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|Location 32°59′31″N 35°41′28″E|
|City Golan Hights|
|Open to visitors yes|
|Need appointment yes|
|Handicap accessibility no|
|Geographical Coordinates 32.99194,35.69111|
Katzrin (Hebrew: קַצְרִין; also Qatzrin) is an Israeli settlement and local council in the Golan Heights. Known as the "capital of the Golan," it is the second-largest locality there after Majdal Shams, and the largest Jewish locality. At the end of 2010, Katzrin had a population of 6,700. The international community considers Israeli settlements in the Golan Heights illegal under international law, though the Israeli government disputes this. Despite not being part of its jurisdiction, the seat of the Golan Regional Council is located in Katzrin.
History and time period
The site was occupied from the Middle Bronze Age, continuing into the Iron, Hellenistic and Roman periods. The most substantial structural remains date from the Late Roman, Byzantine and Early Islamic periods (3rd–4th to mid-8th centuries), when the site was a Jewish village with a synagogue.
Arab and Mamluk periods The Jewish settlement served as an important trading location in the region, but started to decline with the change of trading routs after the Islamic conquest. The village was destroyed in an earthquake in 746–749. As a result of the earthquake the location was most probably abandoned by the declining Jewish community.
During the Mamluk period (13th–14th centuries), it was a Muslim village and a mosque was built on the ruins of the synagogue.
Ottoman, French and Syrian rule In the 1880s, Kisrin, as it was known then, was described as "a small Bedawin winter village, with a group of beautiful oak trees and old ruins". From the late 19th century to 1967, the village was occupied by Bedouin and a settled population. Since 1920 and until the independence of Syria in 1944, the area was under the jurdisdiction of the French Mandate.
Entrance to Katzrin shopping mall The area was conquered by the Israelis, following the Six Day War in 1967. Modern Katzrin was established in 1977 as a planned urban center for the Golan. In 1981, under the Golan Heights Law, Israel applied Israeli civil law in the Golan Heights (including Katzrin) but this law was internationally condemned and determined null and void by the UN security council. Katzrin serves as a district town, that provides educational, administrative and cultural services to the surrounding region.
Prior to 1967, the antiquities site on the outskirts of Katzrin was a closed military zone and off limits to archaeological research. Investigation by Israeli archaeologists commence in 1972. Katzrin ancient village and synagogue was reconstructed and opened to the public as a "Talmudic village" set in a national park. The Golan Antiquities Museum in Katzrin houses archeological findings from the region and screens an audiovisual presentation about Gamla, a Jewish town in the Golan Heights that fought the Romans in the 1st century.
To the south of Katzrin is the Sea of Galilee, to the north Mount Hermon, and to the west the hills of the Upper Galilee.