Migdal – מִגְדָּל

MigdalMigdal which means Tower in Hebrew is a town in the Northern District of Israel which was founded in 1910.  It was granted local council status in 1949. According to census figures the population was 1627 in 2018.

The town is named after the old city of Migdala Nunia which in Aramaic means ‘fish tower’. Christians believe it was the home town Mary of Magdala (Luke 8:2). It is situated just west of the Kinneret on road to Rosh Pina heading north from Tiberias.

In 1908 a small group of German Catholics settled in Migdal. They leSecond_aliyah_Pioneers_in_Migdal_1912_in_kuffiyehft a year later and sold the land to Russia Zionists who founded a farm, Ahuzat Moskva, Moscow Estate in 1910. This settlement was adjacent to the Arab village Al-Majdal. A few years later, the land was sold to private investors. An encampment of Gdud HaAvoda workers who built the Tiberias-Rosh Pina road was established there in 1921.

In 2008 a South American priest bought one of the beaches to build a hotel. In September 2009, a salvage dig of the Israel Antiquities Authority prior to the construction of the hotel revealed an ancient synagogue believed to date back some 2000 years, from 50 BCE to 100 CE. In the middle of a 120 square meter main hall, archaeologists discovered an unusual stone carved with a seven branched menorah. It is the first of its kind to be discovered from the early Roman period. In addition to the engraved stone, the walls are decorated with brightly colored frescoes. The site is being developed as the Magdala tourist centre. Archaeologists have since found the remains of a fishing town with interesting buildings including a mikveh.

Location: Migdal is 8 km north of Tiberias located near Ginosar. It has a shoreline on the Sea of Galilee which includes the beaches Tamar, Ilanot and Arbel.

Coordinates: 32°50′20.68″N 35°29′57.46″E