Safed is a beautiful community in the north of Israel, steeped in history. The town itself is the highest community in the Galilee and actually in all of Israel, at an altitude of 2,953 ft above sea level.
Safed or Tsfat as it is often referred to, is one of Judaism's four Holy cities, along with Jerusalem, Hebron and Tiberias. The city has been the center of Kabbalah since the sixteenth century.
Due to it's beautiful setting, surrounded by pine forests and its mild mid-year temperatures, Safed has become a summer holiday resort, frequented by Israelis and foreign visitors alike. In addition to being home to artists and an "arts scene", Safed has been hailed as the klezmer capital of the world, hosting an annual klesmer festival that attracts top musicians from around the world. The "old city" part of Safed is a fascinating place with stone structures built on the mountainside and cobblestone allies, revealing artist's galleries, medieval synagogues, private homes and small guest houses.
As many other places in Israel, Safed has endured numerous hardships over the centuries, including massacres at the hands of invading armies, earthquakes, plagues, etc. After the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492 and the influx of Sephardic Jews, Safed became a global center for Jewish learning and a regional center for trade throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. In the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, at least 12,000 Arabs fled or abandoned their homes and the city came completely under Jewish control.
Safed has been continuously occupied by Jewish people since the time of the 2nd Temple.
Modern day Safed is home to at least 32,000 people, 99% of which are Jewish.
The next time you visit northern Israel, you might consider a stay at one of Safed's unique destinations, the Artist's Colony Inn, a Bed & Breakfast, in a stone building, restored under the inspiration of Architect, Ofir Asiass, located right in the heart of Safed's Artist colony.