"The National Park of the Mosaics" Zippori by gubbi1

Zippori Travel Guide: 18 reviews and 64 photos

If you like art and culture the National Park of Zippori is a must. Already during my preparations for my trip to Israel I came across this park and put it on my 'ToDo'-list. Later when reaching the north of the country again I came across this place when visiting the beautiful mosaic of the synagogue in the Bet-Alfa National Park. In fact the artists who made that beautiful floor were hired when doing their work here in Zippori. You will notice strong similarities once visiting the Bet-Alfa synagogue and the synagogue here in Zippori, which is a small but beautiful part of the National Park.

Typical for the places in this region also Zippori has a long eventful history, which is well explained here on the webpage of the National Parks Authorities of Israel, which I warmly recommend to anyone interested in the historic places of this fascinating country. The National Park is quite a large area with plenty of mosaics, which are not 'just' different colored patterns, but impressive huge pictures. Beside all these nice items, it should not be forgotten, that Zippori also hosts 'normal' excavations and a huge cistern that you definitely should visit. But lets go through all the different things that I recommend. Unfortunately I had some technical problems with my photo storage so that I lost my photos of the very beautiful Nile Mosaic. But I hope linking to external photos will give you an idea of that piece of art.

Things that I highly recommend in the National Park of Zippori...

... Nile Mosaic: This Mosaic is located in the Nile House. It shows the celebration held in Egypt at the times when the Nile had is peak and brought fertile floodings. These allowed the egypt culture to florish and therefore this event was very important. On the mosaic you can see the Nile in the center as a band flowing from left to right. You will find the lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the seven world wonders, and a pole (the Nilometer) used as measuring device for the level of the river. I am sure you will like the mosaic like me and you will stand in front of it to have a longer look.

... Orpheus Mosaic: Orpheus was a mythical musician who impressed and charmed everything around him, from people to animals and things. On his weddingday his wife was killed by a snake bite. Orpheus got the permission from the god of the underworld to follow her and bring her back. Only he was not alllowed to look back, but he did this to see if she followed him out. That way he lost her forever. On the mosaic you can see Orpheus charming animals gathering around him.

... The Amazons Hunting Mosaic: Looking around at the mosaics you will come across a mosaic marked as the The Amazons Hunting. Amazons were the women who cut off their breasts to have it easier to use bow and arrow. If you look at the mosaic, you will see that it is half proven that these women aren't Amazons.

... Many different patterns:
Walking through the National Park you will come across many different pattern of mosaic floors. It is impressive how many mosaic floors were found here.

... The Roman Villa:
On a small hill in the Park you can go inside a building which protects a huge mosaic of a roman villa. It has many different scenes related to Dionysus, the god of wine. Plates set up there explain detailed what there is to see. I recommend to spend some time here.

... The Synagogues Mosaic:
This mosaic which used to be the floor of a synagogue is strongly related to the synagogues floor in Bet-Alfa National Park. Both mosaics were made by the same artists. The mosaic is well preserved and is almost identical to the one of Bet-Alfa, kind of mass production. Have a look on my Bet-Alfa page for more details.

... The cistern:
Here in Zippori I saw the by far largest cistern during my trip in Israel. Actually I came to the park in the afternoon. There was so much to see and I spent so much time here that I got close to closing time. People were asked to prepare for leaving, but I wanted to see the cisterns. I didn't kow that it is so large, but they told me I could go there and have a look and they would tell the security at the exit that I would come a few minutes later. So I stopped by car at the cistern and climbed into it. The cistern is a very long canyon like depot for the storage of water, which is essential here in the region. You can climb into the cistern and walk through it to leave it after maybe 100 meters on the other end. Very impressive and should not be missed!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Very nice! Highly recommended!
  • Last visit to Zippori: Nov 2010
  • Intro Updated Jan 15, 2011
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gubbi1

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