The Exceptional History – What to Expect While Your Visit to Rosh HaNikra?
Rosh Hanikra is one of the most magical places in the extreme northeastern corner of the country, it is the border along the Mediterranean coast between Lebanon and Israel. If you are a nature lover – take a break from the usual city life and head north to explore some remarkable nature.
There was a time when these grottoes of Rosh HaNikra were only accessible by swimmers or divers, as they were only accessible by the sea but now it’s the hottest tourist place recommended for families all year round.
These grottos are naturally formed sea caves, they came into existence by seawater hitting against soft chalk rock. They are further divided into interconnected segments in various directions.
There are cable cars available, that takes the tourists down to see the grottos. Israeli history is quite dense, Rosh HaNikra is no exception.
This point was associated as the passage point for trade caravans and armies between Syria, Lebanon, Africa, Egypt, and Israel. This is the only point in the country where the sea meets the mountains.
A Glance at the History of Rosh HaNikra
In the past years, Rosh HaNikra’s route was positioned rather in a convenient way for the armies, trade caravans and pilgrims from Europe, Turkey, Syria and Lebanon; to the Holy Land and from there to Egypt, Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The armies that took the Rosh Hanikra route included Persians, Assyrians, Greeks, Romans. Crusaders and the Ottomans.
The British had to build a road along the margin through Rosh HaNikra to expedite the movement of troops of their French allies. The French sided with Syria and Lebanon while during WWI, the British took Palestine from the Ottomans along with their German allies.
Again in WWII, the British intended to make a rail line that connected Istanbul and Cairo. There were troops from South Africa that were brought in to blast three railway tunnels through Rosh HaNikra cliffs. The British along with their allies built a bridge there. The train service was mainly used to transfer concentration camp survivors of the Jewish community in an exchange offer of the Germans that resided in Palestine. Jewish resistance fighters bombed the Rosh HaNikra Bridge in Feb1948 to restrict the Arab forces from using that route in the War of Independence. Israel came into existence later in May 1948.
The State of Israel couldn’t afford to repair the railway tracks right away so they sealed them and they have remained closed since then. The border crossing at Rosh HaNikra is only used by the UN personals only.
In the past, the caves were only accessible through the sea by divers or swimmers – but now anyone can conveniently access the caves after the installation of the Cable Cars in 1970.
The Points of Interest at the Magical Sight of Rosh HaNikra
- The Grottos: These grottoes probably came into existence with a series of quakes, resulting in cracked the rocks, later flowing rainwater, and the gushing sea waves passed through these cracks for many years. These grottoes are accessible all year and even lit up at night also. There is a long track of 656 feet that takes you through the grottoes.
- Cable Cars: The cable car was installed in Rosh HaNikra in the 1970s so that everyone could have access to the Rosh HaNikra grottoes. These cable car rides take the tourist down to the grottoes, its route is known to be the steepest in the world. It takes the tourists 70 meters down at a 60 degrees angle. The views from the cable car are mind-boggling.
- Audiovisual Presentation: There is an audiovisual presentation on the history of the grottoes in the old British Mandate railway tunnel. There is a short 15-minute show that explains how the tunnel was built by the British also a virtual tour of the grottoes. We don’t want to ruin the surprises it has to offer, do we? But be prepared to get a little wet!
Restaurants with Breathtaking Views
The site has snack shops, a souvenir shop, and a restaurant overlooking an amazing view of the sea.