Mitzpe Ramon

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Mitzpe Ramon
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • Hebrew מִצְפֵּה רָמוֹן
 • ISO 259 Miçpe Ramon
Neighborhood overlooking Ramon Crater
Neighborhood overlooking Ramon Crater
Official logo of Mitzpe Ramon
Logo
Mitzpe Ramon is located in Israel
Mitzpe Ramon
Mitzpe Ramon
Coordinates: 30°36′29″N 34°48′11″E / 30.608°N 34.803°E / 30.608; 34.803Coordinates: 30°36′29″N 34°48′11″E / 30.608°N 34.803°E / 30.608; 34.803
District South
Founded 1951
Government
 • Type Local council
 • Head of Municipality Flora Shoshan
Area
 • Total 62,875 dunams (62.875 km2 or 24.276 sq mi)
Elevation 839 m (2,753 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Total 4,922
Website http://www.mitzpe-ramon.muni.il/

Mitzpe Ramon (Hebrew: מִצְפֵּה רָמוֹן, lit. Ramon Lookout) is a town in the Negev desert of southern Israel. The name Ramon comes from the Arabic "Ruman" meaning Romans.[1] It is situated on the northern ridge at an elevation of 860 meters (2,800 feet) overlooking a sizable erosion cirque known as the Ramon Crater. In 2009, Mitzpe Ramon had a population of 4,789.[2]

History[edit]

Mitzpe Ramon was founded in 1951 as a camp for the workers building the road to Eilat. The town's first permanent residents, immigrants from North Africa and Romania, settled there in the 1960s, and it became the southernmost of the Negev's development towns. The mayor is Flora Shoshan, sister of former Israeli defense minister Amir Peretz and wife of the former mayor, Sami Shoshan.[3]

Geology and climate[edit]

Ramon Crater, known as a makhtesh, is 38 km long, 6 km wide and 450 meters deep.[4] Mitzpe Ramon experiences hot, dry summers and cold winters. There are moderate to strong winds all year long, caused by its location above the crater, which make Mitzpe Ramon feel much colder than it really is. Snowfall occurs on average once in a couple of years.

Economy[edit]

The development of Mitzpe Ramon was adversely affected by the opening of Route 90 in the late 1960s. After the inauguration of this highway, traffic to and from Eilat bypassed Mitzpe Ramon almost entirely. However, growing interest in ecotourism, Jeep trekking (access to Nabatean ruins), mountain biking and hiking, and the upgrading of Route 40, which is considered a more scenic route to Eilat, have improved the economy.

Jerusalem Marble, a major supplier and overseas exporter of Jerusalem stone established in 1923, inaugurated a new, state-of-the-art factory in Mitzpe Ramon in January 2000.[5]

Mitzpe Ramon has six hotels and dozens of Bed and Breakfast establishments. In 2011, the Isrotel hotel chain opened a luxury hotel, the Beresheet Hotel, in Mitzpe Ramon.[6]

The Tourism Ministry has allocated NIS 9.5 million for infrastructure development in Mitzpe Ramon, and the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and Galilee financed the construction of a landing strip for light aircraft.[6] In December 2013, plans were proposed to build a Las Vegas-style Casino in the town.[7]

Music and culture[edit]

The Mitzpe Ramon Jazz Club hosts musical ensembles on the weekend. On weekdays, it operates as a music school. The Adama Dance Company, established by Liat Dror and Nir Ben Gal, is a troupe based in Mitzpe Ramon. The company opened a complex in the industrial zone that offers classes and workshops, and houses studios and a performance venue.[8] It runs a children's dance school in the town's Spice Route Quarter.[6]

Panorama of Mitzpe Ramon
Climate data for Mitzpe Ramon (1916-2007)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 24.4
(75.9)
26.4
(79.5)
30.4
(86.7)
35.6
(96.1)
37.2
(99)
37.6
(99.7)
39.7
(103.5)
38.2
(100.8)
37.8
(100)
36.2
(97.2)
29.6
(85.3)
28.2
(82.8)
39.2
(102.6)
Average high °C (°F) 12.7
(54.9)
13.7
(56.7)
16.9
(62.4)
23.0
(73.4)
26.8
(80.2)
29.3
(84.7)
30.7
(87.3)
30.6
(87.1)
28.6
(83.5)
24.9
(76.8)
19.3
(66.7)
14.8
(58.6)
22.6
(72.7)
Average low °C (°F) 5.9
(42.6)
5.9
(42.6)
7.7
(45.9)
11.8
(53.2)
14.7
(58.5)
16.8
(62.2)
18.4
(65.1)
18.5
(65.3)
17.2
(63)
15.2
(59.4)
11.4
(52.5)
7.8
(46)
12.6
(54.7)
Record low °C (°F) −2.4
(27.7)
−2.2
(28)
−0.4
(31.3)
−0.8
(30.6)
6.0
(42.8)
10.8
(51.4)
13.4
(56.1)
14.0
(57.2)
11.9
(53.4)
9.4
(48.9)
2.6
(36.7)
1.0
(33.8)
−2.4
(27.7)
Precipitation mm (inches) 18.9
(0.744)
14.7
(0.579)
12.0
(0.472)
4.9
(0.193)
1.3
(0.051)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.1
(0.004)
4.6
(0.181)
6.5
(0.256)
13.7
(0.539)
69.5
(2.736)
Avg. precipitation days 6.0 4.9 4.1 1.7 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.9 2.3 4.6 25.1
Source: Israel Meteorological Service,[9][10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]