The Greek City of Gadara was built on a spur overlooking the Sea of Galilee and the Yarmuk River. At the bottom of the hill, in the valley of the Yarmuk, on a little peninsula in the river, stood Hamat Gader - the hot springs of Gadara. In the Roman period the hot springs were renowned for their therapeutic qualities and the second-largest bath complex in the entire Roman Empire was built at Hamat Gader. Among the visitors to the baths in ancient times were famous rabbinical figures and prominent Greek philosophers and tutors like Meleager and Philodemus. The Hamat Tiberias synagogue as seen today was built between 286 and 337 CE, when the Sanhedrin was headquartered in Tiberias. It is called the Severus Synagogue after a name that appears in a Greek inscription in its mosaic floor. The mosaic floor––the earliest synagogue mosaic in the country––is the highlight of the synagogue. It consists of three panels. The central one depicts a spectacular zodiac, surrounding Helios the sun god, driving his chariot across the sky. The images of four women symbolizing the seasons appear in each corner of this panel. Gadara and its hot springs were part of the "region of the Decapolis" - an area of Greek cities that Jesus knew well. Here, in the Land of the Gadarenes, and in the region of the Decapolis, Jesus and his disciples traveled many times - healing and teaching.
Hamat Gader is located on the South Eastern part of the Sea of Galilee, at a short distance from Tiberias and its surrounding area. The Hamat Gader Park spreads over an area of 40 acres of tropical parkland that includes covered outdoor settings, restaurants, lawns, Ancient Roman Baths and the thermo mineral pool area. Furthermore Hamat Gader boasts one of the largest Crocodile farm in the Middle East with approximately 200 crocodiles of various species.
The thermo mineral water baths include: Spacious pools filled with water containing potent medicinal and curative properties, Jacuzzi beds and chairs, water jets that relieve neck, shoulder and back tension, a luxurious bubble pool and a hot water waterfall. The thermo mineral water at Hamat Gader has two important properties; heat and mineral-rich content. The water gushes at a steady temperature of 42 C, 500-700 cubic meters per hour. The water contains sulfur at a concentration of 4.7% as well as other important minerals. It is said, that Bathing in the water contributes to accelerated metabolism, cell renewal and contributes to the relief of joint pains. Due to the large capacity of the hot springs, the water circulates every four hours, ensuring it remains clean and fresh.
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