Hamat Tiberias: Not Just a Resort
There are many resorts in the world, including those with hot springs. But Hamat Tiberias (Israel) is a very special place.
On the map you can easily find it: any tourist or pilgrim who wants to visit Israel, first of all finds the Kinneret on the map, other names the Sea of Galilee or Lake Tiberius. “The Apostle Andrew fished from the pier, and Jesus walked on the water” right here!
There are also Jewish religious sites.
That is why this place is loved by all who not only would like to improve their health, but also come into contact with the rich religious history of the Holy Land.
Actually, Hamat Tiberias on the west coast of Kinneret and in the south of the city of Tiberias – 17 hot mineral keys beating out of the ground, are included in the complex of the national park Hamat Tiberias and along with Hamey Gaash and Hamat Gader.
They are a very popular resort in Israel. Any competent physician will tell about the positive health effects of thermal springs. By the way, the healing effects of these sources is considered a gift from God and therefore the rabbis bless to swim in them even on Shabbat!
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Healing properties of thermal sources.
The water temperature reaches 63 degrees, and even by its color it is noticeable that many elements of the periodic table “live” in it.
From the depths of the earth – the sources hit from a depth of up to 2000 m! But do not be afraid to “be boiled.” Water for pools, jacuzzis and baths is cooled to an acceptable temperature.
Here are some useful substances for the body in it:
- Hydrogen sulfide compounds (in general, there are more than a hundred of all elements).
All this in combination with the temperature of the water has an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, rejuvenating effect on the body. The health complex Hamei Tiberias is very popular in the winter months.
Wonders of the national park Hamat Tiberias.
Archaeological excavations here began in 1920, when the remains of an ancient synagogue were accidentally discovered during the construction of a local road. The former building itself was most carefully excavated in 1961-63.
So, here are two important sights:
- Hamat synagogue.
- Suleiman Museum.
The synagogue was built from the end of the 3rd to the 4th centuries. In the fourth century, its floor was decorated with elaborate Greek-Roman mosaics.
The menorah, palm branches, the Ark of the Covenant and the chariot of Helios, the ancient Greek god of the Sun, which is indispensable for such images, are perfectly visible on it. According to scientists, the symbol of Earth is in his hand.
Four women symbolize the four seasons. Zodiac signs are located here in a unique way: against the sun.
The names of people who donated their funds for construction were written in nine cells in Greek and Aramaic. Interestingly, not a single Hebrew name is here – perhaps, this indicates the predominant composition of the local population during construction.
Only this synagogue in Galilee, facing the entrance to Jerusalem.
Rabbi and demon.
Hamam (bath) Suleiman – a building of black basalt blocks with a dome, painted with white paint. The building belongs to the XVIII century, and this bath worked until the middle of XX!
Despite the Turkish architecture and name, this hamam is not related to the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Moreover, it was built and named in honor of the righteous of the Jews! His name was Rabbi Shlomo, and he came to Tiberias from Chelm. For over thirty years Rabbi studied Kabbalah.
One day, residents of the city turned to him with a request to rid the lake of Kinneret from a demon who settled in it and poisoned water. So much so that people, after drinking it, are blind. The rabbi called the demon to a rabbinical court and offered him a clever dispute in which the devil lost to the wise Shlomo.
According to how they had conspired, he had to fulfill his will. Shlomo ordered the defeated demon to descend into a crack on the side of a mountain, from where a spring was beating, and to warm water in it – so that, from now on, it would not cripple people, but heal.
The happy inhabitants of Tiberias built over the source, the same hamam, but they called it – because the Ottoman Empire ruled in Judea in Turkish: Hamam Suleiman (Shlomo).
And the demon, having served the term indicated by the rabbi, left this place, then the boor and stopped his work. Now it is a museum.
The graves of the righteous.
If you are interested in the spiritual and religious history of Israel, you should definitely visit the graves of the righteous Jews in Tiberias.
- The Great Chia – Rabbi, who lived in the II century and dedicated his life to spreading the teachings of the Torah among the children of Eretz Israel. He invented a unique system for studying the Pentateuch. With his own hands, he wove nets for deer hunting. Parchment for Torah scrolls was made from their skins.
- Akiva is a famous scribe who himself learned the Torah only after 40 years (before that he could not read at all), the participant and inspirer of the anti-Roman uprising of Bar Kochba.
- Meir Baal Ha-Nes is a disciple of Rabbi Akiva, one of the creators of the Talmud and a miracle worker (this is how his nickname Ha-Nes translates).
- Chaim Abulafia – a Rabbi who lived in Tiberias at the end of the 18th century, built a synagogue and other public buildings here, built houses for residents and improved the streets, and his prayers at the graves of the righteous people of the past saved Tiberias from further destruction.
- Rambam or Maimonides – the most famous Jewish sage in the European world. He comes from Cordoba, distinguished by his righteous life and the art of healing. His grave is impossible to miss – it is located right next to the bus station.
- Tiberias is also famous for the graves of famous Jewish women. Their graves are united in an architectural complex, surrounded by a wall of stone, the ancestors of the people of Judea, each of which was wise. Unusually beautiful or rewarded with a divine visionary gift.
Organized Rest Day in Hamat Tiberias
Group day tour to Hamat Tiberias on Saturdays from the cities of the center of Israel: Bat Yam, Tel Aviv, Netanya
Private transfer from the center of Israel and Jerusalem upon request.
Visit Hamat Tiberias
- From October to March – from 08:00 to 16:00 (during the winter months the hot water of the springs seems just magical!).
- From April to September – from 08:00 to 17:00.
One hour before closing the cashier closes, be careful.
You need to pay for the visit:
- adults – 14 shekels.
- retirees – 50% discount.
- Children – 7 NIS.
- Groups with more than 30 people – 13 NIS. adult ticket, 6 – for children.
How to get Hamat Tiberias yourself.
- From Jerusalem – depart every 2 hours, 3 hours on the road
- From Tel Aviv – departure every hour, on the way – 2.5 hours.
- If you are not traveling on Shabbat, then once an hour you can take buses coming from Safed, Haifa, Afula, Beit Shean, Kiryat Shmona.
All buses arrive at Tiberias central bus station.
From here, on weekends and holidays, there is a free shuttle bus that takes you along the coast of Kinneret. He runs every 2 hours from 8.00 to 22.00.
On the site www.bus.co.il/otobusimmvc you can pick up a bus of any public transport company of Israel.