Aniam Artists Village is a European-style , romantic pedestrian mall situated at the entrance to Aniam, in the center of the Golan heights
Artists Village site: www.koa.co.il
The buildings in which the artists create are colorful, and each has its own particular style and design. There are restaurants and coffee shops at the location too. It has been said that the feeling of the place is similar to a pedestrian tourist's mall in Europe. Each gallery was originally shaped and built by the artist, in accordance with his art style, and together they make for a real celebration: color, or clean lines, very decorative, or restrained, wooden, stone,etc.
|How was the artist's village started?
Completely incidentally, a large number of artists and artisans found themselves in Aniam. In 2000 the idea of concentrating all the studios in one area came up, and an effort was made to get the local council and the settlement division of the Jewish Agency involved. The dream of building a small artist's village with 16 galleries seemed completely imaginary to anyone who heard about it at the time .But the initiators belief in the idea was firm, and the overall plan was made voluntarily. The basic groundwork was funded by the Jewish Agency settlement division. In January 2001 the cornerstone was laid. Each artist had to invest in building a private studio along the mall in the entrance to Aniam village. The construction of all the buildings was slow and gradual. It took 5 years until the whole mall was occupied.
When you visit the artists village be sure to take your time to enter all the galleries and studios of the artists, so that you can watch them working. You will see a number of gold and silver smiths working in diverse styles, a painter, a ceramic sculptor and tile artist, a framing artist in a unique style, an artistic blacksmith, a potter, a wood etching artist ,a chocolatier, and stores selling home design products, and more.
On the culinary angle, there are a dairy coffee shop, a chocolatery café, a meat restaurant, and a store selling organic produce.
Sitting during the day or in the evening at one of the restaurants for a cup of coffee or a meal is a pleasant experience. Within the village of Aniam there is a wide choice of guest rooms and B&Bs .
Staying at a guest room close by the artist village, which offers both food and art, and access to many trails of natural and historic themes, would make for an exceptional holiday.
The village of Aniam is in the center of a wonderful hiking area of the Golan Heights. On No. 808 highway, that begins at Hamat Gader resort, and ends at the Mapalim crossroads.
2 or 3 trips in the vicinity of 808 highway:
From the south of the Golan to the center.
Begin at Hamat Gader resort, then go up to the peace observation point at Kefar Haruv. At the village of Eliad there is a winery, an artist workshop, and a trail to El Al canyon and waterfalls. Further up north lies the Nov nature reserve, a small swamp, which in winter is full of Narcissus and swamp Iris flowers.
From there you pass by Bnei Israel water reservoir, next to Ramat Magshimim and Hispin, there many types of wild water fowl are to be seen.
Not far from there, at the entrance to the village Natur, is the winter puddle Bajuria, a pleasant picnic spot. Further on, at the entrance to Natur ,are the archeological ruins of the ancient synagogue Ein Kshatot- an absolute must! Back on route 808 further north is the site of ancient Gamla. At least half a day should be spent there. Again further north on the same route is Ayit waterfall. Right next to the road, and accessible to all, it flows into a deep canyon with beautiful basalt hexagons. A 15 minute tour. The waterfall is adjacent from the south to Aniam village, and the artist village at the entrance.
2 hours can be devoted to resting, eating, and of course- touring the galleries.
If you would like an extra helping of Golan flowers, at the end of February, beginning of March, you should continue on the road a little further north at the crossroad to route No.87, and see the Iris pool in the Zavitan creek. Further on, westwards on route 87 the Salukiah springs (Eden Springs), the Zavitan and Yahudieh nature reserves.
5 minutes further north is the town Katzrin, where there are many possibilities of sightseeing.
Something about the village of Aniam
Aniam was founded in 1978 by the Jewish Agency, with the intention of building an industrial and technological settlement for new immigrants from USSR. The initial group disintegrated, and eventually the village was founded by Israeli born people.
At the beginning it was planned as a collective settlement, but after a few years it became a regular cooperative settlement. For the first ten years the settlers were mainly from the first group, and there was a good deal of coming and going. From the 90's however, the settlement stabilized, and two new neighborhoods were built. Nowadays there are about 140 families, and more building is planned. The villagers employ themselves in all existing professions- farmers, entrepreneurs in many different fields, and of course, artists and craftsmen.