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Israel – Magdala, Herod and Zion Gate


    The flower of life in Magdala

    Magdala (or “Migdal” in Hebrew, and “Al-Majdal” in Arabic) is located in the Galilee (north of the country) between the western shore of the Sea of ​​Galilee and the base of Mount Arbel. It is a meeting place between Jewish and Christian history.

    In September 2009, Israeli archaeologists discovered one of the oldest known synagogues from the Second Temple in Jerusalem, whose construction is estimated to be between 50 BC and 100 AD. These excavations were conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority at a site where a hotel was planned to be built.

    The surprising finding is a stone with an engraving of the flower of life on its main face that was in the middle of the synagogue.

    They also found on the same stone, a seven-branched menorah carved on it, the oldest apparition to date outside of Jerusalem.

    stone with an engraving of the flower of life
    The seed of life was engraved in stone about 2,000 years ago.

    The excavations have uncovered much more than a temple, since there is a whole town around it, which historians recognize as Magdala, the city where Mary Magdalene lived, an extremely important place for the Christian faith.

    The Flower of Life in Herod’s Palace

    Herod's Palace
    Herod’s Palace in Jerusalem

    It was built between the year 37 and 4 BC. ordered to be built in Jerusalem by Herod I the Great, king of Judea. It was the second most important building in the city, after the Temple of Jerusalem.

    The wise men called King Herod “the greatest builder the earth knew.” In fact, Herod was known for his mighty construction projects throughout the Land of Israel.

    Mosaic floors decorated the houses of the Upper City. They consisted of a square frame with geometric or floral motifs. This particular mosaic features a rosette in the center, while palmettes and pomegranates decorate the corners.

    flower of life mosaic
    Mosaic floor of a bathhouse in Herod’s palace

    It is Jerusalem, it is located at the entrance of the Zion Gate, which is one of the gates that gives access to the old city of Jerusalem. But while the city is old, the symbol dating from the 20th century is not.

    Zion Gate in Jerusalem

    On the floor, before entering, we can see the symbol of the merkaba (star of David) coming from the flower of life.