Beyoğlu in Istanbul

November 16th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Monument of the Republic, to commemorate the founding of modern Turkey in 1923 © Nevit Dilmen/cc-by-sa-3.0

Monument of the Republic, to commemorate the founding of modern Turkey in 1923 © Nevit Dilmen/cc-by-sa-3.0

Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city (historic peninsula of Constantinople) by the Golden Horn. It was known as Pera during the Middle Ages, and this name remained in common use until the mid-20th century and the ethnic cleansing of its large Greek population. The district encompasses other neighborhoods located north of the Golden Horn, including Galata (the medieval Genoese citadel from which Beyoğlu itself originated, which is today known as Karaköy), Tophane, Cihangir, Şişhane, Tepebaşı, Tarlabaşı, Dolapdere and Kasımpaşa, and is connected to the old city center across the Golden Horn through the Galata Bridge, Atatürk Bridge and Golden Horn Metro Bridge. Beyoğlu is the most active art, entertainment and nightlife centre of Istanbul.   read more…

Rehavia in West Jerusalem

November 9th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Terra Sancta College on Keren HaYesod Street © Djampa/cc-by-sa-4.0

Terra Sancta College on Keren HaYesod Street © Djampa/cc-by-sa-4.0

Rehavia, also Rechavia, is an upscale West Jerusalem neighborhood located between the city center and Talbiya. The Prime Minister‘s Official Residence is the “Aghion House“, at No. 3 Balfour Street near the corner with Smolenskin Street. Most of Rehavia’s streets are named after Jewish scholars and poets from the Golden Age of Jewish culture in Spain. Among them are Abravanel, Ben Maimon, Ibn Ezra, Rabbi Moses ben Nachman, and Radak. A glaring omission is the name of Yehuda Halevy, celebrated physician, poet, and philosopher. Zionist leader Menachem Ussishkin, who lived on Rechov Yehuda Halevy, changed the name of the street to Rechov Ussishkin in honor of his 70th birthday in 1933, and installed new ceramic signs crafted by local Armenian craftspeople.   read more…

Western Wall or Buraq Wall in East Jerusalem

November 7th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Men's and women's prayer area © Daniel Case/cc-by-sa-3.0

Men’s and women’s prayer area © Daniel Case/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Western Wall, Wailing Wall, or Kotel, known in Islam as the Buraq Wall, is an ancient limestone wall in the Old City of East Jerusalem. It is a relatively small segment of a far longer ancient retaining wall, known also in its entirety as the “Western Wall”. The wall was originally erected as part of the expansion of the Second Temple begun by Herod the Great, which resulted in the encasement of the natural, steep hill known to Jews and Christians as the Temple Mount, with the Dome of the Rock/Qubbat As-Sakhrah and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in a large rectangular structure topped by a huge flat platform, thus creating more space for the Temple itself and its auxiliary buildings. For Muslims, it is the site where the Islamic Prophet Muhammad tied his steed, al-Buraq, on his night journey to Jerusalem before ascending to paradise, and constitutes the Western border of al-Haram al-Sharif.   read more…

Mamilla Mall in West Jerusalem

November 5th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© - Ana Paula Hirama/cc-by-sa-2.0

© – Ana Paula Hirama/cc-by-sa-2.0

Mamilla Mall, also known as Alrov Mamilla Avenue, is an upscale shopping street and the only open-air mall in West Jerusalem. Located northwest of Jaffa Gate, directely at the City Line, the border between East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem, and part of the wider Green Line, the mall consists of a 2,000-foot (610 m) pedestrian promenade called Alrov Mamilla Avenue lined by 140 stores, restaurants, and cafes, and office space on upper floors. The mall sits atop a multi-story parking garage for 1,600 cars and buses, and a bus terminal. Designed by Moshe Safdie and developed by Alrov Properties and Lodgings Ltd. of Tel Aviv, the mall incorporates the facades of 19th-century buildings from the original Mamilla Street, as well as the original structures of the Convent of St. Vincent de Paul, the Stern House, and the Clark House.   read more…

Israel Museum in West Jerusalem

October 17th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Union for the Mediterranean

Hadrian bronze bust from Tel Shalem © Oren Rozen/cc-by-sa-4.0

Hadrian bronze bust from Tel Shalem © Oren Rozen/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Israel Museum was established in 1965 as Israel‘s national museum. It is situated on a hill in the Givat Ram neighborhood of West Jerusalem, ajacent to the Bible Lands Museum, the Knesset, the Israeli Supreme Court, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Among the unique objects on display are the Venus of Berekhat Ram; the interior of a 1736 Zedek ve Shalom synagogue from Suriname; necklaces worn by Jewish brides in Yemen; a mosaic Islamic prayer niche from 17th-century Persia; and a nail attesting to the practice of crucifixion in Jesus’ time. An urn-shaped building on the grounds of the museum, the Shrine of the Book, houses the Dead Sea Scrolls and artifacts discovered at Masada. It is one of the largest museums in the region.   read more…

American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem

October 1st, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels, Union for the Mediterranean

© - Alistair/cc-by-sa-2.0

© – Alistair/cc-by-sa-2.0

The American Colony Hotel is a luxury hotel located in a historic building in East Jerusalem which previously housed the utopian AmericanSwedish community known as the American Colony. The hotel belongs to The Leading Hotels of the World. The building was originally built and owned by Ottoman Pasha Rabbah Daoud Amin Effendi al-Husseini, who lived there with his harem of four wives. Soon after his fourth marriage, al-Husseini died. In 1895, the building was sold to a group of messianic Christians who arrived in Jerusalem in 1881 and set up a commune. Their leader was Horatio Spafford, a lawyer from Chicago and his wife, Anna. In 1896, the Americans were joined by two groups of Swedish settlers. This Christian utopian society became known as the American Colony.   read more…

Old City of Jerusalem

September 12th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean

Old City of Jerusalem - Temple Mount © Andrew Shiva/cc-by-sa-4.0

Old City of Jerusalem – Temple Mount © Andrew Shiva/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Old City of Jerusalem is a just about 0.9 square kilometers (0.35 sq mi) wide walled area in East Jerusalem and forms the core of the Middle East/Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Until 1860, when the Jewish neighborhood Mishkenot Sha’ananim was established, this area constituted the entire city of Jerusalem and Israeli right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is unintentionally right in pointing out that Jerusalem is indivisible, as to this day the Palestinian old town remains to be a self-contained and undivided entity. The Old City is home to several sites of key religious importance: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians, the Temple Mount and Western Wall for Jews, and the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims. It was added to the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger in 1982. Although the Mount Zion with the Abbey of the Dormition is located outside the city walls, it is occasionally seen as part of the Old City. In 2011, UNESCO issued a statement reiterating its view that East Jerusalem is “part of the occupied Palestinian territory, and that the status of Jerusalem must be resolved in permanent status negotiations.” The border between East and West Jerusalem, the City Line as part of the Green Line, runs between the Old City Wall and the Mamilla Mall in West Jerusalem.   read more…

The Knesset in West Jerusalem

August 8th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Adiel lo/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Adiel lo/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Knesset (lit. the gathering or assembly) is the unicameral national legislature of Israel. As the legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister (although the latter is ceremonially appointed by the President), approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government. In addition, the Knesset elects the State Comptroller. It also has the power to waive the immunity of its members, remove the President and the State Comptroller from office, dissolve the government in a constructive vote of no confidence, and to dissolve itself and call new elections. The Prime Minister may also dissolve the Knesset. However, until an election is completed, the Knesset maintains authority in its current composition. The Knesset is located in Givat Ram neighborhood of Western Jerusalem.   read more…

King David Hotel in West Jerusalem

July 11th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels, Union for the Mediterranean

© Michael Plutchok/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Michael Plutchok/cc-by-sa-3.0

The King David Hotel is a hotel in West Jerusalem. Opened in 1931, the hotel was built with locally quarried pink limestone and was founded by Ezra Mosseri, a wealthy Egyptian Jewish banker. It is located on King David Street in the centre of West Jerusalem, overlooking the Old City in East Jerusalem and Mount Zion. Today it is one of Israel’s leading 5-star hotels and member of The Leading Hotels of the World.   read more…

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