November 16th 2014
Of the five infantry combat brigades in the Israel Defense Forces, Golani is among the most prestigious and the most highly decorated. The symbol of the Golani Brigade is a green tree against a yellow background and it’s a symbol you’ll see often when visiting the Museum of Golani Division Heroism in the Upper Galilee. The museum is located near one of the most important highway junctions in northern Israel, aptly named the Golani Junction.
Also serving as a repository of all things Golani, the museum, which was established in 1982, is primarily a memorial to the fallen soldiers of the Golani Brigade. The museum presents visitors with many artifacts and stories of the Golani Brigade’s heroic and historic contributions made since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. During the War of Independence, the Golani Brigade fought valiantly against multiple Arab armies who opposed Jewish government in the Land of Israel. And during the especially bloody Yom Kippur War of 1973, the Golani Brigade lost over 100 of its members.
All these events are documented in the Golani Museum. Through the use of sculpture, audio and visual techniques and a computerized memorial station inside Yizkor (Remembrance) Hall, the stories of famous battles and fallen soldiers, all illustrated with historic photographs, are presented to visitors. In addition, the museum teaches visitors about the contemporary Golani Brigade and its specific field tasks.
On the grounds, you’ll find a picturesque memorial site at the top of a rocky hill, overlooking a scenic pine forest. The path to the memorial site is known as the Golani Ascent. Several different military vehicles and examples of the weapons that have been used by Golani soldiers over the decades are also on display.
Depending on the day you visit, you might see a current battalion of Golani soldiers, recognizable by their brown berets, on site for a ceremony. In addition, the 12-acre campus is used as a gathering place for ceremonies that offer comfort to bereaved family members of fallen Golani soldiers.
Guided tours are available in English through the Information Center. If you’d like to stay on the grounds for lunch, a picnic area is available. If you’re particularly interested in Israeli military history, you might also enjoy the related Givati Museum, near Ashdod.