Grottos and Cableway at Rosh Hanikra
Throught human history, Rosh Hnikra served as passage point for trade caravans and armies between Lebanon, Syria and the northern cultures, and Israel Egypt, Africa - the southern cultures.
Jewish sages referred to the cliff as "The Ladder of Tire". After the arab conquest, the site was renamed A-Nawakir (the grottos) The present name Rosh-Hanikra, is a hebraicized version of a latter dated Arabic variation "Ras-A-Nakura".
Alexander of Macadonea is credited for having hewed a tunnel at Rosh Hanikra to create a passageway for his army after sieing Tire. Documents and drawings of piligrims show stairways carved into the rock, facilitating caravans.
The first road accessiible to motor vehicles was made by British army in world war one. During the second World war the britishdug a tunnle 250 meters long for the railway running between Haifa and Beirut, thus allowing easy access for army cargo shipped from Egypt to the north.
At the time of the British Mandate in Palestine, a road was paved and made available for commercial and private use. A border station and duty office were established at the site. After the withdrawal of British police forces, the area came under Israeli control. The Lebanese border post is located 2 klm. of rosh Hanikra.
In March 1948, during Israel's Independence War, the Palmach blew up the railway bridegs in the grottos to thwart a possible invasion of the Lebanese army.
These are cavernous tunnels formed by sea action on the soft chalk rock. the total length is some 200 meters. They branch off in various directions with some interconnecting segments.
In the past the only access to them was from the sea and experienced divers were the only ones fotunate enough to visit here. This rare beauty was made accessible to the general public when, in 1968, a tunnel was dug to the natural grottos. the tunnel was constructed slightly above the sea surface. It is 400 meters long and took two years to complete.
To faciliatate the approach to the cavern entrence, a cableway, with cars, was installed. About ten pasengers may ride in each car. The ride takes about a minute in each direction and provides a panoramic view of the cliff and sea. The cableway operates year round.
Facts and Figures
- Tunnel Length in natural grottos: 200 meters
- Lenght of footpath in cavern: 400 meters
- Incline of cableway - 60 degrees
- Distance covered by cablecars: 102 meters each direction
- The Cableway was constructed by Doppelmayr, an Austrian company, and is under permanent supervision of the Technion and Doppelmayr.
- Opening Hours: Summer 08:30 - 18:00 Winter 08:30 - 16:00
- Admissions: Adult 40 NIS, Child 32 NIS
- Tel: 04-9857109 Fax: 04-9857107