One of the best science research institutes in the world is located in Rehovot: This is the Weizmann Institute of Science. Its humble beginning was in 1934, when the Sieff Institute for research in organic chemistry was erected on a hill at the entrance to Rehovot, headed by Dr. Chaim Weizmann (who later became the first president of the State of Israel).
This institute was then expanded to include other scientific fields, and in 1949 the Weizmann Institute was inaugurated.
Today it includes research departments in mathematics and computer science, physics, chemistry, biology and neuroscience, and also archaeology. Students from Israel and from abroad are admitted for higher degree studies, not undergraduate studies, in the Feinberg Graduate School.
Guided tours leave from the visitor center near the entrance, some on foot and some in trolleys. Highlights include the Jubilee walk, a short uphill trail opened in 1999, commemorating the Weizmann Institute's history in the first 50 years, leading to another visitor center containing a history display; the Meir Weisgal Science Square: a large open space with a lawn and a pond, surrounded by some of the Institute's research labs; The Jubilee Plaza, with an observation balcony affording a sweeping view of the eastern part of the campus; The historical first building: the 1934 Sieff Institute; The first Israeli computer, WEIZAC, built in 1954, one of the earliest computers in the world; The curious egg-shaped particle accelerator; The Foucault pendulum, the experiment proving that the earth rotates about its axis...
The elegant buildings in the Weizmann Institute make an exhibition of landmark Israeli architecture over the last 6-7 decades (see separate tip).
The trees and vegetation in the campus are a splendid botanical garden (see separate tip), and some tours are botanically oriented.
Sculptures dot the campus and are also worth a tour (see separate tip).
Other attractions include the observation deck of the solar mirror field and the Solar Tower,
the Clore Garden of Science (hands-on outdoor science museum for families), and Chaim and Vera Weizmann's residence.
Walking the avenues and plazas of the Weizmann Institute is also a lesson in architecture over the last 6-7 decades. The Sieff Institute was built in 1934 in the colonial style. The renowned international-style architect Erich Mendelssohn designed other early buildings. Later styles include "brutalist" raw-cement buildings, structuralist and post-modern architecture, modern day glass buildings (beautifully reflecting the surrounding vegetation), and the symbol of the Weizmann Institute: the egg-shaped particle accelerator tower.
A Weizmann Institute campus can also be viewed as a sculpture park. The sculptures are part of the landscape and are harmoniously integrated with the trees and shrubbery.
Some of the outdoor sculptures (see photos) are: "Continuity" by Menashe Kadishman, "Internal Light" by Gidon Graetz; "Together" by Mark Halter; "Tree of Knowledge" by Nathan Rapoport.
Indoors there is, for example, the enchanting (or enchanted?) "Unicorn"by Salvador Dali.
This historical display & museum was developed in the late 1990s on the site of Minkoff's orchard, the first citrus orchard of Rehovot: The orchard was planted by Zalman Minkoff in 1904.
You enter through the old gate into a walled farmyard with the orchard owner's house, a water well, a trolley which used to carry the boxes of freshly-picked oranges to the packing house. An audiovisual display tells the story of orange growing in Israel: How it all started, how the work used to be done in the early days (water used to be pumped from the well by camel power, to be replaced later by a motor), how Jaffa oranges became the pride of the country and one of the more important export goods of Israel; the long route the oranges made from the tree to the picker's basket, then to the trolley, to the packing house, the sorting and the packaging, then to the port of Jaffa, where crates were transported by wooden row-boats to the ships which would take the oranges to the best European markets...
A young orchard of orange trees was planted again on the Minkoff Orchard site.
After your visit you can have a drink in the cafe, pleasantly set inside the farmyard, and relax on a cushion (ornage, of course!).
Over the years the Weizmann Institute has dedicated effort and resources to create not only the most beautiful campus in Israel but also the most interesting and unusual vegetation.
It started with an "acclimatization park", an area where different trees from all parts of the globe were planted in order to find out which ones would adjust well to the climate and the soil and can be planted in Israel.
In one corner of the campus you see a couple of enormous trees, 30 meters high, not found anywhere else in Israel: These are the Nyasaland Mahogany trees, brought here in the 1950s.
Another rare species is the Indian red silk cotton tree (Kapok), which sports giant flowers in early spring. Another representative of the subcontinent is the Indian Banyan, with impressive aerial roots that become new trunks. Madagascar is represented by a "flamboyant royal poinciana", which has brilliant red flowers in the summer.
Near the Feinberg Graduate School you can see the impressive "sausage tree" (Kigelia Pinnata), native to Africa, which produces giant sausage-like fruit. Near another building there is a park of various palm trees, big and small. At the eastern end of the campus there is a large orchard, reminding us of Rehovot's beginnings as the orange grove capital of Israel in the early 20th century. A long avenue of old, thick ficus trees provides shade and coolness even in the midst of summer.
The trees, shrubs and lawns make the Weizmann campus a relaxing, inspiring place, conducive to great scientific discoveries.
I spent 10 days here attending a science teacher's seminar. The campus is fantastic! You should visit the Clore Garden of Science for an interesting view of the natural world. A tour of the Weizmann House is also a must! There is a memorial to those who died in the Holocaust located near the Davidson Insitute of Science Education. A walk around the campus is enjoyable in itself....
Sorry that I could not put this location in VT, but it does not exist on the VT map. Satriyah is a small farm commune, called a Moshav, just outside the large city of Rehovot. A description on how to find Satriyah is included below.
We were enjoying a day out at the open air market in nearby Ramla and decided to check out the newest winery in Israel, Herzberg. We met the owner/vinter, Max Herzberg, and were given the opportunity to try out the best of his vinyard. We sampled several years and several types of wines, including Merlot, Malbec and a "combo" of three which was excellent.
If you have the time, stop by and sample and then maybe take home a few liquid memories of Israel.
It was founded in 1935 and got its name from Israels first president that was living and also buried here. World famous for its physics researchers.
This is the most famous building in Weizmann Institute, it is the Koffler Accelerator of the Canada Centre of Nuclear Physics.