Historic Dead Sea landmark opens for first time since 1940s

The Dead Sea's new Novomiesky Visitor Center is a tribute to the story of early Zionist Moshe Novomiesky.

The receding floor of the northern Dead Sea in the Megilot region of the West Bank. (photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
The receding floor of the northern Dead Sea in the Megilot region of the West Bank.
(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)

The Moshe Novomiesky Visitor Center near the famed Dead Sea is set to open to the public throughout Hanukkah (Nov. 29th through Dec. 6th), the first time the site will be open since the late 1940s.

Among many sites along the Dead Sea, the Novomiesky Visitor Center is a tribute to the story of early Zionist Moshe Novomiesky. In 1934, living in what was then called the British Mandate of Palestine, Novomeiski and the British engineer Thomas Gregory Tolock founded the “Land of Israel Potash Company” - a large-scale factory in the northern Dead Sea.

The factories used evaporation techniques to create shallow pools from waterproof salt soil, drying the salty water in order to produce "potash" – a pinkish-orange colored potassium-rich salt that is mined from underground deposits formed from evaporated sea beds millions of years ago.

The 80 kilometers standing between the two factories led to many challenges, as travel between the factories was only possible via boat and was made difficult by the violently gushing waters. The distance between the two factories made transporting goods and workers from site to site nearly impossible amid the tough environmental conditions, and thus Moshe Novomiesky and his partner were forced to cease operations in the late 1940s.

 Visitors explore a salt formation in the Dead Sea near Ein Bokek, Israel October 30, 2021 (credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN) Visitors explore a salt formation in the Dead Sea near Ein Bokek, Israel October 30, 2021 (credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

The exhibition into Moshe Novomiesky’s story is part of Israel's Moreshet Week: an annual celebration of the recognition of national heritage. Moreshet week will be celebrated throughout Israel this year during Hanukkah – between November 29th and December 6th, 2021.