Friday, February 19, 2010

Thermal baths, anyone?

Welcome to RuneE's "Bench on Friday" group.
His bench is under thick snow today; mine is the extreme opposite.
(Enlarge the pictures to be doubly impressed!)
Have a seat on the bench and watch the diverse groups entering Jerusalem's magnificent Supreme Court building.

Even better, gaze at the mosaic carpet that adorns the entrance.
It was found up in Israel's north, on the border with Jordan, near the border with Syria.

The curative powers of the Hammat Gader hot springs were famous since ancient times.

Among the visitors to the baths during the Roman-Byzantine period were many Jews and also Jewish sages, who mentioned the baths in the Talmud. A synagogue for their use was built nearby.

The dedicatory inscriptions from the synagogue mosaic are interesting.
Here above the original Aramaic is translated into Hebrew and English, readable with a click.
. has great photos and info for the old Hammat Gader complex.
The neighboring kibbutzim have reopened Hammat Gader as a modern hot springs spa.
You will be amazed by the workshops they offer--Tibetan bells, Holistic pulsing, Crystals, Signs of the universe, etc..


RuneE said...

A bit of hot springs would have been just the thing at the moment, especially with some history thrown in. Very decorative, benches and all.

Yaelian said...

Lovely walls at the entrance to the Supreme Court.As for Hamat Gader, I have been there a few times,nice place!

CathM said...

It seems like a wonderful space to 'people watch'... and, what a fascinating spectacle of history. Beautiful images. Thanks for sharing...

Catherine said...

Very sober entrance that makes note this wonderful mosaic. Who can imagine that it has passed ages and is exposed so beautifully today.
Pictures from BibleWalks allow us to make the rest of the visit. Certainly, a wonderful site.

Leif Hagen said...

I could use a long, soaking bath! The view out our bathroom window from the bathtub is of our snowy neighborhood!
Bon weekend, Dina

moneythoughts said...

Another nice and interesting post. Love your pictures.

Louis la Vache said...

This reminds «Louis» of being able to see the ruins of the Roman baths in Paris built into the foundations of Cluny.

Reader Wil said...

I am not only doubly impressed, but seven times seven! Very interesting too! What does CE mean in one of the photos?
Have a great Shabbat! Shabbat shalom!
BTW the pool on the Esplanade is not connected to the sea there is a wall separating it from the sea. It's indeed a safe place for children.

VP said...

An impressive room with some very beautiful benches.

Dina said...

Rune, I imagine so.

Yaelian, you have been to Hamat Gader?! What's it like?

Cath, the courts were not in session last Sunday, so it was mostly Israeli and foreign tourists coming in.

Catherine, you know, I only discovered that mosaic on my way OUT. Coming in, I was directed straight to the security guard for a thorough bag search and metal detector gate.

Leif, you have a view from your bathtub??

Moneythoughts, thanks. I think I still owe you an answer to a previous question. . .
Patience, please.

Louis, you made me google. I did not know about the Cluny "Hotel." So it was a town house for the abbots of Cluny? Wow.
All I knew was about the famous monastery of Cluny. I have spent only 2 days in France, and that was at Taize.

Wil, thanks for asking. I should have explained that a long time ago.
Non-Christians really cannot be saying A.D. (anno domini, the year of our Lord) or B.C. (before Christ). So Jews, and now also most neutral scholarly writing, use instead CE and BCE.
Before the Common Era and
the Common Era. So we are in year 2010 CE.
Common Era is the time at which Jews and Christians began to have a shared history.

Petrea said...

Mosaic carpet! How beautiful. I'd love to have that in my living room, or better yet in my back yard hot springs.

Dina said...

Petrea, hahaha, good one!

Jew Wishes said...

Beautiful photos. I love the details and historical factors.

The first photo evokes a sense of serenity.

Z said...

Hi Dina, Thanks for visiting the baths in Avenches and alerting me to this post of yours. It's interesting to compare notes, isn't it?

JM said...

Magnificent interior, it has everything to do with your part of the world. Love it this way!

Dina said...

Jew Wishes, wait till you see more. The whole building evokes a sense of serenity --and respect.

Gruezi Z. Yes, a nice coincidence we both post Roman baths on the same day but in Switzerland and in Israel.

Thanks JM. I love it this way too.

Barbara Martin said...

I loved the benches located where one could look at beautifully restored mosaics and read about its history.

PERBS said...

I could be enticed to come in and use those benches -- love hot springs! The accompanying story is interesting also.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you, Dina! I wondered if we were using the same era. Now I know we have the same year. Of course AD and BC is only used by Christians. CE and BCE is very logical. I am glad we have a shared history, even if this was not always peaceful.