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Christmas in Bethlehem
Background Information of Gamla
Gamla (also Gamala) was an ancient fortified city constructed on a lone hilltop in the Golan Heights, and according to writings resembled a camel's hump. The city was a Zealot city that fought intensely against the Romans during the revolt in 66 C.E. The commander of Galilee was Joseph Ben Mattathias, also known as Josephus Favius, and he wrote extensively about Gamla, Massada and many other towns. Many other cities in the Galilee and the Golan Heights fell prior to Gamla, and Gamla represented the Zealots "last stand" against the Roman Vespasian army. Fighters held back the Roman attacks for over severn months but eventually the Roman army breached the walls and according to writings, massacred scores of people. Those remaining reportedly committed suicide by throwing themselves to their death rather than surrender to the Roman army. Only two women survived the assault.
Archaeologist originally thought another site represented Gamla and the current historical site was only discovered in 1968 when a survey of the area, conducted after the Six Day War, revealed the hilltop. Later excavations uncovered the remains of walls, a synagague, bathouse, and aquaduct, steps and homes that resemble those that were even described by Josephus Flavius.
Don't Miss at Gamla
The Gamla Waterfall is the 50 meters and during the spring one can often see many vultures circling the waterfall. A stop at the Gamla Lookout is quite beautiful. On the walk to the lookout you will pass a n ancient oil-press and other Byzantine period strucutres.
Nearby Sites of Interest
Chorazim National Park - One of the three towns, including Bethsaida and Capernaum, that Jesus cursed.
Yehudiya National Reserve - This park offers one of the most spectacular hikes in the Golan Heights! Two trails, Nahal Yehudiya (approximately 3-4 hours with rest stops) and Nahal Zavitan (approximately 2-3 hours with stops) wind through the river beds and provide ample opportunity to swim in the fresh water pools. Nahal Yehudiya is for the more experienced hiker; travelers on this trail should know that they will have to swim across a natural water pool in order to pass at certain points and should only take necessary items with them that can get wet.
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