The Old City of Safed Tour Routes and Entertainment Ideas

Itinerary type: Independent   |   Itinerary type: Hike   |   Itinerary duration: About- 5 Hours   |   Itinerary level: Easy   |   Best Season: All Seasons
In shorcut...
The tour in the stone alleys of the Jewish Quarter in Safed, the city of the Kabbalists and one of the four most holy cities in Israel, is a time spent within a lot of history, many stories and a wonderful atmosphere of holiness and mysticism. This tour passes between the cool alleys of Safed, from the Old Jewish Quarter with its ancient synagogues and lively market where one can find Judaica items and authentic souvenirs, to the Artists' Colony which is in the Arab Quarter.
Itinerary properties:   ●  Families  ●  City trip   ●   Non-circular tour
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Beit HaMeiri (HaMeiri House) Museum is one of the more interesting places for learning the multifaceted history of the Jewish settlement in Safed. Despite the distant nostalgic atmosphere, this is a fairly new museum that was established in 1980 by Yehezkel HaMeiri, who comes from a family that has lived in Safed for many generations. History already begins with the story of the museum’s structure itself, which has served in its past as the home of Kabbalists, a Rabbinical Court and even as the first Hebrew school in Safed which was active here at the end of the 19th century. Beit HaMeiri Museum presents many documents from Safed’s history, as well as clothing, old photographs, everyday tools and more. Beit HaMeiri Museum includes a reconstruction of an old living room, as well as portraits of people who are connected with the city of Safed. Beit HaMeiri Museum is located on 68 Yod-Alef Lane.
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Walking around between the stone alleys of the Jewish Quarter in the "Old City" of Safed (Tzfat), a center of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) and "the City of the Kabbalists”, and one of Judaism's Four Holy Cities, is filled with history, many stories and a great atmosphere of holiness and mysticism. Among these cool picturesque alleys, in which the color of blue rules in order to ward off the "evil eye”, one can find the Jewish Quarter’s "Cardo”, which served in the 16th century as Safed’s main street and today it offers an abundance of stores that sell ritual articles in special designs. At the "Cardo” one can also find ancient synagogues, of which the biggest and most magnificent is the Aboab Synagogue, where a six hundred years old Bible is found, which was brought here by the Jews who were expelled from Spain in the late 15th century. There is also a more than two thousand years old ancient cemetery near the Jewish Quarter’s "Cardo”, in which are buried famous Rabbis, such as the Kabbalist Rabbi Isaac Luria Ashkenazi- also named "HaAri" (acronym for "The Godly Rabbi Isaac") and Rabbi Yosef Caro, who both died in the 16th century, and also the Biblical Jewish Martyr Hannah and her seven sons.

 

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Many tens of special porcelain dolls can be found in this surprising Doll Museum, which was founded by the local artist, Mila Rozenfeld. And these are not just any dolls, but dolls that are dressed with handmade, well researched and historically correct costumes. The dolls are made of high-quality porcelain and are all handmade unique pieces. The dolls at the Doll Museum are in exact proportion to the human body (1:4) and they are all made personally by Mila Rozenfeld, from the porcelain casting stage through the painting of the facial features, the creation and putting together of the various body parts, painting of skin colors and, of course, sewing the costumes. The dolls at the Doll Museum are divided into three categories: European nobility, Jewish Diaspora, Folklore and historical figures. A visit to Mila Rozenfeld’s Doll Museum is a very unusual and colorful artistic experience. The Doll Museum is located in the Eshtam Building at Kikar Sadeh in the Old City of Safed.
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Moshe Ziffer (1902 - 1989) is considered to be among the cornerstones of Israeli sculpting of the mid 20th century and later. Moshe Ziffer delicately combined between the modern and the conservative; he worked with materials such as stone, bronze and wood, and was a great influence on many Israeli artists. In the beginning of his thirties he "adopted” Safed, where he went every summer. In 1959 Moshe Ziffer received from the city of Safed an old rickety house, which he renovated, cultivated and decorated with sculptures, with the dramatic landscape of Mount Meron and its surroundings as its setting. This was the beginning of the Moshe Ziffer Sculpture Garden that we see today, which combines art and flora that live harmoniously side by side. At the Moshe Ziffer Sculpture Garden there is also a beautiful gallery. The Moshe Ziffer Sculpture Garden is located on Simtat Tet-Vav Street.
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Rabbi Yitzhak Ashkenazi Luria, also name HaAri, was born in 1534 and is considered to be the father of contemporary Jewish Kabbalah. The Ashkenazi HaAri Synagogue is named after Rabbi Yitzhak Ashkenazi Luria as it was here that he used to welcome the Sabbath, in an area which in those says was outside the built city. HaAri, who came to Safed in 1570 and was captivated by it, gathered around him quite a few students who were named the Lion Cubs (as HaAri in Hebrew means "The Lion”). Rabbi Yitzhak Ashkenazi Luria passed away at the age of 38 and his tomb is found in the nearby ancient cemetery. The Ashkenazi HaAri Synagogue itself was built by his students after his death. In the year of 1837, when the city of Safed experienced one of the strongest earthquakes in its history, the Ashkenazi HaAri Synagogue was destroyed and it was only in the 1980s that it was reconstructed. The Ashkenazi HaAri Synagogue has an impressive Holy Ark and many people come here from all around the country. The Ashkenazi HaAri Synagogue is located in Kikar HaMeginim (the Defenders square).

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The Saraya (meaning a "palace” in Turkish), located in Kikar HaAtzma’ut (Independence Square) in the Old City of Safed, is one the city’s most familiar symbols. The Saraya was built in the mid 18th century, in the days of the famous Ottoman ruler, Dahar El-Omar, and was meant to serve the local governor. The Saraya building has two floors and includes rooms and a long balcony. At the front of the Saraya building stands a magnificent clock (which, by the way, still works). After going through many changes throughout its history, the Saraya building was renovated in 1975 and today it serves as a cultural center in which is displayed a permanent exhibition about the history of Safed. The Saraya building also includes a tourist information center and a modestly sized synagogue.

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In the houses of the Arab Quarter in Safed, which were deserted during the War of Independence, a group of artists took residence and established the Artists’ Colony. The local mosque serves today as the location for a general exhibition of the works of the generations of Safed artists. Outside the complex, artists who have recently immigrated to Israel exhibit their artworks. The golden days of this place have passed a long time ago, but strolling among the artists’ private houses, open to visitors, and through the beautiful vine shaded courtyards, leads to real surprises. The main attraction of this place is the Yitzhak Frenkel Frenel Museum, a beautiful Safed house presenting about a hundred of this artist’s works. Ilana Frenkel, the artist’s widow, accompanies visitors on a guided tour of the museum and tells the story of this artist who was one of the most important painters of the Paris School.


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Yitzhak Frenkel Frenel was born in Odessa, Ukraine, in 1899 and is considered to be one of the founders of the Artists' Colony in Safed. Yitzhak Frenkel Frenel immigrated to Israel in 1948, settled in Safed, and as a graduate of the Art Academy worked in the field and painted impressive, strong colored paintings. The Frenkel Frenel Museum, which presents Yitzhak Frenkel Frenel’s artwork, is housed in a charming stone house in the best of Safed’s tradition. Among others, one can find here paintings of Safed landscapes in particular and Israeli landscapes in general, portraits, settings for the theater and more. Yitzhak Frenkel Frenel’s family give guided tours to the visitors of the Frenkel Frenel Museum and tell about Yitzhak Frenkel Frenel, the man and his work, as well as about his influence on the local art scene during his lifetime. The Frenkel Frenel Museum is located on 16 Tet-Zayin Street.
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The Aboab Synagogue in Safed is considered to be the most magnificent of the city’s old Synagogues. Responsible for that, among other things, is its dome that is rich with symbols, which stands on four columns. The Aboab Synagogue, which was built in the 16th century, is named after Rabbi Isaac Aboab, who lived in the 15th century. In the Aboab Synagogue’s southern wall are set three Holy Arks, and in its center is a raised platform which the audience sitting around it is facing. Among the beautiful decorations on the dome of the Aboab Synagogue one sees ancient musical instruments, various crowns and many symbols. And everything is filled with inspiring ancient traditional atmosphere. Arrival at the Aboab Synagogue: the Aboab Synagogue is located on Aboab Street in the Old City of Safed.
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The Galilee Tour Routes and Entertainment Ideas
Best Season: All Seasons
Type of Tour: Independent
Tour Mode: Drive
Tour Duration: About- 5 Hours
Difficulty Level: Easy
Best Season: All Seasons
Type of Tour: Independent
Tour Mode: Drive
Tour Duration: About- 4 Hours
Difficulty Level: Easy

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