Our trip this week took us to Ramla, an ancient city that was once the capital of the region. Today it is a combination of ancient and modern, with people from all three major religions living together. The mayor greeted us and gave us an interesting talk and booklet about the city. www.ramla.muni.il Again, I loved seeing the public art in many places. We met some students from America who were studying at a school (Kivunim) in Jerusalem, but were at the municipal offices to meet some of the students from Ramla on this day.
We stopped next at the pool of the Arches, one of the historic sites. These cisterns were created in the 700’s and there are Arabic inscriptions on the wall. This is also known as Saint Helena’s Pool.
Then we went onto the White Tower (I think this was buit in the 1300’s), but most of us did not climb up. The stairs were old, dark and did not look safe for seniors. We had a good lecture and enjoyed looking at the ancient ruins on the site. Ramla was built on a plateau so the tower gave good visibility for the guards. It also was a walled city at one time.
Our next stop took us to a beautiful synagogue built by the Indians who came from Bombay (Mumbai) and other cities in India and Pakistan. They are still collecting money for a lift (elevator), but the synagogue is complete. It was built over a bomb shelter as that was the land available to them.
Our last stop took us to a cement factory tour. Most of the construction in Israel (and there is a lot of it, you can see cranes all over) is concrete and stone. I found it interesting that the conveyer that carries the limestone from the quarry to the factory was built high enough so that small animals could walk underneath it.