The city of Safed (also called Tzfat) is located in Northern of Israel, at an elevation of 900 meters (3,000 ft) above sea level in the mountains of the Upper Galilee. The city was founded in 70AD and since the 16th century, Safed is one of the four holy cities in Israel, along with Hebron, Tiberias and Jerusalem; and is the spiritual center of the Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah).
If you happen to be in the area during a tour to Israel, we will detail here why it is highly recommended to visit Safed.
Despite its small population (about 32,000) Safed is constantly growing and developing and it’s a popular site frequented by Israelis and foreign visitors because of the unique selection of places to visit and things to do.
Safed has a great and rich past. It has been said that the city will play an important role in the final redemption. According to the legend, the son and grandson of Noah established their yeshiva where Jacob (Yaakov Avinu) studied for many years. The Jewish settlement began after they were expelled from Spain in 1492. In 1948, the freeing of Safed was the most dramatic episodes in the War of Independence.
Since Safed’s history dates back to Biblical times, it has many historical sites in Israel you won’t want to miss. For example, you visit the ancient Safed Cemetery and visit the graves of some of the most well known rabbis in Jewish history. The oldest grave here belongs to Hosea the Prophet, who lived 2800 years ago.
You can also go underneath the ground to see houses from the 16th Century who survived the earthquakes the city suffered from in ancient times. The most famous site in Safed is a Candel Factory who started in the mid 1990’s. The factory became a major tourist attraction because of the sculpting beeswax scenes such as David and Goliath or Noah’s Ark, Jewish caricatures and religious ceremonies.