Hotel Genossar: In Israel there are ruins and then their are RUINS…

How’d we find it?

Eileen and I were heading to our hotel along the Sea of Galilee. We do not have a GPS here in Israel so we relied on Google Maps to find our way around. To get to the hotel, according to Google,  we had to drive through the town of Tiberias where Eileen made a left, when, we found out later, is where she should have gone right. But, lucky for me, the wrong turn led  us to the Hotel Genossar.

The images I took of the Genossar  were all hand-held. Indoors I used an ASA of 3200 and shot bursts of three images +/- one stop. Outdoors the ASA was set at 200. I used my 5D Mark II and the 24-105mm lens. Most of the images were processed with NIK HDR efex pro and CS5 with minimal adjustments made.

Hotel Genossar…

The “Elizabeth” Hotel [later Hotel “Genossar”] in Tiberias was constructed in 1929. Records show that it was known as an “outstanding building with an impressive dome”  (there was no sign of a dome). We’re not sure when the hotel closed, but we do know that Eileen’s father, Stormin’  Norman, had stayed here in the past. Maybe that’s why it closed. LOL!

The hotel is divided into three sections. The Main Entrance is located in the center of the hotel…

Main Entrance

To the left is the wing that holds The Theatre:


and to the right of the main entrance is the Dining/Banquet Hall wing…

Dining/Banquet Hall

The staircases on either side of the building lead to porches…

The outdoor center stairway leads to a large entrance hallway…

The rooms in the corridor straight ahead were very tiny…

If you go off to either the left or right of the main hallway you come to large hallways…

Entance arch to rooms on left and to the theatre

Some of the hallways lead to courtyard gardens…

While others lead to balconies…

We did not have an opportunity to explore the upper floors and outer rooms, but we plan on revisiting the Hotel Genossar…this time fully equipped.


9 thoughts on “Hotel Genossar: In Israel there are ruins and then their are RUINS…

  1. The building was constructed in 1929 by Shlomo Feingold and Elizabeth palmer and was known as an outstanding building with an impressive dome. Burnt down in 2001. Signatures of both of them appears on bottom of the drawings. Shlomo Feingold (1865-1935) – entrepreneur, journalist and publisher, built some impressive buildings in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Tiberias and Afula; “HaMeshumad” in Agnon’s book “Tmol Shilshom” and the figure in the far end in the photograph of “Hagralat HaZedafim” by Avraham Soskin.

  2. Allow me to quote from

    In 1939, with the outbreak of World War II, the hotel was used to quarter British soldiers. Anyone who enters the large reception area today, which still contains the remains of a magnificent marble fountain, can only imagine the balls that took place here. In addition to an elegant hall with chairs upholstered in red velvet, the hotel also boasted a dining hall and smoking, bridge and billiard rooms, all of which were ornately decorated.

    During World War II, the Feingold family lost its fortune. The British officers left the building in 1948, and it remained abandoned until the early 1960s, when it was reopened under another name: Now the hotel was called Ginossar and the movie theater was called the Elisheva. Again the building became a flourishing entertainment center, which attracted many businesses to the lucky site. This success continued until the early 1980s, when two contractors bought the building and did nothing with it.

    Since then the building has been standing deserted and neglected, a refuge for drug addicts and the homeless. The back courtyard is filled with construction debris. The silvered dome collapsed in a fire that broke out in the building three years ago. Although arson was suspected, the deed was never investigated, and no suspects were arrested.

    Now the Tiberias municipality and the Council for the Preservation of Buildings and Historic Sites are getting together to save the facade of the building. “We decided to do something,” said Zohar Oved, the mayor of Tiberias. “During the first stage we have to preserve the facade, at least to show that this is one of the most important and interesting places in the city, and to prevent its continued deterioration. It’s impossible to continue to maintain the building in this neglect. Perhaps in the future there will be a combined community and tourism center here.”

    Shalmon hopes that the preservation of the hotel is “a sign of a new wind that is blowing in Tiberias” and dreams that one day the hotel will become the city hall, which will definitely be the most beautiful in Israel.

    I felt in love with the place and recommend anyone who is in Tiberias to drop by and enjoy its majesty…

    • Thanks Silvio for the information. I will be back in Israel in January and will make sure to visit again. I love these old buildings and was quite surprised when we accidentally came upon it.

  3. You are welcome!

    Revisting Genossar would be great, especially, if you could shoot some pix and publish them, I believe, it is a joy for many of us.

    Take care,

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