The Flour Mills Site
There were at least twelve flour mills in Jordan Park in the past, which utilized the abundant water flowing in the Jordan channel. The water was conducted to the mills in four lined trenches. One of them has been restored and conducts water to two flour mills situated next to the park's main recreation area.
Beit Saida (Tel Mishpa)
Tel Mishpa rises 25 meters above its surroundings in the southeastern section of Jordan Park. It seems that in the days of the First Temple there was a town here called Tzar, the capital of the kingdom of Geshur. From this era there are remnants of a palace, a great city gate, a strong wall and striking structures. The kingdom of Geshur maintained close contact with King David, who married Maacha the daughter of Talmai, the King of Geshur. There was a fishing village in Beit Saida in the days of the Second Temple, which explains its name, which means the fishing house. In the year 30 BCE, Herod’s son Philip developed the town and changed its name to Lulias in honor of the wife of the Roman Emperor Augustus. Philip was partial to the town and chose to be buried there (34 CE).
Three important emissaries of the Christian church were born in Beit Saida: Peter, his brother Andrew, and Philip, and many Christian pilgrims visit this site. Jesus visited the town and performed miracles there, such as restoring the vision of a blind man, and the miracle of the loaves and fishes.
Excavations were undertaken at the site in 1987 by the University of Nebraska, Omaha, USA, led by Prof. Rami Arav. The dig revealed remains of the biblical city and of the fishing village in the Second Temple period. KKL JNF developed a marked hiking trail at the site with suggested restorations of the remnants of the important buildings and with quotes from ancient scriptures that describe Beit Saida.
At the foot of the hill there is a spring called Ein Mishpa, which creates a small, pretty stream that flows to the Jordan River. You can get to the spring by a new footpath that descends from the mound. You can also get to it by car, from the park, on a road that is accessible for the handicapped. Near the stream are picnic tables.