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Mizgaga

Educational Museums

During the period of the First Aliya, Baron Edmond de Rothschild established the moshava of Zichron-Ya’acov on the southern slopes of the Carmel Range, naming it after his father. In the course of time it became renowned for its vineyards and wineries, which today are symbolic with Zichron-Ya’acov.

 

Rothschild then took another Zionist inspired decision. In those days, wine was shipped in vats to Europe for bottling. The Baron decided to establish his own wine bottle making plant, locally and established a glass factory on Tantura Beach, the Mizgaga. The young Bessarabian born Meir Dizengoff was appointed factory manager due to his training as a chemical engineer. Dizengoff later became Tel Aviv’s first mayor in 1909.

 

The problems did not end there. Jews in Russia had worked in glass factories, but the new type of industry in Eretz Yisrael, and the materials available, differed from those with which they were familiar. The local sea sand proved unsuitable for manufacturing transparent bottles. The special sand imported from Belgium and France, like other raw materials, was heavily taxed. Furthermore, craftsmen arriving from France contracted Malaria. Therefore, three years after its establishment the factory closed.

 

The Site Plan
However, the majestic factory building, in the heart of the symbolic ancient port of Dor, is to be preserved for future generations. The building is now the “Glass Factory Museum,” which serves two main purposes:

  • Historic documentation and exhibition of items from the factory with a description of Baron de Rothschild’s philanthropic activities.
  • The home of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archeology, the Israel Exploration Society and the Dor Archaeological Expedition.

The building displays findings retrieved from the depths at the Dor-Tantura Coast and from Tel Dor, a rich historical site.

 

The underwater archaeological artifacts salvaged from the sea by divers headed by Kurt Raveh, a resident of Nachsholim, feature a large and unique collection of anchors, clay jugs, and many amphorae that were used to store wine. It also displays part of vessels and equipment that testify to extensive sea faring activity, including the export of wine, from the port of Dor.

 

The archaeological richness of the museum is fascinating. By way of illustration, the underwater excavations revealed Napoleonic weapons that were thrown overboard at Tantura when his soldiers withdrew southwards after their defeat in Acre in 1799.

 

The building is vast and comprises several large exhibition halls on the ground floor and two enormous halls on the second floor.

http://www.shimur.org/

 

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