caverns & caves

this weekend we took a trip 40 minutes from where we live to the 'beit govrin national park' in the judean hills.

most of the ground in this area is chalky - an ideal stone for caves. caves were in the beit govrin area, which were used as quarries and burial grounds, storerooms and workshops, hiding places and spaces for raising doves.

some of the most beautiful caves in this area are the bell caves - they are called this because of their shape. i was in awe of the gorgeous undulating lines forming the caves. stunning.

crosses and arabic inscriptions may be found on the cave walls which suggests the caves were dug during the early arabian period.

another extraordinary cave was the sidonian burial cave - it has restored wall paintings of animals, real and mythic, above the niches where the corpses were once laid.

i couldn't help but think of gracia's work when looking at these old frescoes.

another amazing cave is the columbarium cave - it is built with hundreds of small alcoves in the walls used for raising pigeons.

i found the alcoved forms beautiful.

we had a wonderful day exploring and learning tales of days long ago.

i hope your weekend was lovely too.


ailin said...

sounds like a really fun weekend! and the shapes and walls of those caves are beautiful.

ruby-crowned kinglette said...

these are all so beautiful, it is amazing how wonderful the world is. love them.

Cecilia Levy said...

these caves are amazing, too bad I missed them when last in Israel (that would be... 28 years ago! oh my, time flies). Have you begun your course at the museum yet?
I have not forgotten about our Library project; I have the cover and will get started this evening!

risa said...

these caves are beautiful.
i love your photos.
and miss you!
i'm sorry i haven't been around much lately.

gracia said...

Oh! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed these photos and details, Julie. Caves for raising pigeons, the frescoes, oh! Thank you for sharing, and for thinking of me, too.

babelfish said...

The caves are amazing, isn't it interesting how they used to raise pigeons there? love the wall paintings, so much history there...