At Ralli Museum in Caesarea, you can see the Dali collection, Latin American and Spanish paintings, sculptures, and much more. Let’s begin exploring!
The Ralli Museum complex consists of two museum buildings, two monuments, and a large parking lot. The complex is located at Rothschild Boulevard (next to the water tower).
Map of the area:
The easiest way to get to the Ralli Museum is by car. And there are many free parking spaces on site. Arriving by public transport is inconvenient. You can take the bus (for example, Egged line #910 from Tel Aviv to Haifa) till Or Akiva interchange. And from there walk for 2.2 km, or take a taxi. Another option would be to take the train to Caesarea station. But the train station is even further away (than the bus stop), and you need to choose either a bus or a taxi.
Here is a link to Moovit, where Ralli Museum is already set as the destination. Change the origin from Tel Aviv to your location, and you will get the updated directions.
The entrance to the museums and the parking are free.
Sunday and Wednesday – closed
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday: 10:30 – 17:00
Friday: 10:30 – 15:00
Holiday eves: 10:30 – 12:30
Note: opening hours were updated in May 2019. In any case, recheck the official site before visiting.
Background info from the official site:
The Ralli Museums in Caesarea are part of five Ralli Museums in the world, an institution founded by Harry Recanati. The main aim of the museums is to disseminate contemporary Latin American art. When appreciating Latin American surrealism, the folkloric motifs, and the symbolic emphasis, one can grasp the importance of these great works of contemporary art. The museums were dedicated to the memory of the Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal during the Inquisition and of the Jewish community of Thessaloniki, which was almost entirely exterminated in the Holocaust.
We parked next to the Ralli building #2, so we started our visit there.
The second museum commemorates the great golden age of Spanish Jewry. The architectural style is Spanish (Moorish) and in the center of the large central courtyard stands a fountain with 12 lions, as in the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. According to historians, this motif originated in the palace of King David in Jerusalem. The fountain is surrounded by marble statues of Maimonides, Ibn Gabirol, Yehuda Halevi, and Spinoza. The building has four stories, and the exhibits consist of paintings with Biblical themes created by European artists in the 16th to 18th centuries.
Note: unless stated otherwise, all quotes were taken from the official site.
There are four floors in the building. During our visit, one of the levels was closed, and the other three had mainly paintings. I am not a renowned art specialist, so it is hard for me to evaluate, but I was not impressed. I loved the architecture of the building much more.
The spiral stairs inside the building:
The fountain of the twelve lions at the entrance to the museum:
Greek Style Monument
Near Ralli 2, we found this Greek-style monument dedicated to people whose decisions helped create the state of Israel. That is, of course, Herzl.
In a broader view of the monument, you can also see the signs of the twelve tribes.
The first Ralli Museum in Caesarea was built in a Spanish colonial style that perfectly fits the pastoral landscape of Caesarea. The size of the museum is about 9000 square meters, and the building is located in the center of a 40-hectare sculpture garden with palm trees, carob trees, citrus, and olive trees. The museum has five exhibit halls as well as several octagonal patios with a central fountain. The floor is made of red terracotta tiles and frames consisting of strips of wood and white tiles with a motif of blue clover leaves. These beautiful tiles were specially designed in Uruguay for the Ralli Museums.
The museum was conceived, taking into account the light and weather conditions of the country. Natural light comes from large windows opening onto the courtyards. The upper level has one large sculpture square overlooking the sea, and through the arches, one can appreciate the arches of the Roman aqueduct on the horizon. The square features sculptures in bronze, marble, and acrylic by famous European artists such as Dali and Rodin, as well as Latin-American sculptors.
Ralli museums are famous for their Dali exhibits, and they can be found in Rally 1 building. What I did not expect to see was an archeological wing.
The archeological wing is not significant but quite lovely. Here is a diagram of how ancient Caesarea probably looked like.
Besides the archeological wing, there are several other exhibitions, including paintings on the first floor.
Dali exhibits are located on the second floor of Ralli 1.
There is an outside patio on the second floor with beautiful sculptures. Here are some of them.
Several more items from the Dali collection:
View from the second-floor balcony:
And my last photo of that day was this statue outside Ralli 1.
How Much Time A Visit To Ralli Museum Takes?
I did not expect the museums to be that big. Covering both museums at a quite quick pace took us about two and a half hours. And according to Google’s data: “People typically spend up to 1.5 hours here”.
We loved the Ralli museums. There are a lot of beautiful paintings, statues, and architecture. The exhibitions are diverse, and everybody can find what he or she likes. Thus, if you are in the area, I would highly recommend visiting it. Moreover, there are other attractions nearby. A Combined visit to Caesarea National Park and Ralli Museum can serve as a great half-day (to a full day) experience.
Moreover, check out Caesarea for additional info about the city.
Have you ever been to the Ralli Museum? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!
Additional ResourcesHere are several resources that I created to help travelers:
- Israel Trip Planner is the page that will help you to create your perfect travel route.
- National Parks And Nature Reserves page lists and put all national parks on the map. There is also a top list, information about ticket types and campsites.
- If you are looking for things to do, here are the pages for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Sea Of Galilee, and Makhtesh Ramon.
- Wondering what events are there in Israel? Here is the Events And Festivals By Season guide.