Zichron Ya’akov: France in the center of Israel


The town of Zichron Ya’akov which now has a population of 18,000 was established as a small village in 1882 by the French Baron Edmond de Rothschild who wanted to establish Jewish settlements throughout the north of Israel.   Even then it was determined that this was an excellent wine growing region and so establishment of a small town based around winemaking became very successful.  Rothschild brought in architects and planners from France to build French style stucco houses with tile roofs, and small gardens. A number of them can still be seen in the historic center of town.  This town is the home of the Carmel Winery, which is the largest winery in Israel.  It’s the Israeli equivalent of Manischewitz though has more varieties of wines they produced.

This building that is now a bank was home of a musician from the original settlement of mostly Roumanian Jews.
This building that is now a bank was home of a musician from the original settlement of mostly Roumanian Jews.
Pedestrian Mall with many of the old houses converted to shops, galleries,  and restaurants.
Pedestrian Mall with many of the old houses converted to shops, galleries, and restaurants.
Alleys take you to galleries and small houses.
Alleys take you to galleries and small houses.
Benjamin's water fountain provided drinking water to the residents.
Benjamin’s water fountain provided drinking water to the residents.
Tishbi Winery tasting room looks like any bistro in small French villages.
Tishbi Winery tasting room looks like any bistro in small French villages.
Interior of a restaurant, very "French" bistro style.
Interior of a restaurant, very “French” bistro style.
Ohel Ya'akov the synagogue in the center of town built in 1866 to honor Rothschild's father (Ya'akov) also the name for the whole town:  Remembrance of Ya'akov
Ohel Ya’akov the synagogue in the center of town built in 1866 to honor Rothschild’s father (Ya’akov) also the name for the whole town: Remembrance of Ya’akov
Inside of Ohel Ya'akov synagogue.
Inside of Ohel Ya’akov synagogue.
A metal gate hinting at the production of wine in the region.
A metal gate hinting at the production of wine in the region.
Entrance to the winery production area.
Entrance to the winery production area.
The old entrance gate to the Carmel Winery.  This may be where tours enter.
The old entrance gate to the Carmel Winery. This may be where tours enter.

 

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