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sorek-stalactite-caveThe Soreq cave, also known as Avshalom cave or Stalactites cave, is a fascinating discovery made by chance while blasting the mountainside of Jerusalem hills by a local quarry near Beth Shemesh. The controlled explosion uncovered the entry into a 300-foot-long wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites.

After seven years of research and development, Israel’s National Parks Authority set a path through the cave and, in 1975, opened the cave to the public. The cave is unique for being relatively small (250 by 200 feet) yet extremely rich in formations. A mix of “Macaroni,” “Carrot,” “pipe,” and “Elephant Ears” stalactites are matched with pagoda-towers or ice-cream cones-shaped stalagmites beneath them. Some eventually join, forming decorated pillars or walls of different wild shapes.

The cave is also called Avshalom Cave, named after Avshalom Soham, a soldier in Sayeret Shaked who was severely injured in service and died after three years. His family and friends supported developing the cave open to the public.

Touring the Soreq Cave

The Stalactite Cave / Soreq Cave is a national park. It is open Sunday through Thursday from 8:00 to 16:00, and in the summer till 17:00. On Friday, it closes an hour earlier. There are 150 stairs leading to the main entrance and quite a few inside the cave. Touring the Soreq cave is a great family experience, a magical insight into mother nature’s creativity.

A tour of Soreq Cave can be combined with a guided day tour of Jerusalem or the Shephelah.

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