Find JNF in Your Area

Find the JNF office nearest to you and learn about exciting events and news in your home town. Learn more here »

Need Help?

Download PDF to order by mail.

Call 800.542.8733

Visit the JNF Store

Find gifts for all occasions and support JNF’s programs in Israel.
Shop now »

Shuni Fortress, The Etzel Museum

Historic Building Sites

Visitors will be transported back in time when they see the compact semi-circular Turkish fortress nestled amid the lush lawns of Jabotinsky Park. The restored theater overlooks a mosaic-lined, Olympic-size swimming pool where entertainment was once provided by naked swimmers. A high-level aqueduct was built to bring fresh water from Shuni Spring, 4.4 miles to the north to Caesarea during Herod's rule. The aqueduct delivered water at a height of 26 feet above sea level. This engineering feat was accomplished during Roman times with a gradient of just 8 inches for each kilometer.

 

Many hundreds of years later, masquerading as an agricultural commune, the fortress became the chief military training camp British Irgun. Under the leadership of Menachem Begin, the Irgun planned attacks on police stations, ammunition trains, the British military HQ at the King David Hotel, and the 1947 break-in that freed 41 Jews from the Acre prison, saving them from the gallows. During British Mandate period, nine members of Irgun were hung and buried there. The original gravestones of these nine Jews, plus that of first Irgun chief David Raziel, are memorialized in the park. The fortress is now the Etzel museum, designed to pay homage to the Irgun officers’ school.

 

Visitors entering the restored building find themselves standing in a Tel Aviv street in Mandatory Palestine, watching a Hebrew audio-visual presentation featuring graphic shots of Jewish victims of Arab and Nazi atrocities incongruously accompanied by the upbeat narration of a comedian. A dozen elderly Etzel veterans steal the show with their lively reminiscences, laughingly describing how they learned to shoot under the cover of firing practice at a nearby British camp.

 

All active news articles
YouTube   Delicous   Facebook   Digg

]]