This Day Trip To Jerusalem included not only HaNeviim street, but its surroundings as well. In order to better understand the route let’s look at Jerusalem walks map. This trip is marked with the blue tram.
As usual, we have parked at Giv’at HaTahmoshet. It’s a park and ride site (free parking). And from there you can take the tram. We took the tram to Safra square. The city hall is located around Safra square and it is also close to the old city.
Inside the city hall complex:
It’s not that I had business in Jerusalem’s city hall, well actually I did. I was looking for the restroom 😉 It’s on -2 floor and there is an elevator from the Safra square.
Holy Trinity Cathedral
Currently, the Cathedral is opened for visiting every day from 9:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m., except Mondays. On Sundays and other Church Feasts, it is opened from 8:00 a.m. before midday.
The cathedral is next to police station/prison, so this is the view you get from the other side:
And here is a closeup photo:
Our next point of interest was the Italian hospital:
Today the Italian Hospital is used by Ministry of Education. And unfortunately, you can only take a look from outside.
Me’a Shearim street is located behind the Italian Hospital. Mea She’arim is one of the oldest Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem. It’s populated mainly by Haredi Jews. And before entering this neighborhood you’ll see modesty signs, like this one:
Mea She’arim in Hebrew means one hundred gates or a hundredfold. The name is derived from a verse in the weekly Torah portion which was read the week the settlement (neighborhood) was founded: “Isaac sowed in that land, and in that year he reaped a hundredfold; God had blessed him” (Genesis 26:12). Also, according to a tradition, the community originally had 100 gates, another meaning of Mea Shearim.
We didn’t go into Mea Shearim since I love photographing and Hasidic population doesn’t like when their pictures are taken.
The sign next to Ethiopian Church compound:
One of the unique things regarding Ethiopian Church is that the structure is round:
From there we continued towards Mahane Yehuda Market.
Sundial On Zoharei Chama Synagogue
On Yafo street, you can see 5 meters diameter sundial on the facade of a building.It’s on the top of the Zoharei Chama Synagogue. The name in Hebrew means Sunrise Synagogue.
The aerial sundial on the fourth floor of the building was designed by Rabbi Moshe Shapiro, a watchmaker in Mea Shearim and a self-taught astronomer. Shapiro had built sundials for the outside walls of other synagogues, such as the Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem’s Old City, and would go on to build sundials for at least 15 other synagogues in Israel.
Sundials were of crucial use for Haredi synagogue-goers who needed to know the exact time of sunrise to begin their morning prayers, the exact time of sunset to complete their afternoon prayers, and the time for lighting Shabbat candles, since these times vary day by day and season by season. Before the Zoharei Chama sundial was erected, Haredi Jews would climb to the top of the Mount of Olives or the hills of Bayit Vegan neighborhood each morning and evening to observe the times of sunrise and sunset. The third floor of Levy’s building originally included an eastern-facing wooden porch which allowed worshippers to easily see the sunrise.
For cloudy days, Levy installed two mechanical clocks on either side of the sundial, one set for European time and one for local time. Shapiro also designed three sundials for the third floor of the building. Only the large sundial on the fourth floor remains today. It is still accurate to within 15 minutes.
We have passed through Mahane Yehuda Market and visited Nachlaot (cluster of neighborhoods). Nachala in Hebrew means homestead. Nachlaot is known for its narrow, winding lanes, old-style housing, hidden courtyards and many small synagogues.
Yitzhak Navon, Israeli fifth president, grew up in Nachlaot and later on, he wrote Bustan Sephardi (Spanish Garden) musical. This musical tells the story of Ohel Moshe neighborhood during the thirties (of last century). Vibrant life of the residents is presented via funny stories. This is the oldest show that’s presented by Habima theater. The musical was shown more than 2,000 times and you can still see it today.
Mahane Yehuda Market
Since it was lunchtime we headed back to Mahane Yehuda Market. The market has undergone many changes in recent years. Nowadays there are not only stores in the market, but there are restaurants and pubs as well.
And here is a pub in the middle of the market next to vegetables stand:
During that day I have noticed there are many bakeries in Jerusalem. Much more than in Tel Aviv for example. When I see many bakeries, it usually tells me that the population is poorer. In most modern countries as the population becomes richer, it starts to eat more meat/fish and less dough, potatoes, rice… Well, basically fewer carbs. In order to check my hypothesis, I checked the average wages. And indeed the average wage in Tel-Aviv is higher than in Jerusalem.
There is a famous drinks store. It’s famous due to its marketing strategy. They don’t sell drinks and juices, but solutions to problems. For example, you caught a flew and want something to strengthen your immune system. You can ask them and they will recommend a drink.
Lunch At The Market
It’s interesting that Israeli desert called the Negev, and in Hebrew, Lenagev means to wipe. As if somebody wiped the water off the land (similarly to wiping hummus). And even when there is rain in the Negev, the water is not absorbed and sudden floods can occur. So the “wiping” occurs due to ground structure.
Late lunch completes our Day Trip To Jerusalem. Well, actually this was not a full day trip, but rather a six hours trip (but you can easily extend it to a full day).
That’s all for today and I’ll see you in future travels!
For additional points of interest nearby check out Jerusalem page.