Israel

Category: Resorts » International » Asia | Author: biker | Views: 3878 | 8-09-2011, 02:48
Israel

Official Name: "State of Israel";

Capital of Israel: there is much debate about the capital of Israel, Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. The official capital of Israel is Jerusalem (it is recognized by the USA and Israel), but according to UN Resolution Tel Aviv is the capital. 

Area: 22027 sq. km.;

Climate: mediterranean, characterized by long, hot summers and short, rainy winters. January is the coldest month (5-10 C), and August is the hottest (18-38 C).

Population in Israel: 7.23 million;

Ethnic groups: Jews (76.4%), Arabs (23.6%);

Languages: Hebrew and Arabic. English and Russian are also popular as foreign languages.

Religion: Judaism (76.4%), Muslim (16%), Christians (1.7%);

Form of government: parliamentary-democratic;

Currency: Israeli Shekel ("ILS", code 376);

Telephone code: +972;

Internet domain name: .il ;

Time zone: GMT +2 (in summer +3).



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Israel

Flag of Israel

Israel

Map of Israel

Israel

Coat of arms of Israel

 

Information about Israel

 

Israel is a country of miracles. According to the religious sources the story of the world begins here. Israel is a sacred place for three world religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. No wonder, that there is a big concentration of historical monuments here. But Israel does not attract only pilgrims. Here you can find all kinds of tourist attractions from passive beach holiday to extreme camel safari during which you can admire the beautiful gardens, oasis among the sand and visit the ancient villages.

 

The ten most visited places in Israel:


1) The fortress of Masada;
2) Zoological Garden in Jerusalem;
3) National Park
on the Mediterranean coast at Caesarea;
4) The reservation Banias
in northern Israel;
5) Safari Park in Ramat Gan;
6) The reservation at the Ein Gedi;
7) The hot springs at Hamat Gader;
8) Underwater Observatory
Marine Park in Eilat;
9) The Caves of Qumran
, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found;
10) Water Park
(near Tel Aviv). 

 

Israel Israel Israel

 

The geographical position of Israel

 

The State of Israel is situated in the Middle East. The territory is washed by three seas - the Mediterranean, the Red and the Dead Sea. It has borders with Lebanon in the North, with Syria in the North-East, with Egypt in the South-West and Jordan in the East. Israel has also borders with Palestine. The relief is divided into three main parts: the coastal plain, the mountain region and the Jordan Valley.

 

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History of Israel

 

History of Israel is very long and interesting. According to the Bible, the first Hebrew tribes escaped from Egyptian pharaoh into the territory of modern Palestine. The ancestor of the Jewish people was Jacob (Israel). The Jewish state flourished during the reign of David, and his son Solomon has been the wisest ruler in the world history. In the 10th century BC he built the First Temple, later it was destroyed, then rebuilt and entered into the history as the Second Temple. Ruins of this temple are called now Wailing Wall, a sacred place for all Jews. After Solomon's death Israel was divided into many kingdoms, and was conquered by Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Persians, Romans and Alexander the Great. The Jewish population was scattered throughout the world. The modern history of Israel begins in the second half of the 19th century. In 1948 the part of the territory of modern Palestine was occupied by the new state. Naturally it has provoked conflicts with the Arabian world.

 

Flora and fauna of Israel

Israel is home for 116 species of mammals, 511 species of birds, 97 species of reptiles and 7 species of amphibians. In Israel you can see 2780 species of plants from alpine flowers in the mountains to the papyrus reeds in the South. On the coastal plains grow bananas and oranges, and in the Jordan Valley - dates, bananas, avocados, mangoes, guavas. There are many fields with tobacco, cotton, peanuts, and sugar beets. The largest representatives of fauna are mountain gazelles, wild boars, foxes, and occasionally you can see leopards, hyenas, jackals and wolves. The coral reef in Eilat is a national treasure. The ecosystem of the reef is one of the most diverse in the world: 1270 species of fish belonging to 157 families, hundreds of species of corals and 1120 kinds of shellfish.
Israel Israel Israel
Israel Israel Israel
Israel Israel Israel

 

Climate of Israel

Israel is located between 29 - 33 degrees to the North of the equator. Climate is subtropical between temperate and tropical zone. The rainy season lasts from October to early May with the peak in December – February.

Religion and culture of Israel

The mass migration of Jews from around the world has reflected in the diversity of culture. Israel is the only country in the world, which lives according to the Jewish calendar. Saturday is an official holiday. Arabians have also influenced on the culture of Israel in such fields as architecture, music and cuisine. Israel has the world-famous orchestra, "The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra", which gives over 200 concerts a year. Among the world-famous musicians are Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman and Ofra Haza. Israel participates in the annual Eurovision Song Contest. Jazz Festival is held every summer on the bank of Red sea.
There are about 80 important museums in Israel. The Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where the manuscript of the Dead Sea is kept, Haifa Museum has several branches: the Museum of Ethnography and music, modern art, ancient art, National Maritime Museum, the Museum of Japanese culture and Paleontological Museum. The museum Betha-Tefutsot has collected almost the entire history of the Jewish people, and Yadva Vashem in Jerusalem is the largest archive of documents about the Holocaust.
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Where to go in Israel

  •  Jerusalem - capital of Israel, one of the oldest cities in the world (3000years) and is a holy place for three world religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Its rich past is felt in every corner of the old city. Jerusalem is famous for the holy places, such as the Wailing Wall, the Temple Mount and the Church of Holy Sepulchre.
  • Tel Aviv - the most modern city in Israel. It is a city of noisy streets and comfortable cafes, the center of trade and business, arts and culture. Here you can enjoy exciting shopping, beautiful beaches and, of course, the ancient monuments. Visit the Catholic Church of St. Anthony and the Franciscan Church of St. Peter, which are built in European style. For many vacationers, especially those who arrived in Tel Aviv with children will be very interesting to visit the park Hayarkon, an underwater museum, aquarium and Luna Park.
  • Bethlehem - the city of Jesus Christ’s birth. Visit the Church of the Nativity. The church was built in the 4th century, but it has been rebuilt many times. If you want your prayers and requests to be heard by God sooner, then light a candle and pray here in Christmas
  • Galilean Sea - a place, where Jesus performed many of his ministries. After his famous Sermon on the Mount he made a great miracle, feeding 500 people with a loaf of bread and one fish.
  • Dead Sea - the lowest point of the earth. Healthy climate and rich in minerals water have contributed to the development of the medical tourism in this area. Dead Sea water has a high density and contains potassium, iodine, bromine, magnesium and other healthy chemicals. Dead Sea water is heavier than the human body, so it is impossible to drown: the water pushes the human body to the surface. Because of the big amount of salt in the water any living creatures can exist here. That ‘s the Sea became its name "Dead Sea". But, for the human body Dead Sea is very helpful - after the salt bath the skin is smooth and healthy, the body is relaxed. Water cures diseases skin diseases, nervous system disorders, genitourinary diseases of men and women, hormonal disorders, respiratory diseases, problems with spine and joints, chronic fatigue and immune deficiency. Mud baths are also very healthy. The mud from the Dead Sea has successfully treated many skin diseases. Mud masks are not only rejuvenating the skin, but also the entire human body.
  • Eilat - the most southern and tourist city in Israel. You can combine a beach holiday and extreme desert safari tours. The northern part of Eilat is famous for its sandy beaches and the southern part is a paradise for divers. Visit the Dolphin Reef - an area where you can swim with dolphins. Northern Harbour of Red Sea is famous for its variety of coral reefs, which are located so close to the shore, that even the not experienced swimmer can reach them. Tourism industry is well-developed in Eilat. Many good hotels with a very high level of service are situated here; you can find either cheap comfortable room or hotel of vip-class.
  • Haifa - a city in the North, located between Mount Caramel and the Mediterranean Sea. Here you can visit the historical cities Acre, Nazareth and Safed, as well as to follow the footsteps of Jesus around the Sea of Galilee. To the most famous historical monuments in Haifa belong Bahai temple and the cave of the prophet Elijah. Also there are excellent Hanging Gardens. We recommend you to visit the National Maritime Museum, where you can learn about the history of sailing and see models of different ships from different time. And, of course, the biggest natural reservation of the country - the Caramel National Park.
  • Masada - belongs to the list of UNESCO World Heritage. Visit the ruins of the palace fortress and  the ritual baths and synagogues. From the plateau enjoy breathtaking views to the Dead Sea and Judean Desert. Palace of the fortress is a symbol of heroism. It was built by King Herod, between 37-31 BC. Jews, who had escaped from Jerusalem during the destruction of the Second Temple in 70. BC, settled in the fortress of Masada. But the Roman army followed them to the fortress, and 960 Jews preferred death from their own hands to avoid the capture of enemies.
  • Mount Hermon, the highest peak in Israel. This is a ski resort in winter and is a great place for hiking in summer. 
  • Ramla - take a walk on the boat on the underground reservoir, which was built 1200 years ago, when the water in the desert was as value as gold. In these reservoir accumulated fresh water during the rainy season to irrigate the land during the summer drought.
  • Nature Reservation grotto Rosh Hanikra - There is the steepest tramway in the world here (60 degrees). There are many natural e miraculous sculptures, created by sea water in the tunnels, which, according to the legend, were paved by Alexander the Great.
Israel Israel Israel
Israel Israel Israel

 

What to see in Jerusalem

Jerusalem - one of the oldest cities in the world. It is a city of contrasts, where ancient buildings combine with modern buildings; on busy streets you can see monks, businessmen, merchants, tourists, and rabbis. Old City of Jerusalem has four regions: the Jewish, Armenian, Christian and Muslim

 

  • The Wailing Wall – the ruins of the Second Temple which was built by King Solomon. This is the most holy place for Jews. They believe that their prayers and wishes will come true if they write them down on a piece of paper and put into the holes between walls. 
  • The Tower of David and the Citadel - Herod built the castle around 2000 years ago as a protective structure. Here you can find some of the archaeological finds which date back to 2,700 years.
  • The Israel Museum contains documents, photos and video of 3000 years history of the city.
  • Via Dolorosa - the place, which is visited by millions of pilgrims. This is exactly the road that Jesus walked to his crucifixion, carrying the cross.
  • Church of the Holy Sepulcher - is considered to be the most sacred place for Christians. Here the body of Jesus was buried and then resurrected from the dead.
  • Dome of the Rock - a sacred place and its golden dome is visible from all parts of Jerusalem, place, where Abraham was going to prove his faith to God by sacrificing his son. It is also a sacred place for Muslims, according to their sources at this place Muhammad ascended to the sky. There is the "well of souls". One legend tells that the souls of the dead come here twice a month for prayer. It should be noted that this is one of the holiest places in the world. Visiting it, wear long-sleeved clothes and bring a handkerchief.
  • The Garden of Gethsemane - a sacred place connected with the Passion of Christ and is a place of pilgrimages. There is a grotto in the garden, where Christ prayed, after leaving the apostles. You can see the place on the floor, where drops of bloody sweat dripped from the face of Jesus. Basil was built at that place, where, according to legend, Judas betrayed Christ. In 1919 - 1924 years the modern church of all nations was built there. From the terrace of the temple you can see the Golden Gate. According to the Bible, Jesus Christ entered to the city through this gate on Palm Sunday.
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What to do in Israel

 

  1. Beach vacation - there are four main places for beach holiday - the Mediterranean, the Dead Sea, Lake Keneret and the Gulf of Eilat. Tel Aviv is located on the Mediterranean coast and Eilat - in the Red Sea.
  2. Diving - Red Sea is famous for its rich underwater flora and fauna and is a paradise for divers. The best place for diving is Eilat with its famous coral reefs.
  3. Hiking and Safari in the Negev desert, where you can enjoy the magnificent sand dunes and oases in the middle of the desert and also visit the isolated villages.
  4. Visiting museums. There are more than 80 important museums in Israel. The Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where the manuscript of the Dead Sea is kept, Haifa Museum has several branches: the Museum of Ethnography and music, modern art, ancient art, National Maritime Museum, the Museum of Japanese culture and Paleontological Museum. The museum of Beit ha-Hatefutsoth has collected almost the entire history of the Jewish people, and Yadva Vashem in Jerusalem is the largest archive of documents about the Holocaust.
  5. Pilgrimage. Israel is a small country which has the biggest concentration of sacred place for three world religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam).
  6. Medical Tourism. Israelian medicine has the leading position according to its quality and price. Many hospitals are located at the Dead Sea.

 

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Some of the prices in Israel in 2011

  • Big Mac - $ 4.90;
  • Coca-Cola - $ 1;
  • Mineral Water (1.5L) - $ 1;
  • Public transport in the city - $ 1.5;
  • The bus from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem - $ 5.40;
  • Automotive fuel (1 liter, 96 octane) - 1,7 $;
  • Average dinner at a restaurant for one person - $ 13; 
  • Falafel in pita bread - 3.25 $.

 

Cuisine of Israel The cuisine of Israel has been deeply influenced by Arabian cooking traditions. The most typical dish in Israel - hummus (mashed peas with olive oil and spices) and falafel (fried balls of peas). Pete is also very popular in Israel. Pete is a flat cake with different fillings (vegetables, meat, and fish). Enjoy the local wine, which is famous throughout the world. It should be noted that the Jewish law prohibits eating pork and hare. From seafood they eat only what is covered with scales and has fins (it means no shellfish and lobsters). A prohibition on the eating meat and dairy products at the same time. In the kosher restaurants you will not find, for example, meat salad, seasoned with sour cream.

 

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What to buy in Israel

 

  • Cypress and pearl crosses, Jerusalem candles, icons and other Christian gifts;
  • Jewish religious items: Hanukkah (menorah), the mezuzah (bundle of prayer), tallity (woolen shawls), demons (a vessel for incense);
  • Muslim gifts: plaques with inscriptions from the Koran, prayer rugs, prayer beads;
  • Dead Sea cosmetics;
  • Bedouin and Palestinian carpets and fabrics;
  • Armenian ceramics.

 

Interesting facts about Israel

  1. Israel - the only country where the number of forests is not reduced but rather increased.
  2. In Israel, there is the largest number of museums.
  3. In Israel, there is the largest percentage of immigrants.
  4. Israel occupies a leading position in the world according to the highest rate of cancer patients who survive.
  5. In Israel, there is the highest average living standard in the Middle East.
  6. Cell phone was developed by the Israelis in the Israeli branch of Motorola.
  7. The literacy rate of Israelis belongs to the highest in the world.
  8. Israel lives according to ancient religious laws. Righteous Jew must keep at least 613 rules daily.
  9. In Jerusalem there is Gehenna (Ge Genome Valley, where human sacrifices were made in ancient time and now it is associated with Geena fiery (hell.) in the Christian religion). It is interesting to see the sign "Entrance to Gehenna is forbidden".
  10. In 2000, on the valley of Armageddon (the foot of Mount Megiddo Tel), thousands journalists with cameras were waiting for the End of the World, to be first to film it.
  11. Israel ranks first in the world in the number of computers per person.
  12. On a cemetery in Israel there is the grave of Harry Potter. It was a 17-year-old British Army soldier who died in 1939. Recently, it has become the most visited grave in Israel, and was included in the list of local attractions.
  13. The Dead Sea - the lowest place on Earth.
  14. Contrary to popular opinion, the most salty lake in the world is not the Dead Sea, but the lake Assaal in African Republic of Djibouti. A liter of its water contains 400 grams of salt, in the liter of Dead Sea water - only 340 grams.
  15. The lowest road in the world - the road along the shore of the Dead Sea which runs at 393 meters below sea level.
  16. Judean Desert is the smallest desert in the world (area - 22 square km.).
  17. Since the time of the Israeli-Egyptian border wars there have been mined fields in the dessert. Locals call this area "The place of the flying camel".
  18. If a foreign passport has a visa of Israel, that person will not be able to visit Muslim countries: Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Sudan. 



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