Dor – A Maritime Paradise Lost?
I’ve spoken in the past of the various educational tours I’ve taken as part of my studies towards a BA in the Preservation of Historical Buildings in the Western Galilee College in Acre.
A few weeks ago I participated in a fascinating trip to the Dor beach with our lecturer, Prof. Nadav Kashtan, who
is the head of the Preservation department at the college.
Dor was an ancient port in the land of Israel about 3,000 years ago. Along its beach one can see the lagoon of Dor with its many jetties and small islands. This provided a natural defense for ships and the perfect location for a city with close connections to the sea.
The port of Dor was an important one and along the shore one can see the archeological remains of this ancient city. The city and the port flourished during the time of King Solomon, and it existed through the Persian and Hellenistic periods.
Not far from this spot are the remains of another settlement, this time a more modern one from the end of the 19th century.
The Baron Rothchild attempted to establish a factory for the production of wine bottles here. To that end, he built a glass factory on the site and hired Meir Dizengoff (the first mayor of Tel Aviv) to manage the factory.
The enterprise was economically unsuccessful and the factory closed. However, the beautiful and interesting building still stands and it houses the museum of artifacts found on the Dor
beach and archaological compound.
Today the area is surrounded by several kibbutzim and is a quiet and sleepy area of the country. However, it is important to think on what was and what could have been. Dor was an important port city. The Baron Rothchild recognized the potential of the area and dreamed of making it one of the first Hebrew ports of Ottoman-occupied Israel.
Was Dor a missed opportunity whose time has yet to come?