The origins of Jerusalem stone architecture in East Jerusalem

23 November 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Old town Suq Aftimos © Rastaman3000/cc-by-sa-3.0

Old town Suq Aftimos © Rastaman3000/cc-by-sa-3.0

Jerusalem stone (Meleke) is a lithologic type of white, coarsely-crystalline, thickly bedded-limestone found in the Judean Hills in Israel and the West Bank. It has been used in the traditional architecture of Jerusalem since ancient times, especially in Herodian architecture. Though it is often popularly referred to as Jerusalem stone, that phrase can refer to a number of different types of stone found and used in or associated with Jerusalem. Jerusalem stone is a name applied to various types of pale limestone, dolomite and dolomitic limestone, common in and around Jerusalem that have been used in building since ancient times. One of these limestones has been used in many of the region’s most celebrated structures, including the Western Wall. Jerusalem stone continues to be used in construction and incorporated in Jewish ceremonial art such as menorahs and seder plates. Limestone is used all over the world. The unique selling point is the mining area, the origins of which lie in the Palestinian old town of East Jerusalem. This unique selling point naturally also applies to other mining areas, e.g. for the Austin Stone from Austin, Texas or the Cotswold Stone from the British Cotswolds.   read more…

Beit Aghion in West Jerusalem

14 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

U.S. Vice President and possible future U.S. President Joe Biden meets With Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu © U.S. Department of State/Matty Stern

U.S. Vice President and possible future U.S. President Joe Biden meets With Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu
© U.S. Department of State/Matty Stern

Beit Aghion, also known as Beit Rosh HaMemshala (House of the Prime Minister) is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Israel. It is located at 9 Smolenskin Street, on the street corner of Balfour Street in the upscale West Jerusalem neighborhood of Rehavia, situated between the city center and the Talbiya neighborhood. The private residence of Netanyahu is located in Caesarea, north of the ancient city of Caesarea Palaestinae, where the official residence of the Roman praeses Pontius Pilate was located (Pilate stone).   read more…

Chapel of Notre Dame in West Jerusalem

19 June 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Notre Dame of Jerusalem © Mislishka/cc-by-sa-3.0

Notre Dame of Jerusalem © Mislishka/cc-by-sa-3.0

The “Chapel of Our Lady of Jerusalem” (French: “Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Jérusalem”) or “Chapel of Notre Dame”, is a religious building affiliated with the Catholic Church which is located in the “Complex of Notre Dame of Jerusalem” (formerly known as “Notre Dame de France”, or “Our Lady of France”) which was built by French religious between 1893 and 1894 in West Jerusalem, as part of a larger group of buildings known as the “Hospice of Our Lady of France”, which was built mostly in stone with “defensive” purposes.   read more…

Mahane Yehuda Market in West Jerusalem

8 April 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Sir kiss

© Sir kiss

Mahane Yehuda Market (Shuk Mahane Yehuda), often referred to as “The Shuk“, is a marketplace (originally open-air, but now partially covered) in West Jerusalem. Popular with locals and tourists alike, the market’s more than 250 vendors sell fresh fruits and vegetables; baked goods; fish, meat and cheeses; nuts, seeds, and spices; wines and liquors; clothing and shoes; and housewares, textiles, and Judaica.   read more…

Portrait: Emperor Titus

21 November 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Château de Versailles - Bust of Titus © Coyau/cc-by-sa-3.0

Château de Versailles – Bust of Titus © Coyau/cc-by-sa-3.0

Titus was Roman emperor from 79 to 81. A member of the Flavian dynasty, Titus succeeded his father Vespasian upon his death, thus becoming the first Roman emperor to come to the throne after his own biological father. Prior to becoming emperor, Titus gained renown as a military commander, serving under his father in Judea during the First Jewish–Roman War. The campaign came to a brief halt with the death of emperor Nero in 68, launching Vespasian’s bid for the imperial power during the Year of the Four Emperors. When Vespasian was declared Emperor on 1 July 69, Titus was left in charge of ending the Jewish rebellion. In 70, he besieged and captured Jerusalem, and destroyed the city and the Second Temple so that the city became uninhabitable for over 60 years (the present day Old City was then the whole of Jerusalem). For this achievement Titus was awarded a triumph: the Arch of Titus commemorates his victory to this day. The influence on the later developments of Christianity and Judaism through the results of the Jewish-Roman Wars (First Jewish–Roman War, Kitos War and Bar Kokhba revolt) was considerable. While Christianity experienced a rapid worldwide growth, Judaism declined into Diaspora groups.   read more…

Theme Week West Jerusalem – Rehavia

9 November 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…

Theme Week East Jerusalem – The Western or Buraq Wall

7 November 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…

Theme Week West Jerusalem – The Mamilla Mall

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

© flickr.com - Ana Paula Hirama/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – 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, which has survived to this day due to the repeatedly annulled Jerusalem Law by the UN 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…

Theme Week West Jerusalem – Israel Museum

17 October 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…

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