Fodor's Expert Review Gamla Nature Reserve

Gamla Nature Reserve Archaeological Site/Ruins

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... READ MORE

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. Also in the reserve are Israel's tallest waterfall, picturesque streams for nature walks, and varied wildlife.

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Archaeological Site/Ruins Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge Park (National/State/Provincial) Family

Quick Facts

Off Rte. 869
Gamla, Northern District  1290000, Israel

04-682–2282

www.parks.org.il

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: NIS 29

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