September 13th 2010
Your upcoming trip to Israel is unlikely to include enough time to see the whole country, from Metulla in the north to Eilat in the south, so we recommend a visit to Mini Israel! Located near Latrun, just off the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway, Mini Israel Park offers opportunities to see all of Israel in miniature form.
The park is shaped roughly like a Star of David. Each of the six triangles features one of the major areas in Israel – Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Galilee, the Negev and the Center.
Inside the park, which extends over 15 acres, visitors step into a 1:25 scale of Israel with over 385 exact replicas of some of the most important historic, architectural, religious, social and archeological sites located throughout Israel. Motorized carts are available for visitors who can’t walk long distances, and all signage is printed in Hebrew, Arabic and English. An audio guide is also available and especially useful for first-time visitors. In keeping with the “small” theme, Mini Israel also cultivates and displays a miniature bonsai tree nursery.
Of particular interest are replicas of buildings and sites that are important to the region’s three religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These displays include literally thousands of moving figurines of Israelis of all kinds, including hundreds of Jews, Christians and Muslims at prayer in their holy places.
While all of the models are all located outside, there is also an indoor Visitor’s Center on the park’s grounds. The Visitor’s Center is the perfect place to escape during the hottest parts of the day. At the Visitor’s Center, you can screen a 3-D movie of Israeli landscapes shot from an aerial view, watch a short film about the creation of the park, enjoy a meal at one of the eateries, let your kids loose in a multimedia playground for young children and shop at the souvenir and Ahava factory store.
Special events at Mini Israel include evening light shows, fireworks, concerts, dance performances as well as formal roof-top dinners for political, business and non-profit groups.
A visit to Mini Israel enables tourists to preview sites they are planning to visit in the future, reminisce about places in Israel they have already been and get a sense, in one broad view, of the amazing diversity to be found within the small country.