Places to visit in Беэр-Шева, Lehavim

Beer Sheva, Dudaim Forest, Lahavim Forest and Sternbergia flowering.


This is a weekend trip for the whole family. Negev - the desert in southern Israel is especially beautiful after the first rains. In Be'er Sheva, the story is about the old city of Turkish and English Be'er Sheva, the last steam train, a Jewish soldier and a damned mosque. After Beer Sheva, the path passes through the hills of the Goral in a jeep, however, in the area of Lahavim, you can reach the place of flowering of Sternbergia on asphalt roads. Translated with Google Translate

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Evgeny Praisman (author)
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119.14 km
6h 26 m
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The Turks built a train station during the First World War. It was intended for the transfer of troops to the Sinai. Beer Sheva became a transit point for the railway line from Schema Tulkarem and Lod, to the Beer Sheva Nitzan branch. At the festive opening of the station, Turkish officers attended along with German officers. These were allied forces against the British. The station never fulfilled its purpose, because the British, under the command of Allenby, captured Beer Sheva in the autumn of 1917. Translated with Google Translate

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The British used the station for some time, but dismantled the Turkish line to Nitzana and instead laid a branch in Rafah on the border with Egypt. Due to the fact that the Turkish gauge and the English were of different widths, the use of this station ceased in 1922. The station building began to serve administrative purposes. During the war for the independence of Israel, the headquarters of the Egyptians settled here, and after the creation of the country, the station building passed into the possession of the army. It housed the Israeli intelligence unit. In the mid-fifties of the last century, the need arose for a railroad leading from Be'er Sheva to the center of the country. This was due to the construction of a nuclear reactor in Dimona. Then they switched to the use of diesel locomotives. The last steam locomotive, numbered 70414, set off on its last voyage from Beer Sheva North Station in 1956. A copy of this steam locomotive was brought from the UK and installed here as a historical monument. Translated with Google Translate

Once upon a time there was a station clock. They say that the Turks set the clock, as expected, at each station, but often the locals needed to explain what it was. Translated with Google Translate

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At one time, the last flight of the engine from Be'er Sheva to Tel Aviv aroused stormy emotions among the inhabitants of the country. With the last engine, an entire era ended. The country was moving to a new type of railway transport - a locomotive. The acclaimed Israeli poet songwriter Haim Hefer wrote the song Steam Locomotive 70414, which has been quite popular for a long time. The words of the chorus are inscribed on the wall of the house of the head of the station. Translated with Google Translate

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A monument to Turkish soldiers was erected by the Turks in 2012 in memory of Turkish soldiers who died near Beer Sheva in battles with the British. Opposite the monument to the soldiers, in the lower part of which there is a hysterical memorial plaque, a bust of Kamal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey after the First World War, rises. The historic marble tablet was created by the British and was located at the entrance to the English war cemetery. Translated with Google Translate

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Water towers made it possible to fill steam locomotives with water. For refueling the engine it was necessary a lot of pressure, in order to create it - they built towers. Heated water to produce steam using a furnace that was heated with coal. It was expensive to import coal, so they used charcoal. To this day, the designation of the type of activity of its inhabitants has been preserved in the name of the Arab village of Um al-Fahm. The mind is the people, el fahm is coal. Translated with Google Translate

Even the Turkish authorities began to green Beer Sheva. Pasha Abdul Hamid the second visited Rishon leTsion and was so impressed by the achievements of the first settlers that he invited agronomists to create gardens and parks in Be'er Sheva. After the proclamation of the state of Israel, the park was named after David Remez. Translated with Google Translate

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Wells on the paths of nomads created parking lots that turned into shopping and community centers. It was Beer Sheva that was such an ancient parking in the Negev. Abraham also dug here one of the wells, which, however, the satraps of the local king took away from him. He even had to pay an expensive ransom in support of his rights to this well. Another biblical story suggests that it was here, under the shadow of a tamarisk, that he met travelers and received from in his tent. These were angels in the form of men, and it was then that an alliance was made with the one God. The Byzantines used well water to irrigate wheat fields and actively developed agricultural farms in the Negev. The Turks called Be'er Sheva a city, laid the main streets and built a mosque, a government house, administration and an inn. There lies our way. Translated with Google Translate

The Museum of Art is located in the house of Turkish rule. In front of him is a horse - the fruit of the artist Kadishman. The museum is open on Saturdays, more about opening hours on a sign at the entrance. Translated with Google Translate

The house of government of the newly-minted Turkish city was built on the principle of the provincial houses of kunak - the Turkish ruler, who is not quite a ruler, but more a mediator, adviser, kind and wise representative of the authorities. The Turks needed to gain the trust of the Bedouin tribes, which they did. However, this did not help them when World War I broke out and the nomads supported the British. Translated with Google Translate

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The Museum of Islamic Culture is located in the building of a large mosque. It was built along with the house of government. According to legend, a curse fell on the mosque, and no one ever prayed in it. Nevertheless, it is the only large mosque during the Turkish rule in Be'er Sheva and the Negev. Today it houses a museum of Islamic culture. It was decided to create such a museum in an empty mosque building by decision of the Supreme Court of the State of Israel. The matter went to court, when the Negev Muslims demanded that they return the religious building for worship. The military authorities, on the contrary, argued that since the mosque never performed its religious function and did not belong to a religious community, it, like other Turkish buildings nationalized by the British and then Israel, should not be converted into religious property. The court decided to place a museum in the mosque, thus preserving its Islamic spirit, but not giving the place a religious coloring, which it never had. Translated with Google Translate

The museum of Islamic culture in the mosque presents very interesting exhibits. These are examples of ancient documents, copies of Turkish office work, household items of nomads, language studies, the origin and borrowing of words from Turkic to Arabic and vice versa. There are also works by contemporary Arab artists. Translated with Google Translate

The courtyard of a large mosque is located around the well. It is surrounded by a colonnade on one side and resembles in some way a Spanish courtyard. This is very accurately traced the influence of the culture of Islam. The massive wooden entrance door keeps imprints of antiquity, and those islands of oases in the desert that attracted travelers so much create coolness and freshness. Translated with Google Translate

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English Field Marshal Allenby Park was created by the British immediately after the capture of Beer Sheva. Allenby became famous for having replaced the commander-in-chief of the British troops in Egypt, transferred the army headquarters to the front line in Rafiyah (Rafah) and attacked impregnable Turkish Gaza with the help of a roundabout maneuver, capturing Beer Sheva first. This lightning strike allowed the British already in December of that year to triumphantly enter Jerusalem. Translated with Google Translate

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Allenby called in lightweight mobile cavalry from the countries of the British Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand, which allowed him not to delay the troops from the European theater of operations and focus on lightning-fast maneuvers instead of positional warfare. For the Turks, Allenby became a symbol of English treachery, and Lawrence of Arabia, financed by him, was able to raise the Bedouins to capture Aqaba and crush all Turkish positions in the Middle East. Translated with Google Translate

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For many years, local residents refused to put up with the cult of the invader and the monument was repeatedly desecrated. Once they even blew up, leaving no stone unturned. The British carefully restored it, but over time they decided to leave only the obelisk and the modest years of Allenby's rule in occupied Palestine. By the way, the sculptor of the monument was Abraham Melnikov - a native of Bessarabia, who became famous for his monument "Growling Lion" in the north of the country. Translated with Google Translate

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Sarai is a Beer Sheva City Hall since the time of Turkish rule. It was built on a hillock and was visible from far away. So the Turks strengthened their power within the Bedouin nomads. The British also used this building for its intended purpose, and behind them the authority of Israel. Today the police building is located here, and its northern part is occupied by the headquarters of the army of the southern district. Translated with Google Translate

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When in 1936-1939, in the mandated British Palestine, the Arabs raised a great uprising, the British began to strengthen their administrative buildings by building concrete fortresses. They were designed by renowned English policeman and anti-terror specialist Charles Tugert, a Londonerry native from Ireland. He devoted 30 years to serving in the police, of which 27 in Calcutta. Tigert was a great friend of the Zionists, which did not prevent the British from arresting underground activists, torturing them and passing death sentences by hanging. Translated with Google Translate

Palmach Street is one of the oldest streets in the city, designed during the reign of the Turkish Empire. Today, the street is undergoing reconstruction, but fragments of the architecture of buildings of the early 20th century speak about its history. At this place was a large bazaar, which was the central bazaar of the Negev in the 60s of the 20th century. Translated with Google Translate

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The English war cemetery was created immediately after the end of the fighting. On it were buried 139 soldiers who died in the battle for Beer Sheva. In total, from the fall of 1917 until the end of the English mandate in Palestine in May 1948, 1,240 English soldiers and officers were buried on it. In honor of the celebration of the centennial of the battle in 2017, the ANZAC Museum of Military Heritage, the Australian New Zealand Expeditionary Force, was opened. Translated with Google Translate

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Among 1240 tombstones, there is only one grave of a Jewish soldier - captain Seymour Jacob Van den Berg. He died on October 27, 1917, at the battle of El Buggar Mountain Range east of Be'er Sheva. He commanded a detachment of 28 fighters, holding the height at number 720, which was subjected to continuous attacks by the Turkish troops for several hours. Only four people were able to survive in this bloody massacre. Van den Berg was born July 28, 1890 in Hampstead in Holland, in the family of Henry and Henrietta Van den Berg (née Spagnard). His father was the chairman of the family-owned margarine business, which later teamed up with Lever Brothers and formed the famous Unilever brand. Translated with Google Translate

To the north of the new quarters of Be'er Sheva, hills called the Gwaot Goral rise. This popular name probably came from a warped Bedouin Tauville Abu Jurval - Kryazh Abu Jurval named after the Bedouin camp of the same name. Here is one of the highest points of the hills with beautiful views. You can get here by any type of transport, you need only a relatively high draft of the car. Jeeps can continue on. Translated with Google Translate

This is a modern railway connecting Lod and Beer Sheva. A little north here comes the branch from Ascalon (Ashkelon). This is the ancient direction of the Turkish railway. Translated with Google Translate

Almost the only crossing under the railway between the Lahavim intersection and the Goral intersection is the bed of the Karkur stream. It originates east of the hillsides of Guaot Goral and is gaining strength in this place. Further downstream, archaeologists from Be'er Sheva discovered Byzantine agricultural farms. They used winter waters and accumulated them using dams on the channel of the Karkur stream. Translated with Google Translate

This is an indoor anthill. He has already prepared for the winter. In a very short period in the fall before the first rains, when it is still warm, the ants leave their anthills and come to the surface to breed and multiply. It lasts a few days. Someone returns to the house, and someone will create a new colony. Then the anthill closes for the winter. Translated with Google Translate

At this point, the railway branch from Ashkelon approaches the Lod Beer Sheva branch. It is new and was created solely to connect the residents of Ashkelon Netivot and Ofakim with the main railway in the direction of Lod - Beer Sheva. Translated with Google Translate

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Dudaim creek is another, along with Karkur creek, a large seasonal creek Gvaot Goral. Its name comes from the name of the plant Duda or Mandragora. It is wild, and sometimes medicinal. Mandrake root has long been known for its healing properties. The Bible tells us that once Reuben - the first son of Leah and Jacob brought a mandrake from the field. Rachel, Leia’s younger sister and Jacob’s beloved wife, asked Leia to give her this plant. To which Leia told her sister: not only did you take my husband from me, do you want to take your son’s mandrake as well? Jacob always loved Rachel. He wanted her as his wife, but according to the laws of that time, the older sister was to be married first, and then the younger. That is why Jacob had two wives and that is why Leia, the elder sister, envied the younger. That night, the sisters agreed that Leah would divide Jacob’s bed, and that Rachel would receive a mandrake root for this. And so it happened. That night, Issachar, the fifth son of Jacob, was conceived. Translated with Google Translate

This is one of the highest hills above the northern slopes of the Karkur stream. Its height is 390 meters above sea level. It offers a beautiful view. Translated with Google Translate

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This is one of the most beautiful and highest points in the region. Here the height is 450 meters above sea level and at the top you can find the mandrake root. Bedouin women come here to collect this plant. Despite the fact that we were in a jeep, there is a high rocky ledge at the top, which does not allow us to drive further. Only if you have a military hammer. Beyond this hill pass begins the path to the area of fortresses, built by Jewish kings. They fortified the southern reaches of their kingdom before the invasions of the Egyptians. But despite the fact that several fortresses were built here, the Egyptian pharaoh Sheshonok from the Libyan dynasty was able to devastate all of Judea in his lightning expedition. Translated with Google Translate

The entire Negev is divided behind the scenes between the Bedouin tribes - the Hamuls. It has always been so and it seems that it will be so. This territory belongs to Hamul Arab El Hukuk and the well also belongs to them. This well is dug along the bed of the Pakhar stream, which originates at a high hill of the same name, on which are the ruins of a fortress from the time of the Jewish kings. Translated with Google Translate

This is a flower from the daffodil family. He accumulates in his bulb everything that is necessary for flowering and chooses for this the most difficult time of the year - before the rains. But, the plant developed tactics different from others. It gives all its strength on the very threshold of rains, so that his offspring can get stronger, absorb all the moisture and prepare for the next flowering. Translated with Google Translate

For flowering, the plant chose the eastern slopes of a small tributary of the Grar stream. Oriental - because they are illuminated by the rays of the setting sun and the daylight hours of a flower are longer than if it had settled on the western slopes. Translated with Google Translate

Hebrew is called a flower - Helmonite from Helmon - a bright yellow color. And in European languages he was called Sternberg in honor of the Austrian scientist botanist. No, he did not find and describe this plant, just his contribution to botany is so great that he was honored to be named after the plant, even without leaving his luxurious Viennese office. By the way, despite the name Shernberg, he was a Czech. Translated with Google Translate

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