of Israel as it includes a rich variety of historical and religious sites in the Holy Land. There are modern beach resorts, archaeological tourism, heritage tourism and ecotourism. The country has the highest number of museums per capital in the world. More than 2.3 million tourists visited the country in the year 2007 and the number of tourists will increase in the next few years. Most of the tourists are coming from United States, Russia, France and United Kingdom.

St. Anne's Church, Bethesda

St. Anne's Church is a beautiful 12th century Crusader church that is erected over the traditional site of the birthplace of Anne, the mother Mary. The church is with Romanesque architecture. The church was built between 1131 and 1138 in the place of previous Byzantine church and shortly after the construction, and by moving the fa├žade forward by several meters it was enlarged as well. The church is situated next to the Bethesda Pool and supposed to be the site where Jesus healed paralytic John. You can also see ruins of a Roman temple to the god of medicine and the Byzantine church was built over the temple. The entrance fee is NIS 10 (approximately $2.20) and the church will be opened for visitors from Monday to Saturday 8 am to 12 noon and 2:00 to 5:00 pm and will be closed on Sundays.

The Garden Tomb, Jerusalem

This is the tomb where Jesus Christ was laid after crucifixion and resurrected. The tomb is believed to be the garden and sepulcher of Joseph of Arimathea and the garden is owned and administered by the Garden Tomb Association that is a charitable trust in the United Kingdom. It is preserved for worship and reflection and there are places to sit, drinking water and toilet facilities that also include facilities for disabled. You can also access wheel chair for a general tour of the garden. The tomb is situated on Conrad Schick Street and is clearly signposted. They will provide free guide leaflets in many language and the groups are taken around by English-speaking guides. Entrance fee is not there and the garden and the ministry are supported by the voluntary gifts of visitors. The Garden of tomb is open from Monday to Saturday from 9:00-12:00 and 2:00-5:30 pm. Groups must book well in advance that is usually done by the local tour company or by the groups' licensed guide.

The Herzl Center Museum

The museum is an audiovisual display that recalls the life history of Herzl- his aspirations, disappointments and turbulent personal journey. Herzl is an inspiring visionary of the future whose dreams challenge Zionists today as they did over a century ago. The center offers a variety of educational programs and tours and the languages available are Hebrew, English, Russian, French, Spanish and German. The museum is open on Sunday through Thursday from 8:45 to 15:15 and on Fridays from 8:45 to 12:15. The entrance fee per person 25 NIS and children up to the age of 6 are free to enter when accompanied by an adult. Children from age 6, soldiers, students and senior citizens will be charged 20 NIS per person. Youth and army groups (over 20 persons) will be charged 15 NIS per person and adult groups of over 20 persons will be charged 20 NIS per person. The visit to the museum should be arranged in advance. Museum is situated at the entrance to Mt. Herzl, Herzl Boulevard, and Jerusalem.

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The museum has achieved world-class status in a relatively short time that was founded in 1965. The collections in the museum range from prehistoric archaeology through contemporary art and with the dynamic roster of temporary exhibitions, publications and educational activities. The museum is one of the largest encyclopedic museums in the world. It also fosters education for its public in Israel and abroad. In addition to the exhibitions, the museum provides facilities and services such as Israeli Art Center, Judaica and Jewish Ethnography Center, Image Resources and Copyright Management, Library, Study room, Center for Conservation and Restoration, Press Releases and Publications.

The Tower of David Museum

It is one of the beautiful and original locations for a museum anywhere in the world and is the best introduction to 4,000 years of Jerusalem's rich and colorful history. The museum is located in the magnificently restored citadel and it is situated in the center of Jerusalem where the city's ancient history to the east meets the new city to the west. The exhibition inside the guardrooms of the citadel shows the history of Jerusalem through a series of specially-designed models, illustration, moving and static and multi-media displays that relate the history in a chronological manner concentrating on the main events of each period. The exhibits also show the special importance of Jerusalem to the largest monotheistic religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam is understood and appreciated.

The Western Wall

It is situated in the middle of the old city of Jerusalem and the wall is the section of the Western supporting of the Temple Mount that has remained intact after the destruction of the Second Jerusalem Temple. It is most sacred spot in Jewish religious and national consciousness. It is the center of mourning over the destruction of the Temple and Israel's exile.

Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

This is the memorial of six million Jewish who are murdered in the Holocaust and it contains the largest repository of information on the Holocaust. The Holocaust History Museum is open on Sunday to Wednesday 9 am to 5pm but the entrance is permitted only till 4pm. On Thursdays it will be opened from 9am to 8pm. History museum is the only place at Yad Vashem that remains open later on Thursday and the rest of the campus closes at 5pm. the Yad Vashem Archives and Library is opened on Sunday to Thursday fro 8.30am to 5pm. Hall of Names in the Holocaust History Museum is open on Sunday to Wednesday from 9am to 5pm but the entrance is permitted till 4 pm. The site will be closed on Saturdays and on Jewish holidays.

The second largest city of Israel is Tel Aviv that consists of a large number of museums and important sacred places also. Some of the attractions are Museum of Diaspora, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Migdal Shalom Tower, The Great Synagogue and Jaamaa-el-Bahr Sea Mosque.

Eilat is a natural beauty with wildlife and a number of parks and beaches. The other attractions are Underwater Observatory Marine Park, Dolphin Reef, Amazing World, Yellow Submarine, Aqua Beach and Eilat Marina.

Haifa is also a place with several religious sites and beaches. In Haifa, the most famous site is Bahai gardens and golden dome and it is a beautiful garden with 19 terraces. Other places in Haifa are Mount Carmel National Park, Stella Maris Lighthouse and Carmelite Monastery, the German Colony and Elijah's cave.

The famous site of Christian pilgrimage is the birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem and other important religious sites are Church of St. Catherine, Milk Grotto, Rachel's Tomb and Shepherd's Fields.

Another major attraction is the Dead Sea that is the lowest point on earth and the area is rich with potash, magnesium and bromine made it a location for visitors seeking for relaxation and nutritious vacation.

Tisch Family Zoological Gardens is another attraction for visitors with children. Places such as Tiberias, Netanya, Zefat, Nazareth, Nablus, Golan Heights, Jericho and Hebron are also popular attractions for tourists.

Things to do

The tourist can have scuba diving in the beaches of Eilat. You can also sail, surf, swim or water-ski at the beaches of Eilat. You can coat yourself in the healthy mud at Dead Sea spa resorts and it is impossible to sink in the sea because of its high salinity. You can go for underwater sightseeing, take a submarine tour in the coral rich waters of Eilat and also wonder at the scene through the windows of the Eilat's amazing underwater observatory. Tourists can post a prayer to the God by pushing a note between the mighty stones of the Western Wall. Enjoy the performance of Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra or the New Israel Opera or one of the several other great orchestras in Tel Aviv that lures audiences from all over the world. You can also enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv. You can also go to more than 50 national parks and natural reserves like Hurshat Tal, Gamla Reserve and Ahziv National Park.

Nightlife

It is thrilling to spend night in Israel as the nightlife is very vibrant consisting of the best of entertainment in the nightclubs or can spend the evening in a pub or a bar. The people are always friendly and in a party mood. The party freaks can found places like Blue Hole Pub in the center of New Jerusalem. Other favorite places for night out are Underground, The Unplugged Bar, and Bindi Bar, Dating in Israel, Al Kasaba Theater and Arcaffe. Whether it is mou-chou cream available at small kiosks or the strong and rich coffee at kerb side cafes of Jerusalem, Israel is a place full of surprises.

Where to Stay:

Israel has world standard hotels as well as hotel chains. The country also has international standard spa resorts. These are some of the good hotels in the country. Jerusalem Tower Hotel (Jerusalem)
Renaissance Hotel (Jerusalem
Prima Kings (Jerusalem)
Basel Hotel (Tel Aviv)
City Hotel (Tel Aviv)
Olympia Hotel (Tel Aviv)
Dan Gardens (Haifa)
Dan Panorama (Haifa)
Crown Plaza (Haifa)
Tulip Inn (Dead Sea)
Moriah Classic (Dead Sea)
Moriah Plaza (Dead Sea)
Le Meridien (Dead Sea)
Golden Tulip Palmira (Eilat)
Crowne Plaza (Eilat)
Blue Bay (Netanya)
The Seasons (Netanya)
King Solomon (Netanya)

Some General Tips:

Packaged tours are worthier than independent going in Israel so check out for the best ones. Check for passport stamp procedures if you want to cross country tour through Israel. Although, there are licensed guides are there, one who is not licensed comes cheap. Keep your fist tight when shopping and land a deal by bargaining heavily. The sun here at some places can be especially harsh on your skin so pack your sun blockers when you head to this Mediterranean country.

To support us in developing this site please suggest your description or any additional information of Israel to the operator. You are the one to put it in.
Your contribution makes the difference!

Suggest YOUR description now!

Please make sure you do not violate the personal rights of anyone!