Kiryat Tiv'on, Israel: The Pastoral Paradise of the Galilee

Kiryat Tiv’on is a town located in the Haifa district of the northern Galilee between the Zvulun and Jezreel Valleys. The region itself was long inhabited before the town appeared and mentioned in both the Talmud and the Mishnah. Today, Kiryat Tiv’on is a quiet and idyllic town covered in green vegetation, with rolling hills and tall trees.

ancient burial site at Beit She'arim National Park in Kiryat Tiv'on

The History of Kiryat Tiv’on

The Jewish history of Kiryat Tiv’on extends all the way back to the 2nd century CE, the evidence for which can be found in the burial caves that were in use until the 4th century CE. During this time the settlement was known as Beit She’arim. This was the site for the highest court of justice in ancient Israel during the Roman period known as the Sanhedrin. After the destruction of the Second Temple and the expulsion of Jews into the diaspora Kiryat Tiv’on became a predominantly Muslim town.

During this time the town was called Taubun. This all changed with the creation of the state of Israel and in 1956 several smaller settlements were combined to form what today is recognized as Kiryat Tiv’on. Excavations in the last several decades revealed the area’s rich history, which is still yielding more and more discoveries. There has never been any major industry activity in Kiryat Tiv’on which has preserved the pristine green of the landscape. This town is a nature and history lover’s paradise. Within its limits Kiryat Tiv’on has some of the most fascinating archaeological sites to visit, fantastic public parks, natural springs, as well as flourishing artistic life. There is not a more picture perfect town in the whole of Israel.       

As previously mentioned, due to the lack of industry the soil of Kiryat Tiv’on produces some of the best grapes for wine in the world. Visitors to the town should check out the Tulip Winery. Established in 2003 by the Yitzhaki family, this small winery has since gained international recognition. The winery is rooted in the community, working with members of Kfar Tikvah, a special needs community. The winery integrates them into the workforce of the Tulip family. Visits to the facility can be booked online which offers a range of tasting experiences. Visitors can elect for a simple wine tasting or go big with additional add ons like local cheeses, breads, olives, and stuffed grape leaves. If you take great joy in the edible pleasures of life do not miss out on this experience. In Kiryat Tiv’on, people are rooted to the land through food, drink, and celebrations of local cultural and artistic life. 

four bottles of wine on a wooden barrel at tulip winery

Every year the community comes together for the Sheik Avreik Festival, a celebration of local artisans, musicians, culture, and community. The festival features over 280 performances and activities, a local experience not to be missed. One of the other best local experiences to have in this picture perfect fresh environment is a dip in the waters of the Alroi spring. As you enter the waters you are surrounded on all sides by the lush vegetation of Israel’s northern region. Stone steps leading down into the spring will take you back to the region’s ancient history. Speaking of ancient history, one of Israel’s most famous necropoli is located in the Beit She’arim National Park.

This necropolis also happens to be the resting place for the legendary Jewish sage and author Judah HaNassi. Judah was one of the original editors and redactors of the Mishnah, a central text of rabbinic thought and responsum. Other notable burial sites in Kiryat Tiv’on include the founder of several Jewish defense organizations, Alexander Zeid. Zeid was also the first to discover the necropolis of Beit She’arim. Be sure to look out for his commemorative statue which borders Beit She’arim park, overlooking the Jezreel valley.   

Statue of Alexander Zeid in Kiryat Tiv'on
Hanay, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

For such a small community Kiryat Tiv’on has had a major impact on the cultural and ecological life of Israel. All roads to Kiryat Tiv’on curve with the land. They lead to a wondrous and peaceful vacation destination just eighteen kilometers away from the hustle and bustle of Haifa. The town is a paramount example of an ideal marriage between culture, history, and the beauty of Israel’s environment.  

 

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