The restored Seven Stations site in HaYarkon Park.
(photo credit: YOAV DEVIR KKL-JNF)
The Seven Stations historical site, which is located in HaYarkon Park, was dedicated in the presence of the JNF Australia leadership, on Sunday, October 14, the first day of their mission in Israel, during which they will be visiting change-making projects established with their support throughout the country.
“At JNF, we look towards the future, but at the same time, an important part of our mission is also to preserve history and tradition,” said JNF Australia CEO Dan Springer.
The Seven Stations site is a historical structure comprised of flourmills on the banks of the Yarkon River, which were built during the Ottoman era on the ruins of earlier mills. The restoration of the mills building was made possible thanks to a contribution from the estate of Stephen and Rita Gerstl of Sydney.
The Australian guests were greeted by Ronnie Vinnikov, Executive Director of the KKL-JNF Resource Development Division: “Seven Stations is yet another example of a long list of projects that were realized with the assistance of our partners from Australia,” he said.
He noted that the site is located only 500 meters from the site of the 1997 Maccabiah Bridge disaster, in which four members of the Australian delegation were killed when the bridge collapsed during the opening ceremony of the Maccabiah tournament, casting them into the polluted waters of the Yarkon River. Many more were injured. “Rather than just being angry and full of frustration, JNF Australia took it upon themselves to clean up the river that had caused so much pain and damage,” Vinnikov said.
And indeed, from all around Seven Stations site one can see the calm flow Yarkon River, listen to the trickling water, take in the riverside vegetation and watch the many water birds and animals that live in this environment. There can be no doubt about it – life has returned to the river.
The restored flourmill mechanism includes a water slide that turns a spoons wheel, which then turns the millstone. Experts say that in the past, it was possible to grind forty kilograms of flour per hour here. Now one can learn about the ancient technology and about the site’s history by watching the restored mechanism and by reading the easy-to-read explanatory signs.
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