Korazim National Park contains the ruins of the ancient Jewish city of Korazim located in Israel’s the Galilee.
The town was first mentioned in sources from the Second Temple period, noting the fine wheat they grew there.
It flourished at the end of the Talmudic period and some have identified it as Karazim or Barachim mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud.
It was a very small village settled during Hasmonean period and like other near by towns, such as Capernaum, the inhabitants were Jewish.
Like Bet She’arim, the town grew when Hadrian banished the Jews from Jerusalem.
In the 5th and 6th centuries, the settlement continued to develop as is evident in the changes made to the synagogue and other buildings.
They grew vines for the wine industry and olive trees for oil production.
However, Korazim was abandoned in the 8th century.
What to see
There are more things to see than what is listed here such as an olive press which made oil and a winepress as well as random archaeological artifacts.
The synagogue is a Galilean type building, built of basalt stones.
The façade of the building faces Jerusalem and is the most ornate and part of the building.
In front of it is a plaza leading to steps which directs you to the three entrances to the synagogue.
Benches lined the walls and 12 pillars supported the second floor.
A stone pillar with a place to rest a book that was used by the cantor or the rabbi in his speeches.
The synagogue was designed not only prayers but also served as a court.
Mikveh HaTahara is located in the center of the town and is part of a group of public buildings, including the synagogue.
A column of columns and pillars divides the whole structure into two.
The building has an entrance with two steps above ground and seven steps leading down into the mikvah.
Adjacent to the mikvah is an oval cistern with a pillar bearing the stone ceiling in the center.
It is possible that this was a reservoir of unpumped water needed for a mikveh tahara.
East of the synagogue, part of a building where two houses of wealthy families was exposed.
Each house has an inner courtyard, living rooms, cisterns, and storage rooms.
Korazim National Park is easiest to reach by car, especially from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
For more information, such as open hours and entrance fees, see the Korazim National Park webpage.