Zippori Tourist Attractions
Situation and characteristicsThe moshav of Zippori, founded in 1949, lies 6km/4mi northwest of Nazareth in an area well supplied with springs. On a hill 1km/0.75mi north are the remains of ancient Zippori (Sepphoris).HistoryThe town is not mentioned in the Old Testament. Unlike neighboring Yodefat, it took no part in the Jewish rebellion of A.D. 66 and was therefore spared by the Romans. Excavations by American archeologists brought to light remains of the Roman period, when the town was known as Diocaesarea. The place became of some importance in 135, when, after the failure of the second Jewish rebellion against Rome, the Sanhedrin moved from Yavne to Galilee and established its headquarters in Sepphoris and for a time in Bet Shearim, with Rabbi Judah Hanassi as its supreme spiritual authority. After his death the Sanhedrin moved to Tiberias.In the fourth century a converted Jew named Joseph built a church here (as he also did in his native town of Tiberias). The Crusaders found a Christian community here and built a church dedicated to St Anne (the mother of the Virgin, who was believed to have been born here). The crusading army assembled here on July second 1187 before their march to Hittim (see Horns of Hittim), where they suffered an annihilating defeat at the hands of Saladin two days later.
In and around the abandoned village of Zippori are the remains of a Crusader castle (finely decorated doorway), the foundations of a Byzantine church and a Roman theater excavated in 1931. St Anne's Church (built 1860) contains a mosaic from an earlier church on the site. From the little fort on the hill (built about 1745) there are fine panoramic views. To the west are remains of the old water conduit and the large cisterns now known as the "Caverns of Hell".