Saturday 5 December 2009

Not a trip to the garden centre - Neot Kedumim

Neot Kedumim -- the Biblical Landscape Reserve, halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, is a unique re-creation of the physical setting of the Bible in all its depth and detail and is far more than a "garden" showing various biblical plants. It draws on a variety of disciplines -- such as Bible scholarship, botany, zoology, geography, history, and archaeology -- to bring the Bible and its commentaries to life. Literally with the Bible in one hand and a spade in the other, Neot Kedumim staff constructed a network of natural and agricultural landscapes bearing names that indicate their textual sources: the Forest of Milk and Honey , the Dale of the Song of Songs , Isaiah's Vineyard , the Fields of the Seven Species etc. Over the years, thousands of tons of soil were brought in to cover the eroded hillsides, reservoirs were dug to catch runoff rainwater and ancient terraces restored. Habitats were created for species which were not native to the Judean hills, such as cedars of Lebanon and Sinai date palms. Hundreds of varieties of biblical and Talmudic plants; wild and domesticated animals; ancient and reconstructed olive and wine presses, threshing floors, cisterns, and mikvaot now bring the Bible to life.

The best way to see Neot Kedumim is on foot, leaving you car in the car park and walking the trails. For those less mobile, 2-seater electric buggies (pre booked) are available. Neot Kedumim offers three paved trails and one unpaved trail The paved trails are suitable for wheelchairs and baby buggies. Along the trails are toilets, drinking water and litter baskets. To reach Neot Kedumim from Tel Aviv, take the Jerusalem Highway (Route 1) south. Exit at the Ben Shemen Interchange. Follow the road as it merges with Route 443. The Neot Kedumim entrance is on the left side of the road, about 3 km. from the junction.

To view a Google map of this site, please click here.

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