The Colonel's Cave

מערת הקולונל

Mount Sodom:

In the north of the Negev, between the southern bank of the Dead Sea and the Amiaz plain, a developed mountain range stretches for about 11 km and is only 2 km wide. This is Mount Sodom. A mighty salt mountain that has risen over the years and has hundreds of special salt caves. Among these caves is the longest salt cave in the world - named after the mountain and also the Colonel's cave.

The salt caves in the mountain were created from the melting of the rock by rainwater - floods. The salt rock is easily dissolved and therefore, even though the rains in the area are not frequent, every flood changes the surface of the mountain and carves swarms and caves in its depth. These floods created sinkholes at the bottom of which are vertical shafts, from which huge shafts are led to their source in front of the southern basin of the Dead Sea, in these caves various forms of salts were formed - stalactites, crystals, etc.'


To the southern peak of Mount Sodom's ridge goes a black trail called "Ma'ale the ladders". There, near the observation post that protected the potash factories, a huge shaft suddenly falls into the belly of the mountain, its source at the bottom of the mountain. The Colonel's cave is buried in the depths of Mount Sodom and is powerful and special!

Even today, as about a hundred years ago, the space attracted different people, except that these were not travelers who rush to the top of the mountain to see the sunrise or those who choose to surf into its depths and discover its secrets, these were the people of the factories. First they built a potash factory in the northern part of the Dead Sea basin, but when they found the mighty Sodom salt flat where a hot climate and low humidity prevails, they decided to establish one of the potash factories there. Moshe Novomeisky - the owner of the potash company assigned the job of building the plant to a British engineer named: Thomas Gregory Tullok - "the colonel".

In 1934, the construction of the factory began near the entrance to the salt cave, due to the poor means and the lack of buildings for the welfare of the factory workers, there were tents and it was impossible to stay in them during the day, therefore they would arrive at noon today during the hours of the crevasse, rest in it, and enjoy the gusts of wind that flow From its top and down to its origin.

In the further development of the factory, a real settlement was established for the residence of the workers - Sodom. Various buildings, a small train, a sanatorium and even a cinema were promoted in the settlement. which was chosen to be built right at the entrance of the Colonel's Cave. His remains are still there today. However, the war of independence interrupted the way of life of his employees and the normal conduct of the factory. It suffered a severe siege and many shellings in which the factory workers were forced to hide in the caves in the mountain. The shelling by the Jordanian Legion along with sabotage of the supply of fresh water to the isolated factory led to its abandonment and the agreement to transfer it to Jordan. Thus the factory was evacuated from its workers and the era of the workers' village - Sodom - ended. A few years later, work in the area was resumed at the initiative of David Ben-Gurion and the young state of Israel established a new company for the production of potash - the 'Dead Sea Works' known to us today as the owners of the area of ​​Mount Sodom.