Places to visit in ירושלים, Kiryat Anavim, Tzova

A Day Trip in the Jerusalem Hills: History, Culture, and Culinary Delights


Start at Har Adar: Begin your journey at Har Adar, the highest point in the Jerusalem area. This strategic location has always provided a commanding view over the region, and it still offers stunning vistas of Jerusalem and the surrounding hills. The historical significance of Har Adar is tied to its role in various military conflicts, including the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the Six-Day War.

Visit Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim: Next, drive to Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim, where you can delve into the rich history and emotional stories of the pioneers who established this community. One notable tale is that of Itamar Ben-Avi, the son of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the reviver of the Hebrew language, and his love story with a girl from the Abu Shadid family, leading to the creation of the legendary restaurant Muma. At Muma, you can taste their famous Kubaneh bread and enjoy other delicious dishes in a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

Kiryat Anavim Cemetery: After lunch, take a moment to visit the Kiryat Anavim Cemetery. This cemetery holds the graves of many who fought in the battles for Jerusalem's corridor. It's a poignant place that tells the story of the bravery and sacrifice of the soldiers and pioneers who shaped the history of this area.

Explore Ein Tzuba and the Israel National Trail: Cross to the other side of the road to Jerusalem and embark on a short hike to Ein Tzuba. This natural spring is a refreshing stop, and the brief walk along the Israel National Trail allows you to breathe in the crisp air and enjoy the scent of pine trees. The area around Ein Tzuba is rich in both natural beauty and historical significance, making it a perfect spot for a brief respite.

Visit Belmont Crusader Fortress: Continue your exploration with a visit to the Belmont Crusader Fortress, located on Tel Tzuba. The fortress, aptly named "beautiful hill," offers not only historical insights into the Crusader period but also breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The well-preserved walls and the strategic location of the fortress illustrate its historical importance.

Wine Tasting at Tzuba Winery: End your day with a relaxing wine tasting at Tzuba Winery. Here, you can sample a variety of high-quality wines produced from the vineyards that have thrived in the fertile soil of the Jerusalem hills. The serene setting of the winery, combined with the excellent wines, provides a perfect conclusion to your day of exploration and discovery.

Summary: This day trip in the Jerusalem hills offers a rich tapestry of historical sites, cultural experiences, and culinary delights. From the heights of Har Adar to the depths of historical stories at Kiryat Anavim, and from the natural beauty of Ein Tzuba to the historical marvel of Belmont Fortress, each stop adds a unique layer to your journey. Ending the day with a wine tasting at Tzuba Winery ensures that your trip is both memorable and fulfilling.

Languages: EN
Author & Co-authors
Evgeny Praisman (author)
Здравствуйте! Меня зовут Женя, я путешественник и гид. Здесь я публикую свои путешествия и путеводители по городам и странам. Вы можете воспользоваться ими, как готовыми путеводителями, так и ресурсом для создания собственных маршрутов. Некоторые находятся в свободном доступе, некоторые открываются по промо коду. Чтобы получить промо код напишите мне сообщение на телефон +972 537907561 или на и я с радостью вам помогу! Иначе, зачем я всё это делаю?
22.12 km
4h 39 m
Places with media
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Overview of the Harel Brigade Memorial

The Harel Brigade Memorial on Radar Hill (Har Adar) commemorates the Harel Brigade's significant role in the Israeli War of Independence in 1948. Located near Jerusalem, the site was a strategic point for battles to secure access to the city.

Establishment and Design

The memorial was established in 1967, shortly after the Six-Day War, when the area was captured by Israeli forces. It was designed by architects Aryeh and Eldad Sharon and includes an observation tower and displays of tanks and armored vehicles from the era.

Historical Significance

Radar Hill was a key location during both the War of Independence and the Six-Day War. It offers panoramic views of the region, symbolizing its strategic importance. The site also features information plaques detailing the Harel Brigade's actions and sacrifices.

Visiting the Memorial

Visitors can explore the site, which includes a picnic area and an observation tower. The memorial serves not only as a place of remembrance but also as an educational site where visitors can learn about the battles fought and the significance of the Harel Brigade in Israeli history.

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The Harel Brigade, initially part of the Palmach, was established on April 16, 1948, during the Israeli War of Independence. This infantry unit was formed to secure the road to Jerusalem and was initially led by Yitzhak Rabin. The brigade played a critical role in numerous operations, including Operation Nachshon, which aimed to break the siege on Jerusalem, and subsequent operations like Harel and Maccabi, which ensured control over the Jerusalem corridor.

After the War of Independence, the brigade transformed into a reserve infantry brigade and participated in the 1956 Suez Crisis. In the 1960s, it was converted into a mechanized brigade, including tank units, and played a crucial role in the Six-Day War, capturing strategic positions around Jerusalem.

During the Yom Kippur War in 1973, the Harel Brigade fought in the Sinai and later in the Golan Heights. It continued to serve in various capacities, including the 1982 Lebanon War and the 2014 Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. Today, the Harel Brigade remains a vital part of the IDF's armored forces, continuing its legacy of defense and strategic operations.

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Radar Hill, also known as Har Adar, derives its name from the radar installations that the British established on the hill during World War II. These installations were part of their defense system to detect German aircraft.

World War I and II History

During World War I, the British forces captured the area as part of their broader campaign to secure the route to Jerusalem. The strategic location of the hill made it a crucial vantage point for controlling the surrounding region. In World War II, the British reinforced its importance by setting up radar equipment, which was vital for their air defense operations.

Role in the War of Independence

During Israel's War of Independence in 1948, Radar Hill was a significant battleground. It was initially part of the Jordanian defense line, and its strategic location allowed for control over the Jerusalem corridor. The Harel Brigade, under the Palmach, attempted to capture the area during the war.

Battle of Nabi Samuel (April 1948): As part of Operation Yevusi, the Harel Brigade aimed to take control of Nabi Samuel, a village located on a hill north of Jerusalem. The village's elevation made it a key military target, providing a commanding view of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. The battle for Nabi Samuel was intense and costly, with the brigade suffering heavy casualties. The operation faced numerous challenges, including difficult terrain and well-entrenched Jordanian forces. Despite initial setbacks, the brigade managed to secure the area, contributing significantly to the efforts to relieve the siege on Jerusalem.

Radar Hill and its surrounding areas, including Nabi Samuel, continued to be of strategic importance throughout the conflict, serving as pivotal points in the control and defense of the Jerusalem corridor.

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The half-track, known in Hebrew as "Zahl"am" (זחל"ם), is a versatile military vehicle that combines the features of a truck and a tank, providing mobility and protection. The M3 half-track was initially developed in the United States during the late 1930s and early 1940s. It played a crucial role in World War II, offering a reliable means to transport infantry and support units across various terrains.

In the IDF, half-tracks were first used during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. They were instrumental in several key battles due to their mobility and firepower. For instance, in the Battle of Khirbet Maqas, modified half-tracks equipped with 20mm cannons were decisive in overcoming enemy positions. The IDF continued to use half-tracks in various capacities, including infantry transport and as mobile artillery platforms, well into the latter half of the 20th century.

The Sherman Tank in the IDF

The M4 Sherman tank was another pivotal asset for the IDF. Originally an American design, the Sherman tank was extensively used during World War II. Its robust design and versatility made it a favored choice for many armies, including the IDF. After World War II, Israel acquired surplus Sherman tanks from various sources to bolster its armored capabilities.

The Sherman tanks were first utilized by the IDF during the 1948 War of Independence. They played a significant role in the battles for Jerusalem and other key operations. Over time, the IDF upgraded these tanks, fitting them with more powerful engines and armaments, including French 75mm and 105mm cannons, transforming them into formidable combat machines.

During the Six-Day War in 1967, Sherman tanks were used by the Harel Brigade to great effect, particularly in the capture of strategic locations such as Radar Hill and the Jerusalem corridor. Their role in the rapid and decisive victories of the IDF during this period underscored the enduring value of the Sherman design.

Both the half-track and Sherman tank exemplify the IDF's strategy of adapting and upgrading available technology to meet its unique defense needs, ensuring these vehicles remained effective long after their initial introduction.

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The Patton tank, named after General George Patton, is a series of American tanks developed in the late 1940s and used extensively throughout the mid-20th century. The series includes the M46, M47, M48, and M60 models. These tanks were known for their robustness and were widely used by many armies worldwide, including the IDF.

In the IDF, the Patton tanks, designated as "Magach," were introduced after the Six-Day War in 1967. These tanks played a significant role in various conflicts, including the Yom Kippur War in 1973, where they were crucial in countering the Soviet T-62 tanks used by Arab armies. Over the years, the Patton tanks in the IDF were upgraded with advanced fire control systems, improved armor, and more powerful engines to maintain their effectiveness on the battlefield.

The Sandwich Armored Vehicle

The "Sandwich" armored vehicle is a nickname given to makeshift armored vehicles created during the early stages of the Israeli War of Independence. These vehicles were constructed by layering sheets of metal between wooden boards, creating a rudimentary form of armor that provided some protection against small arms fire and shrapnel.

These improvised armored vehicles were vital during the war, particularly in transporting troops and supplies under fire. They were used in various operations, including efforts to break the siege on Jerusalem and protect convoys traveling through hostile areas. The "Sandwich" vehicles symbolize the resourcefulness and ingenuity of the early IDF in overcoming equipment shortages and technological limitations.

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The remnants of buildings on Radar Hill, near the Harel Brigade Memorial, are primarily military installations built by the British during their mandate over Palestine. These structures were established in the early 1940s as part of the British defensive efforts during World War II. The British constructed radar installations on the hill to detect and monitor enemy aircraft, which is how the site got its name.

These buildings include concrete bunkers, observation posts, and other fortifications designed to enhance the site's defensive capabilities. The strategic importance of Radar Hill, given its elevation and panoramic view of the surrounding areas, made it an ideal location for these military installations.

During Israel's War of Independence in 1948, these British-built fortifications were used by various forces, including the Harel Brigade, in their efforts to secure the Jerusalem corridor and surrounding areas. The structures played a significant role in the battles fought on and around Radar Hill, including the notable Battle of Nabi Samuel.

Today, these remnants serve as historical landmarks, providing insight into the military history of the area and the strategic importance of Radar Hill in past conflicts.

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The modern settlement on Radar Hill, known as Har Adar, was established in 1986. It serves as a local council and primarily consists of Israeli residents. Har Adar is known for its strategic location and scenic views, overlooking the Jerusalem corridor. The community is well-developed, featuring modern infrastructure while preserving historical and natural landscapes.

Persian Period Structure Near Water Reservoirs

Near the water reservoirs on Radar Hill, an archaeological site from the Persian period (586–333 BCE) has been discovered. This site includes a fortified building, likely used for administrative or military purposes. The structure was excavated by Israeli archaeologists and identified through artifacts and architectural features dating it to the early Persian period.

Observation Points and Surrounding Views

Radar Hill offers several observation points with views of nearby areas, including the small Arab village of Beit Liqya and Nahal Kfira. Beit Liqya is located southwest of Har Adar in the West Bank and is visible from the hill. Nahal Kfira, a seasonal stream, adds to the scenic beauty of the region, providing a glimpse into the natural landscape.

Origin of the Name "Beit Liqya" and "Nahal Kfira"

The name "Beit Liqya" is of Arabic origin, with "Beit" meaning "house" and "Liqya" likely derived from a personal or tribal name, indicating the historical significance of the local population.

Nahal Kfira is named after the ancient city of Kfira, one of the Gibeonite cities mentioned in the Bible. The area around the stream has a rich history, with archaeological findings from the Byzantine and early Arab periods. The name "Kfira" is preserved from this historical context, reflecting its significance over the centuries.

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Hiking in Nahal Kfira and the Kfira Nature Reserve

Nahal Kfira is accessible for hikers, allowing them to descend into the valley and ascend back through well-marked trails within the Kfira Nature Reserve. This reserve is one of the largest forested areas in the Jerusalem corridor, known for its rich Mediterranean vegetation and scenic beauty.

Historical Significance of the Name "Kfira"

The name "Kfira" is linked to the ancient city of Kfira, one of the Gibeonite cities mentioned in the Bible. It is believed to derive from the Hebrew word "כפיר" (kefir), meaning "lion cub," suggesting that lions once roamed the Jerusalem area in ancient times. This indicates the historical presence of lions in the region, reflecting its rich biodiversity in antiquity.

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When planning a hike in Nahal Kfira, starting from Gan HaHores, it's important to note that this area is near the boundary with Palestinian Authority territories. Before any hike, you should contact the Nature and Parks Authority for safety confirmation and possibly arrange for guidance.

Contact Information for Nature and Parks Authority

  • Phone: 02-6233221
  • Alternate Phone: 02-6243774
  • Email:

Ensure you have permission and possibly an escort for your hike to ensure safety and compliance with local regulations.

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Har Adar is a high-end community located in the Jerusalem corridor. The population mainly consists of middle to upper-middle-class Israeli residents, including professionals, academics, and families seeking a high quality of life. As of the latest data, the population of Har Adar is approximately 4,000 residents.

Why Are the Homes in Har Adar Beautiful and Expensive?

  1. Scenic Location: Har Adar is situated on a hilltop, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscapes, including the Jerusalem corridor and the Mediterranean Sea on clear days. This scenic beauty makes it a desirable place to live.

  2. Quality of Life: The community is known for its peaceful environment, clean air, and proximity to nature reserves and historical sites. This contributes to a high quality of life for its residents.

  3. Modern Infrastructure: Har Adar boasts modern infrastructure, including well-maintained roads, schools, parks, and community centers. These amenities attract affluent residents looking for a comfortable and convenient lifestyle.

  4. Proximity to Jerusalem: Located just a short drive from Jerusalem, Har Adar offers the benefits of suburban living while being close to the cultural and economic opportunities of the city.

  5. Community and Security: Har Adar has a strong sense of community and high security standards, making it an attractive place for families and individuals seeking a safe and welcoming environment.

These factors collectively contribute to the high property values and the construction of beautiful, expensive homes in Har Adar.

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Large Parking Area and the First Building

Adjacent to the old dairy, there is now a large parking area. This space was originally the site of the first building of the kibbutz. This building played a crucial role in the early days of Kiryat Anavim, serving as the main hub for the community's activities. The parking area today provides a practical use for residents and visitors, while also marking a historically significant spot where the kibbutz's journey began.

Expansion Near the Old Dairy

The area near the old dairy was once the central location of the kibbutz. This expansion area represents the historical heart of Kiryat Anavim, where the early settlers built the foundational structures and managed the kibbutz's primary agricultural activities. The old dairy, a key part of the kibbutz's early economy, is a symbol of the community's resilience and growth over the decades.

Kiryat Anavim Kibbutz

Kiryat Anavim is the first kibbutz established in the Jerusalem hills. In 1910, an agreement for the purchase of land was signed between Arthur Ruppin and Abdallah Effendi from Abu Ghosh. However, it was only in 1920 that the construction of the kibbutz began, and in 1938, Kibbutz Ma'ale HaHamisha was built on part of the land. The kibbutz was founded by activists from HaShomer HaTzair and Gdud HaAvoda, and it was initially settled by two groups of immigrants from Ukraine, from Priluki and from Kamianets-Podilskyi. The first group, consisting of six people, arrived in Eretz Israel on the famous ship Ruslan. In the 1920s, the primary agricultural infrastructure of the kibbutz was established. In the 1930s, the kibbutz welcomed refugees from Europe, and in the 1940s, it was at the forefront of the struggle for independence, serving as a stronghold in the battles for the road to Jerusalem.

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Muma Restaurant, currently housed in the old dairy building of Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim, is renowned not only for its exquisite flavors but also for its touching backstory. The building was fully restored by the Hovav family after being declared a historic site in 2014. The Hovav family is well-known in Israel, particularly Gil Hovav, a journalist and television personality famous for his restaurant reviews and cookbooks.

Gil Hovav, one of the driving forces behind the renovation of the old dairy and the establishment of the restaurant, is the great-grandson of Itamar Ben-Avi, the son of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the reviver of the Hebrew language. This makes Gil the great-grandson of the first modern child to be raised speaking Hebrew from birth.

Moreover, Itamar Ben-Avi's love story adds to the restaurant's charm. He fell in love with a girl from the well-established Abushdid family of late 19th-century Jerusalem. The family had immigrated to Israel from Morocco in the early 19th century. The girl Itamar loved was named Leah, but her family affectionately called her Muma.

The love story was not without challenges; Muma's parents did not approve of Itamar and drove him away. Despite this, Itamar published poems in the newspapers of that time, and after overcoming many obstacles and meeting numerous conditions set by Muma's parents, love ultimately triumphed. This romantic and historical background inspired the name of the restaurant, Muma, celebrating both the heritage and the enduring power of love.

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Opening Hours: - Sunday: 18:00 - 23:30 - Monday to Thursday: 18:00 - 23:30 - Friday: 12:00 - 15:00, 18:00 - 23:30 - Saturday: 18:00 - 23:00

Contact: 02-6459727

Signature Dish: Kubaneh Bread

Muma Restaurant is renowned for its delicious Kubaneh, a traditional Yemeni bread. Kubaneh is typically a buttery, fluffy bread that is slow-cooked overnight, allowing it to develop a rich flavor and tender texture. At Muma, this bread is presented in a gourmet version, combining elements of traditional brioche with the authentic Yemeni recipe, resulting in a delightful culinary experience.

The Story Behind Kubaneh

Kubaneh has deep roots in Yemeni Jewish tradition, where it was customarily prepared for Shabbat. The bread is made from a rich dough that includes butter or margarine, which gives it its characteristic flavor and texture. Traditionally, it is baked in a tightly covered pot, ensuring that the bread steams and bakes simultaneously, creating its unique, fluffy interior and golden crust.

The story of Kubaneh at Muma ties back to the restaurant’s historical and cultural inspirations, linking the culinary heritage of the Yemeni Jewish community with contemporary gourmet techniques.

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Kiryat Ye'arim, known for its tragic history and resilience, shares a deep connection with the establishment of Ma'ale HaHamisha.

Establishment of Ma'ale HaHamisha

Ma'ale HaHamisha was founded in 1938 as part of the Tower and Stockade settlement movement (Homa u'Migdal). This movement aimed to establish Jewish settlements quickly and defensively during the Arab Revolt of 1936-1939. The kibbutz was named in memory of five members of Kiryat Anavim who were tragically killed in November 1937 on Mount of Wind.

One of the first structures built in Ma'ale HaHamisha was a watchtower used by the Gafirs. The Gafirs were a Jewish self-defense and security organization created under British mandate to respond to Arab attacks during the revolt. In 1937, the Gafirs included around 15,000 members. The name "Gafir" may derive from the Arabic "ghafir" meaning guard, or from the Boer term "gafirin," which was a derogatory term used by the Boers for those serving in the British army.

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During the War of Independence in 1948, both Ma'ale HaHamisha and Kiryat Anavim were crucial bases for the Harel Brigade, commanded by Yitzhak Rabin. These kibbutzim served as key launching points for the brigade's operations, including the capture of Castel. Additionally, the northern borders of Ma'ale HaHamisha saw fierce resistance, successfully halting the advance of Jordanian forces.

The Tragic Fate of Kiryat Ye'arim

Kiryat Ye'arim faced many challenges and tragedies throughout its history. The kibbutz, being in a strategic location, often found itself at the center of conflict. Despite these hardships, the community's resilience and spirit have been a testament to its enduring legacy.

By understanding the interconnected histories of Kiryat Ye'arim and Ma'ale HaHamisha, we gain insight into the sacrifices and tenacity that shaped these communities and their significant roles in the establishment and defence of Israel.

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What is the Miftama? The Miftama in Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim is a museum and cultural center that showcases the history and innovation of the kibbutz over the past century. The name "Miftama" refers to a space where ideas are cultivated and developed, reflecting the pioneering spirit of the kibbutz.

What is Done at the Miftama? The Miftama serves as a venue for exhibitions, cultural events, and educational activities that highlight the kibbutz's history, achievements, and contributions to Israeli society. It includes displays of historical artifacts, photographs, and documents that tell the story of Kiryat Anavim from its founding to the present day.

Why is it Called the Miftama? The name "Miftama" is derived from the Hebrew word for "incubator" or "hatchery," symbolizing the nurturing of innovative ideas and the development of new initiatives within the kibbutz. This name was chosen to reflect the kibbutz's ongoing commitment to progress and creativity.

Benefits of the Miftama: The Miftama offers several benefits: - Educational Value: It provides an in-depth look at the kibbutz's history, teaching visitors about the challenges and triumphs faced by the community. - Cultural Significance: The Miftama hosts cultural events that celebrate the kibbutz's heritage and promote community engagement. - Tourism Attraction: It attracts visitors from around the country and the world, showcasing the unique lifestyle and contributions of kibbutz members.

History of the Miftama: The Miftama was established to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim, which was founded in 1920. The museum opened in conjunction with centennial celebrations, aiming to preserve and promote the rich history of the kibbutz.

Current Status: Today, the Miftama continues to operate as a vibrant cultural and educational center, welcoming visitors and hosting various events. It remains a testament to the innovative spirit and historical significance of Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim.

Contact Information and Opening Hours

Contact Information: - Phone: 02-5348621 - WhatsApp: Message via WhatsApp for booking visits - Email: Use the contact form on the official website

Opening Hours: - Monday to Thursday: 09:00 - 17:00 - Friday: 09:00 - 14:00 - Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Visitors are encouraged to book their visits in advance. The entrance fee is symbolic, and the site is accessible to people with disabilities. The tour lasts approximately one hour and is suitable for all ages.

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The cemetery of Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim is a poignant summary of the history of Kiryat Anavim, Ma'ale HaHamisha, and Har Adar. It encapsulates the story of the pioneering settlers who had a deep connection to the land and their weapons, which they needed to survive in a hostile environment. These early settlers were dedicated to both cultivating the land and defending their new home. Their commitment to the kibbutz and the land is reflected in the graves of the pioneers and their children, who were among the first to be buried there.

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The cemetery is divided into two sections: military and civilian. Despite this division, there is a strong connection between the two sections, with only a stream separating them physically but not ideologically. The military section of the cemetery holds the graves of soldiers from the Haganah, Palmach, and the Israel Defense Forces who died in the battles for Jerusalem, particularly during 1947-1948. This section also includes graves of fighters from the Etzioni Brigade, which defended Jerusalem. Many of these soldiers were reburied here at the request of their families, making it a place of deep historical and personal significance.

The cemetery also features a monument in the northern part, at Ma'ale HaGai, dedicated to the fallen soldiers of the Harel Brigade. Created by sculptor Menahem Shemi, the monument is a square pillar topped with the Palmach emblem. On its façade and on either side of the entrance to the memorial room, the emblem of a sword framed by an olive branch is displayed, now known as the IDF officer's pin. Menahem Shemi created this monument in memory of his son, Aaron (Jimmy) Shemi, who was killed in the battles for Jerusalem and is buried here. The monument is reminiscent of the famous "Roaring Lion" statue in Tel Hai, symbolizing the connection between the first settlers of Kiryat Anavim and Trumpeldor's fellows. Menahem's wish was for a memorial to all Harel Brigade soldiers who died for Jerusalem, and his father fulfilled this.

The civilian section of the cemetery reflects the history of Kiryat Anavim, showcasing the lives and contributions of its members. This section includes the graves of the kibbutz pioneers and their descendants, chronicling the development and growth of the community. The cemetery serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of the kibbutz members who worked the land, built the community, and faced numerous challenges over the decades.

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The cemetery's proximity to the old dairy, which played a significant role during the War of Independence, highlights the community's struggles and sacrifices. The Harel Brigade, commanded by Yitzhak Rabin, used the kibbutz as a base for its operations, including the pivotal battles for Castel. The dairy, now a renowned restaurant, serves as a reminder of the historical events that took place there. The story of the fallen soldiers, many of whom were young and full of potential, is etched into the fabric of the kibbutz, with 431 soldiers from the Harel Brigade dying in the Jerusalem area alone.

In May 1948, during the heat of battle, Palmach officer Beni Marshak addressed the soldiers, highlighting the deep connection between the kibbutz members and the fighters. He spoke of the nights spent digging graves for fallen comrades and the conversations held in the quiet dining hall, reflecting on the lives and characters of those who had perished. The walls of the old dairy, now a historical site, bear witness to the stories of courage, friendship, and loss, underscoring the profound bond between the people of Kiryat Anavim and their fight for survival and independence.

When hiking in the area around Kibbutz Tzuba, a perfect place to park your vehicle is on the dirt road near the vineyard and rock formation area. This spot provides easy access to the Israel National Trail and ensures a convenient and safe starting point for your hike.

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Hanyon HaYuval: Hanyon HaYuval is a notable rest area along the Israel National Trail, located near Kibbutz Tzuba. This site offers a convenient place for hikers to park their vehicles and begin their journey on the trail. The parking area is situated on a dirt road close to a vineyard, providing easy access and a scenic starting point for your hike.

Israel National Trail Library: Adjacent to Hanyon HaYuval is the Israel National Trail Library, a unique initiative that provides hikers with literature related to the trail and the history of the area. This library serves as a cultural and educational resource, enriching the hiking experience by offering insights into the natural and historical significance of the trail.

Nearby Attractions: The area around Kibbutz Tzuba features several attractions for hikers, including: - Ein Tzuba: A picturesque spring where hikers can rest and enjoy the natural beauty. - Belmont Crusader Fortress: Located on Tel Tzuba, this site offers historical insights and stunning views of the surroundings.

Parking and Access: To park at Hanyon HaYuval, drive towards Kibbutz Tzuba and follow the signs to the vineyard area. The dirt road near the vineyard and rock formations is the ideal spot to leave your vehicle. From there, you can easily access the Israel National Trail and explore the natural and historical treasures of the region.

In the spring, the area around Hanyon HaYuval near Kibbutz Tzuba comes alive with a vibrant display of blooming anemones, known as “kalaniyot” in Hebrew. These flowers create a stunning carpet of red, pink, and white, attracting hikers and nature enthusiasts to the region. The peak blooming period for the anemones is typically between late January and March, turning the landscape into a colorful spectacle.

These ruins connect to the agricultural posts of Arabic dwellers of Suba village. In 1834, during the Peasants’ Revolt, Suba and its fortress became a stronghold for the residents of Abu Ghosh against Egyptian forces led by Ibrahim Pasha. This conflict destroyed both the village and the fortress by Ibrahim Pasha’s forces, marking a significant downturn in Suba’s fortunes.

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Under the British Mandate, Suba was part of the Jerusalem district. By the 1931 census, Suba, combined with Deir Amar (now the site of Eitanim Hospital), had 434 residents and 100 occupied houses. In 1945, the village covered approximately 4,102 dunams, with a population of 620. The villagers continued to rely on agriculture, particularly grain and fruit cultivation.

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Suba served as a base for Arab fighters blocking the road to Jerusalem, similar to the nearby village of al-Qastal. The Haganah made several attempts to capture Suba, finally succeeding on the night of July 12-13, 1948, as part of Operation Danny. After its capture, the village’s inhabitants fled or were expelled, and the land became part of the new state of Israel.

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Sitting at the picnic tables near the ruins of the village of Suba, one can't help but ponder the "what ifs" of history. The landscape, dotted with remnants of buildings that tell tales of centuries past, provides a serene yet poignant backdrop for such reflections.

The Missed Opportunity of 1947: In 1947, the United Nations proposed a plan to partition Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem as an international city. The Jewish leadership accepted the plan, seeing it as a practical solution to achieve statehood despite the compromises involved. However, the Arab leadership rejected the plan, unwilling to accept the establishment of a Jewish state alongside an Arab one. This refusal set the stage for the subsequent conflict, as war broke out immediately after the plan's adoption by the UN General Assembly.

A Dream of Coexistence: Imagine a different history, one where the partition plan was accepted by both sides. Suba, like many other villages and towns, could have been a place where two nations lived side by side in peace, each thriving in its own state. The acceptance of mutual recognition might have prevented the cycle of violence and displacement that ensued, fostering an environment where Jews and Arabs could build a shared future.

The Reality of Continued Conflict: The refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of the other has fueled decades of conflict, suffering, and loss on both sides. The ruins of Suba are a stark reminder of this ongoing struggle. They symbolize the destruction that comes from a failure to find common ground and the persistent inability to move beyond past grievances.

A Call for Reconciliation: As one reflects on these thoughts, it becomes clear that the path to peace requires a fundamental shift in perspective. Recognizing the permanence of both peoples' presence in this land is crucial. Jews will not vanish, nor will they abandon their homeland. Similarly, Palestinians have deep roots and a strong connection to this land. The future must be one of coexistence and mutual recognition.

The Israel National Trail Library near Tzuba features colorful boxes containing books about nature and local history for hikers to borrow and return along the trail.

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On your hike towards Ein Tzuba, you may encounter the stunning bloom of Moraea sisyrinchium, also known as the Barbary nut or dwarf iris. This delicate flower, with its striking blue-purple petals and yellow center, transforms the landscape into a vibrant tapestry during its peak blooming season from February to April. The path to the spring is adorned with these beautiful flowers, adding a splash of color and a touch of natural beauty to your journey.

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Ein Tzuba is a delightful spring located near Kibbutz Tzuba.

The trail to Ein Tzuba is gentle and suitable for families with young children, though older visitors will also find it enjoyable. This trail in the Jerusalem hills leads to a tunnel spring (nikba) that culminates in a small pool. The walk is not only easy but also educational, as it showcases ancient agricultural techniques and how the spring water was historically used to irrigate the surrounding orchards.

The geological phenomena in the area are fascinating. The water flows from underground springs through the rock layers, emerging into a naturally formed pool. Along the way, you can see remnants of the old irrigation systems that highlight the ingenuity of past agricultural practices.

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A. Initial Conditions At first, the spring is where the water-filled pores and cavities in the rock (the saturated zone) meet the surface. Water naturally flows out at this point. As the groundwater level drops, the spring's output decreases because the water table moves away from the surface outflow.

B. Retreat of the Groundwater Level When less water is extracted from the recharge area, the water table lowers and moves away from the spring. Eventually, the spring dries up, even though there is still water in the aquifer.

C. Excavation of Shafts or Galleries By digging horizontal shafts or galleries, you can reach the retreating recharge area and renew the spring's output. The new outflow point will be at the inner end of these excavations.

D. Continued Groundwater Retreat Repeated droughts and prolonged spring use can cause the water table to retreat further. Over time, shafts and galleries are extended to keep up with the receding water, sometimes branching out to increase water flow. In the Judea and Samaria regions, these shafts and galleries can range from 2 meters to over 233 meters, with the longest at Suba Spring.

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Historical Background: Ein Tzuba is a spring located near Kibbutz Tzuba, which has a rich historical and geological background. Over the years, the source of the spring's water has retreated due to the lowering of the groundwater level. To address this, the spring's channel was extended multiple times.

Geological Features: The spring's flow was originally channeled through an open trench, which was later covered and converted into a tunnel. This tunnel was filled with stones and soil. Approximately 43 meters from its origin, the channel's bottom was about 6-7 meters below the surface. It was dug through various geological layers, including the dolomite of the Amminadav Formation, a soft layer of Motza clay, and into the saturated dolomite aquifer of the Beit Meir Formation. At this point, the tunnel branched into two directions: northeast and northwest.

Construction and Expansion: The workers expanded and connected the two branches by carving out a large underground cavity resembling a cave. The water from the Beit Meir dolomite aquifer flowed from the bottom of this cavity. Over the years, the ceiling of this carved space collapsed due to the instability of the soft Motza clay layer, which further contributed to the unique geological structure of the spring.

British Mandate Period: During the British Mandate period, the British authorities recognized the importance of Ein Tzuba and utilized it for agricultural purposes. They installed pumping machinery to efficiently manage and harness the spring water, ensuring a steady supply for irrigation and other needs. These installations are a testament to the technological advancements and efforts to modernize agriculture in the region during that time.

Visiting Ein Tzuba

Ein Tzuba remains a popular destination for visitors interested in both its natural beauty and historical significance. The combination of ancient agricultural practices, geological formations, and the remnants of British-era machinery provides a rich tapestry of history and nature for visitors to explore.

For more information on the historical and geological significance of Ein Tzuba, you can refer to local historical resources and guided tours offered by Kibbutz Tzuba. These tours often include detailed explanations of the spring's history, geological features, and the British installations.

The journey through the fields surrounding Ein Tzuba can be quite challenging due to the presence of fences. Hikers need to find openings in these fences to proceed, which can sometimes be a tiring task.

Carved stone steps, which are relatively steep, lead up to a beautiful and impressive Crusader fortress. Finding a parking spot close to these steps can be challenging. It's best to look for parking areas nearby and be prepared for a bit of a walk to reach the steps and begin your ascent.

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The remains of the Arab village of Suba, built on the ruins of the Crusader fortress Belmont (known as "the beautiful hill"), appear as though they were only recently abandoned. This relatively small village once housed several hundred residents. Similar to the nearby village of Castel, the residents of Suba attempted to block the road to Jerusalem, aiming to isolate the Holy City during the conflict. The strategic position of Suba made it a significant site during the hostilities, and its remnants today provide a poignant reminder of the turbulent history of the area.

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Tel Tzuba, situated within Kibbutz Tzuba, is an ancient archaeological site with deep historical roots. Identified with the biblical settlement of Zoba, Tel Tzuba is first mentioned in the Bible as the home of Yigal Ben Natan, one of King David's mighty warriors (2 Samuel 23:36).

Archaeological Excavations: Since 1986, the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem has conducted limited excavations at Tel Tzuba. These excavations have revealed that the site was continuously inhabited from the First Temple period (1000–586 BCE) through to the Byzantine period (324–638 CE). The findings include remnants of ancient buildings, pottery, and other artifacts that offer insights into the daily lives of its ancient inhabitants.

King David's Mighty Warriors: David's mighty warriors, also known as "Gibborim," were an elite group of soldiers celebrated for their bravery and skill in battle. These warriors were integral to David's military success and were organized into hierarchical levels: 1. The Top Three Warriors: Adino the Eznite, Eleazar son of Dodai, and Shammah son of Age. 2. The Second Trio: Abishai son of Zeruiah, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and a third unnamed warrior. 3. Other Warriors: The remaining warriors, though mentioned by name, are not detailed as extensively.

These warriors likely formed around David during his flight from King Saul in the Judean Desert, becoming his most trusted and capable fighters.

Modern Echoes: Today, the remains of the Arab village of Suba, built on the ruins of the Crusader fortress Belmont, are visible on the hill. The village, once home to a few hundred residents, played a strategic role in attempts to block the road to Jerusalem, much like the nearby village of Castel. These efforts were part of broader conflicts aimed at severing the city's access.

Visiting Tel Tzuba: Visitors to Tel Tzuba can explore these layered histories, from the biblical era through to modern times. The site's strategic importance, both historically and archaeologically, makes it a significant point of interest for those seeking to understand the region's rich past.

Tel Tzuba offers a unique window into the continuum of human settlement and conflict, embodying the resilience and strategic significance of this storied location.

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Belmont, meaning "beautiful hill" in French, is a Crusader fortress situated on Tel Tzuba. It was constructed during the reign of King Fulk of Anjou between 1140 and 1160. Fulk, known for his military prowess and strategic acumen, saw the necessity of fortifying the Kingdom of Jerusalem against Muslim advances. Belmont was part of a network of fortresses designed to protect key routes and settlements, particularly the road to Jerusalem.

King Fulk of Anjou: Fulk, born between 1089 and 1092, was the son of Fulk IV, Count of Anjou, and Bertrade de Montfort. His early life was marked by political and military engagements in France. In 1120, Fulk undertook a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where he became closely involved with the Knights Templar. His dedication to the Christian cause in the East solidified his reputation as a staunch supporter of the Crusader states.

Marriage to Melisende: In 1127, Baldwin II of Jerusalem invited Fulk to marry his daughter Melisende, securing his position as the future King of Jerusalem. Baldwin II sought a strong and wealthy ally to bolster his daughter's reign. Fulk, already a widower with considerable wealth and military experience, accepted the proposal. He married Melisende in 1129 and assumed the throne in 1131 following Baldwin II's death.

Fulk's Reign: Upon becoming king, Fulk took a dominant role in governance, sidelining Melisende to some extent. He favored his compatriots from Anjou, which caused friction with the established Crusader nobility. Despite these tensions, Fulk's reign was marked by significant military and defensive achievements.

Military Campaigns and Conflicts: Fulk faced numerous challenges during his reign, including internal rebellions and external threats. One notable internal conflict was with Hugh of Jaffa, whom Fulk accused of treason and rebellion. Hugh allied with Egyptian forces but was ultimately defeated. The political maneuvering during this period highlighted the delicate balance Fulk had to maintain between asserting his authority and placating powerful nobles.

Confrontation with Zengi: Fulk's strategic acumen was tested by the rise of Imad ad-Din Zengi, the Muslim ruler of Mosul. Zengi's aggressive expansion threatened the northern borders of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1137, Zengi besieged the Crusader fortress of Ba'rin, prompting Fulk to lead a relief expedition. Despite facing a formidable opponent, Fulk's efforts, combined with alliances with local Muslim rulers such as the Emir of Damascus, managed to hold Zengi's forces at bay.

Fortification Efforts: Fulk was instrumental in strengthening the kingdom's defenses. He encouraged the construction of new fortresses and the reinforcement of existing ones. Belmont on Tel Tzuba was part of this broader strategy. The fortress served as a critical defensive and administrative center, helping to secure the region against potential invasions.

Death and Legacy: Fulk died in 1143 after a hunting accident, where he fell from his horse and suffered fatal injuries. His death marked the end of a turbulent but pivotal reign. He was buried in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Despite the challenges he faced, Fulk's efforts in fortifying the Kingdom of Jerusalem left a lasting impact, ensuring its defenses were robust against external threats.

Visiting Belmont:

Today, the ruins of Belmont stand as a testament to the Crusader period's architectural and military ingenuity. Visitors to Tel Tzuba can explore these remnants, which offer a glimpse into the past and the strategic significance of the site. The fortress's remains include stone walls and other structures that once formed its core, reflecting the historical importance of this location.

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Between 1140 and 1160 CE, during the Crusader period, the Knights Hospitaller built the Belmont Fortress on the remains of a Byzantine settlement. Belmont, translating to "beautiful hill" in French, was strategically located on Tel Tzuba. This fortress was part of a network of fortifications established by the Crusaders to protect their newly established kingdom and secure important routes, particularly those leading to Jerusalem.

Defeat and Destruction: Belmont's existence was relatively short-lived. In 1187, during the Battle of Hattin, the Crusaders suffered a devastating defeat at the hands of Salah ad-Din (Saladin). Following this victory, Saladin's forces advanced throughout the region, systematically capturing Crusader strongholds. The defenders of Belmont surrendered to Saladin's army, and upon his orders, the fortress was dismantled to prevent its future use by Crusader forces.

Legacy: Today, the ruins of Belmont provide a glimpse into the tumultuous history of the Crusader states in the Holy Land. The remnants of the fortress on Tel Tzuba, although not extensively preserved, still convey the strategic importance and the architectural ingenuity of the Crusaders. Belmont stands as a testament to the brief but impactful period of Crusader rule in the region, and its dramatic downfall during Saladin's reconquest of the Holy Land.

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Visibility and Control: From the Belmont Fortress, one can clearly see the road leading to Jerusalem. This vantage point allowed the Crusaders to monitor and control the vital route, ensuring safe passage for pilgrims and traders. The strategic location of Belmont on Tel Tzuba provided a significant military advantage, enabling the fortress's occupants to spot approaching enemies and secure the supply lines to Jerusalem. The clear view of the road emphasized the fortress's role in protecting the city and maintaining communication with other Crusader strongholds.

Surrounding Villages and Their Names

Ein Rafa and Ein Naqquba: In the valley below Belmont, two Arab villages, Ein Rafa and Ein Naqquba, are situated. The names of these villages have significant meanings: - Ein Rafa: The name translates to "Healing Spring," indicating the presence of a spring believed to have healing properties. This name reflects the village's historical and cultural connection to the natural water source. - Ein Naqquba: This name means "Spring of the Caves," likely referring to the natural springs in the area and the nearby caves that might have been used for various purposes over the centuries.

These villages are examples of coexistence and shared history in the region. Despite the turbulent history of the area, today, communities like Ein Rafa and Ein Naqquba showcase the potential for peaceful coexistence and mutual respect.

Aqua Bella - Another Crusader Fortress

Aqua Bella: Not far from Belmont, another Crusader fortress named Aqua Bella, meaning "Good Water" in Latin, is located. This name highlights the importance of water sources in the region, both for daily life and strategic military needs. Aqua Bella, like Belmont, played a crucial role in the Crusaders' network of fortifications designed to protect their territories and ensure the availability of vital resources like water.


The remnants of Belmont and Aqua Bella fortresses, along with the nearby Arab villages of Ein Rafa and Ein Naqquba, offer a rich tapestry of history, strategic military planning, and the enduring importance of natural resources. These sites provide valuable insights into the medieval conflicts and the continuing story of coexistence and community in the region.

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Construction and Preservation: The exterior wall of the Belmont Fortress on Tel Tzuba is a testament to the architectural skill and engineering prowess of the Crusaders. This wall, well-preserved over centuries, demonstrates a remarkable blend of strength and craftsmanship. Built on a slope, the wall showcases the strategic use of topography to enhance the fortress's defensive capabilities.

Inclined Design: The inclined construction of the wall is particularly noteworthy. This design not only provided additional stability to the structure but also made it more difficult for attackers to scale the walls. The sloped walls are an example of the advanced building techniques employed by the Crusaders, who adapted their fortifications to the natural landscape to maximize their defensive strength.

Local Builders and Techniques: Although the Crusaders were knights, they relied heavily on local labor and expertise for construction. Skilled local stonemasons and builders were employed to construct these fortifications, blending European military architecture with local building traditions. This collaboration resulted in robust and enduring structures, such as the walls of Belmont Fortress, which have withstood the test of time.

Craftsmanship and Historical Insight

The quality of the masonry and the techniques used in constructing Belmont's walls provide insight into the high level of craftsmanship present in the region during the Crusader period. The use of local materials and the adaptation of building methods to the available resources reflect the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the builders.


The well-preserved exterior wall of Belmont Fortress, with its strategic inclined design and high-quality construction, stands as a testament to the Crusaders' ability to integrate local craftsmanship into their military architecture. This collaboration between Crusader knights and local builders not only enhanced the fortress's defensive capabilities but also highlights the shared history and skills that contributed to the region's architectural heritage.

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Scenic Panorama: The view from Belmont Fortress, perched atop Tel Tzuba, offers a stunning panorama of the Jerusalem hills. This vantage point provides an unparalleled perspective of the surrounding landscape, stretching out to the horizon and capturing the natural beauty of the region.

Historical and Natural Beauty: Standing at the fortress, one can appreciate the strategic importance of its location, which not only served defensive purposes but also provided a commanding view of the area. The rolling hills, lush valleys, and distant mountains create a picturesque scene that highlights the region's rich natural and historical heritage.

Architectural Marvel: The well-preserved walls of Belmont, with their inclined design and sturdy construction, enhance the beauty of the site. The craftsmanship of the builders, combining Crusader military architecture with local techniques, is evident in the fortress's enduring structure.

A Perfect Spot: Visitors to Belmont Fortress can immerse themselves in the serene and majestic environment. The breathtaking views, coupled with the historical significance of the site, make it a remarkable place for reflection and appreciation of the landscape that has been a silent witness to centuries of history.

Summary: Belmont Fortress not only stands as a testament to the Crusader era's architectural prowess but also offers a spectacular vantage point to admire the scenic beauty of the Jerusalem hills. The panoramic view, combined with the historical ambiance, makes it a must-visit location for anyone exploring the region.

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Tzuba Winery, established in 2005, is located in Kibbutz Tzuba and draws its grapes from vineyards planted in 1996. The winery is renowned for its high-quality wines, produced from 15 different grape varieties grown in the rich terra rossa soil amidst ancient terraces and rock formations. The winery produces approximately 60,000 bottles annually, with around 60% exported internationally.

Visiting the Winery: The Tzuba Winery offers a unique experience for visitors, including guided tours of the old wine press house, the vineyards, and wine tastings. The visitor center is open from Monday to Thursday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and on Fridays from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. During the summer months (July to September), the winery also hosts live music events on Thursday evenings from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM.

A Perfect End to a Day of Hiking: After a day of exploring the beautiful Jerusalem hills, there's nothing quite like unwinding at Tzuba Winery. The breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, coupled with the serene ambiance of the vineyard, create an idyllic setting for enjoying a glass of wine as the sun sets. The peaceful environment and the high-quality wines make for a memorable end to any day of hiking or touring in the area.

Community and Collaboration: Tzuba Winery exemplifies the harmonious blend of tradition and innovation. The close relationship between the winemaker, Paul Dubb, and the vineyard workers is central to the winery’s success. This collaboration ensures that each bottle reflects the unique characteristics of the grapes and the land from which they come.

Local Attractions: In addition to the winery, Kibbutz Tzuba offers various attractions, including the Kiftzuba amusement park for families, the Galita chocolate farm, and scenic trails leading to historical and natural sites such as the Belmont Crusader fortress.

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About the Wines: Tzuba Winery, established in 2005, produces a variety of high-quality wines that have gained recognition both locally and internationally. The winery focuses on several grape varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, and Sangiovese. They also cultivate indigenous varieties such as Marawi and Jandali. Notable wines include the Tel Tzuba Sangiovese, which has won numerous awards, and other varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay. Each wine reflects the unique terroir of the Judean Hills, combining traditional winemaking techniques with modern technology.

Tasting and Tours: Visitors to Tzuba Winery can choose from several tour options: - Classic Tour: Includes a walk through the vineyards and the winery, ending with a tasting of three wines. - Premium Tour: Offers a guided tour of the vineyards, winery, and barrel room, followed by a tasting of five wines, including premium varieties. - VIP Tour: A private tour that includes a guided visit to the vineyards, winery, and barrel room, with a tasting of six wines, including reserve wines.

Wine tastings can be complemented with cheese or chocolate platters. Tastings are led by knowledgeable staff who provide insights into the wines, the winemaking process, and the history of the winery. Tours and tastings are available in English, Hebrew, and Russian, making them accessible to a wide range of visitors.

Visitor Information: - Hours: Monday to Thursday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM; Friday, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. - Contact: You can book tours and tastings by contacting Tzuba Winery directly at +972-2-5347678 or via their website.

The Perfect End to a Day: After a day of hiking and exploring the Jerusalem hills, ending the day with a wine tasting at Tzuba Winery as the sun sets is a truly memorable experience. The serene setting, combined with the high-quality wines and breathtaking views, provides the perfect atmosphere for relaxation and enjoyment.

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