On the edge

Moshe Cohen

Joined March 2008

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The image was taken in Mizpe Ramon Israel at the Crater promenade.
These 2 girls were playing on the edge of the cliff with no fear.
Mitzpe Ramon (lit. Ramon Lookout) is a town in the Negev desert of southern Israel. It is situated on the northern ridge at an elevation of 2,400 feet (800m.) overlooking an enormous erosion cirque known as the Ramon Crater. This crater, or makhtesh, as it is called in Hebrew (a term also used by geologists around the world) is 28 miles long and five miles wide. It is a formation unique to Israel and the Sinai.
In 2007, Mitzpe Ramon had a population of 5,500.
Mitzpe Ramon was originally 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. Mitzpe Ramon remains small and struggling, with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. One of the original opportunities for founding a town in this location was to take advantage of traffic on Route 40 traveling to and returning from Eilat in the south, a few nearby military bases and some chalk quarries. Several large military bases (with over 10,000 soldiers altogether) surround the town, including the large Ramon Airbase. The Wise Astronomy Observatory is located 5 km to the east.

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 and hiking, and the upgrading of Route 40, which is considered a more scenic route to Eilat, have improved matters since the mid-1990s.

A hotel opened in Mitzpe Ramon in the late-1990s which has an indoor swimming pool. There is a Visitors Centre overlooking the Ramon Crater and the fit can walk down into the crater for a 4 to 5 hour treck without any shade. There is a llama and alpaca farm and other attractions.

Due to the desert climate, Mitzpe Ramon experiences very hot summers and cold winters.

Artwork Comments

  • Zoe Marlowe
  • Moshe Cohen
  • Eyal Nahmias
  • Moshe Cohen
  • gaylene
  • Moshe Cohen
  • Estelle O'Brien
  • Moshe Cohen
  • circusgallery
  • NickMilton
  • Ronald Rockman
  • Moshe Cohen
  • TrixiJahn
  • Moshe Cohen
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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