Published On: Thu, Oct 22nd, 2015

Behind the scenes at Open House Jerusalem

Guided tours of 117 sites across Israel’s capital city to be offered all weekend.

ClalBuilding-Open House Jerusalem Israel

 

One weekend a year, Jerusalem opens up private spaces – designer lofts, urban villas, unique synagogues, architecturally significant public buildings, curious construction sites, plazas and gardens – to the public for Open House Jerusalem,  this year on October 22-24.

The event offers guided tours of 117 different sites. Among the many available without advance reservations are:

The Kadari-Shimshoni residence in the Ein Karem neighborhood, in which a 2, 000-year-old ritual bath was recently discovered under the floor.

 

he owners installed trap doors over the mikvah opening. Photo by Assaf Peretz- Israel Antiquities Authority - ISRAEL Open House Jerusalem

 

Bible Hill, a little-known urban nature site featuring an unusual concentration of wild plants, in walking distance of The First Station complex, the Jerusalem Cinematheque, the Scottish Church, Mount Zion Hotel and the Menachem Begin Heritage Center (itself the site of an Open House architectural tour). Located on top of a watershed, the hill overlooks the Judean Desert to the east and the Judean Hills to the west.

 

BibleHill Open House Jerusalem Flowers on Bible Hill,   photographed by Moriah Gilbert.

 

The Jerusalem Artists House, a 19th century Ottoman structure originally designed as an orphanage and later housing, in turn, the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts, the Bezalel National Museum (forerunner of the Israel Museum) and the Association of Jerusalem Artists and Sculptors.

 

jerusalem artists open house - Israel

 

The Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies on the Mount of Olives satellite campus of Brigham Young University, a 1988 structure designed by David Reznik and Franklin Fergusson and surrounded by a biblical garden overlooking the Old City.

 

jerusalem center for near east studies Photo by Natan Dvir - Israel

 

The Romema neighborhood behind the Central Bus Station, built in the 1920s and originally encompassing 11 stately homes, all of which are still intact today.

 

 

romema_Jerusalem Israel open house photo-yael_engelhart_2

 

Development and preservation projects in the Valley of Hinnom (Gai Hinnom), in ancient times a site for pagan child sacrifice (hence the Jewish term for hell, Gehenna) and today part of a lush national park that envelops the walls of the Old City and attracts families from across Jerusalem’s ethnic spectrum.

 

valley of  Gey Ben hinnom -Jerusalen,   Israel

 

A few tours will be conducted in English: Christchurch Guest House (Saturday), the Austrian Hospice (Saturday), the Garden Tomb (Thursday and Saturday), the Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies (Friday), the Urban Design Center (Friday), Tabor House-Swedish Theological Seminary (Friday and Saturday), Ticho House (Friday), political graffiti walking tour (Friday, with reservations), archaeological excavations in Independence Park (Saturday), Schatz House (Thursday and Friday), Ratisbonne Monastery (Thursday and Saturday), the Bergman Residence (Friday), Gazelle Park (Friday) and the new train tunnel (Friday),

 

Israel21C, by Abigail Klein Leichman

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