Upper Galilee and the Golan Sights

Gamla Nature Reserve

  • Off Rte. 869 Map It
  • Gamla
  • Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

Published 03/15/2016

Fodor's Review

The main story of the camel-shaped Gamla (the name comes from gamal, the Hebrew word for "camel") goes back to the year AD 67, when at the beginning of the Great Revolt, Vespasian launched a bloody attack here that ended seven months later, when the 9,000 surviving Jews flung themselves to their deaths in the abyss below the town. The vivid descriptions of the battle, as written by Flavius Josephus in The Jewish War, are engraved in stones along the trail site: "Built against the almost vertical flank, the town seemed to be hung in the air"—exactly the impression visitors still have as they approach the site.

Because Gamla was never rebuilt, the relics of the battlefield still eerily match the ancient sources, among them the fortifications, 2,000 "missile stones," and a large number of arrowheads. From a much earlier period (probably the 2nd millennium BC), there are about 200 dolmens scattered in the area—strange basalt structures shaped like the Greek letter pi, probably used for burial. There is an excellent film on the story of Gamla at the Golan Archaeological Museum in Katzrin. The raptor observation station adds a fun touch for kids.

Sight Information

Address:

Off Rte. 869, Gamla, Northern District, 1290000, Israel

Map It

Phone:

04-682–2282

Sight Details:

  • NIS 29
  • Apr.–Sept. daily 8–5; Oct.–Mar. daily 8–4; last entry 1 hr before closing

Published 03/15/2016

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