January 10th 2015
Literally, Gan Hashlosha means “park of the three,” but it’s usually referred to as Sachne, which is its original Arabic name. The most striking features of Gan Hashlosha are the waterfalls and three pools of fresh water that are naturally heated to 83 degrees (28° C) all year round. People come to the park, at the northern foot of Mount Gilboa in the lower Galilee, to swim throughout the year, since the water is always warm. The pools of Amal Stream are fed by a natural spring and have been partially widened to make swimming more enjoyable for visitors to the park. There is a naturally occurring Jacuzzi, and each of the pools is framed with palm trees and lush green grass. The pools are magnificent places to relax, even if you choose not to swim.
Although the complex of warm water pools is the main draw here, there are other attractions of historical interest on the grounds of Gan Hashlosha. Nearby, there’s an old, operational, water-powered mill. If you visit, take a look at the exhibition of old agricultural tools on display there. The Museum of Regional and Mediterranean Archaeology is also on the park’s grounds and features artifacts found while excavating the nearby Beit She’an Valley. The museum also displays ancient Greek tools, artifacts from Egypt and Persia and an exhibit about the ancient Italian civilization and its people who were known as Etruscans.
Also in the park is the restored Tel Amal, a Jewish settlement that was stealthily established in pre-State Palestine, on the night of December 10, 1936, as a protest against a British ban on the establishment of new Zionist settlements. Tel Amal was one of 52 communities all built on the same night. These were called “tower and stockade” settlements because their most characteristic feature was a guard tower and space for approximately 40 pioneers. Tel Amal’s restoration makes it possible for visitors to climb up the guard tower and view the actual rooms where the early settlers lived.
Widely considered to be one of Israel’s most picturesque nature reserves, some people believe Gan Hashlosha is so beautiful that it could have been the original Garden of Eden. Director Ran Tal’s award-winning 2012 documentary about the park’s role as a microcosm of Israeli society is even entitled The Garden of Eden.