Sunday, October 19, 2014

National Parks: Castel Edition

Warning: The following post may exceed the recommended daily allowance for other people’s vacation pictures and videos. Proceed at your own risk.

And so, the succah is put away; the younger kids have gone back to school; and we’ve reached that elusive time of year known here in Israel as אחרי החגים (literally, “after the holidays”).

B”H we had a wonderful Succot. We spent time with family and friends and enjoyed various activities and outings – including, as promised, a repeat visit to the Circus Festival and, of course, the requisite trip to one of our beautiful country’s many national parks.

This time our destination was the Castel (aka Har Ma’oz (“Stronghold Mountain”) for the Hebraically-oriented amongst you).

Originally a Roman-era fortress known as Castellum, it was subsequently renovated by the Byzantines, who called it Castellum Belvoir and appreciated its proximity to similar fortresses in the area (such as Ein Chemed and others).

Soaring above and dominating Route 1 (the main highway leading up to Yerushalayim), the Castel was the site of a key battle during the War of Independence. Many brave men and women gave their lives during the heavy fighting.

At one point, the situation became so desperate that the Palmach company commander and his deputy famously ordered the privates to retreat – shielded by their commanders, who remained behind and continued fighting.

When the war finally ended, the newly-formed IDF dug a number of bunkers and communication trenches around the Castel, which overlooked what was then the Jordanian border.

And now, without further ado, the threatened promised pictures: (As always, please feel free to click on the pictures for a much better view.)

First, the traditional view of the price list… to show how much money we WOULD have saved, if we hadn’t allowed our National Parks membership to lapse:


Looking up at the fortress:


Inside one of the tunnels:


The view from the top:


And finally, a video showing a walk through one of the communication trenches:

חורף טוב, בריא וגשום!

Have a wonderful, healthy, and rainy winter!


P.S. The latest HH blog carnival is available here. Special thanks to Batya for including my Reasons 3721 and 3722 for making aliyah.


  1. coming from HH. Looks like an interesting place to visit... and I am sure that the view from there is great , too!

    1. Rickismom - Thanks. If you click on the last three pictures, you can get a better look at the view.


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