Theme Week West Jerusalem – The King David Hotel

Wednesday, 11 July 2018 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Hotels, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  4 minutes

© 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.

The hotel has played an important role in the history of Jerusalem, from the struggle for Israeli statehood, through Independence War, division of Jerusalem to this day. Among other things the hotel was known for being the scene of a bombing in 1946 during an attack led by the Zionist terrorist group Irgun, and for its frequent hosting of heads of state, dignitaries, and other personalities during their visits to Jerusalem. The hotel is owned and operated by the Dan Hotels group.

© Danny Lyulev/cc-by-sa-3.0 British Forces in the Middle East 1945-1947 - Second bomb at the King David Hotel Jerusalem © No 1 Army Film & Photographic Unit - Turner W R H (Sergeant) - Imperial War Museum Entrance Hall © Hynek Moravec/cc-by-2.5 King_David_Hotel-Mapah-cc-by-sa-3.0 © Michael Plutchok/cc-by-sa-3.0 The picture was published in the Jerusalem Post after the destruction of King David Hotel by Irgoun, 1946
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British Forces in the Middle East 1945-1947 - Second bomb at the King David Hotel Jerusalem © No 1 Army Film & Photographic Unit - Turner W R H (Sergeant) - Imperial War Museum
On July 22, 1946, the southwestern corner of the hotel was bombed during an attack led by the Zionist terrorist group Irgun. 91 people died and 45 people were injured. An earlier attempt by the Irgun to attack the hotel had been foiled when the Haganah learned of it, and warned the British authorities. On May 4, 1948, when the British flag was lowered as the British Mandate ended, the building became a Jewish stronghold. At the end of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the hotel found itself overlooking “no-man’s land” on the armistice line that divided Jerusalem into Israeli and Jordanian territory. In 1957 the German-Jewish family Federmann from Chemnitz bought the hotel. Xiel and Samuel Federmann turned the “ruin with bullet holes” into a luxury hotel. The hotel is the cornerstone of Dan Hotels of Israel. After the founding of the state of Israel, members of the aforementioned underground and terrorist organizations formed the IDF staff, allegedly the “most moral army in the world,” according to Israeli sources. On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the terrorist attack in 2006, a ceremony was held, attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former members of the Irgun. Understandably, this led to sharp protests from the United Kingdom.

The design for the hotel was commissioned from a Swiss architect, Emile Vogt, with the actual construction supervised by Jerusalem architect Benjamin Chaiken. According to Hebrew University professor Ruth Kark, Vogt’s approach was typical of European architects who, commissioned to design buildings in Jerusalem, incorporated “Eastern-style domes, arches, various kinds of different-colored stone, and interior decorations with religious symbols and inscriptions,” in buildings whose strict symmetry marks them indelibly as European. The public rooms were decorated by G. G. Hufschmid in motifs taken from Assyrian, Hittite, Phoenician and Muslim buildings in an effort to evoke a “Biblical” style. Hufschmid, also Swiss, stated that his intention was “to evoke by reminiscence the ancient Semitic style and the ambiance of the glorious period of King David.”

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Read more on King David Hotel and Wikipedia King David Hotel (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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