Rehavia (also Rechavia) is a Jerusalem neighborhood located between the city center and Talbiya.
Rehavia became known as a neighborhood of upper-class Ashkenazi Jews, home to professors and intellectuals, particularly émigrés from Germany. Many of the country’s early leaders lived in Rehavia: David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, who lived on Ben Maimon street; Zionist leader Arthur Ruppin; Menachem Ussishkin, head of the Jewish National Fund; Golda Meir, Israel’s fourth prime minister; Daniel Auster, the first Jewish mayor of Jerusalem, and philosophers Hugo Bergmann and Gershon Scholem. Among the government ministers who made their home in Rehavia were Dov Yosef and Yosef Burg.
We found in the net a nice walking trip along the neighborhood and decided to try it out.
Map of the area:
In 1843, together with his older brother Marie-Theodore, himself also a convert to Catholicism, Marie-Alphonse Ratisbonne founded the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion. The aim was to bring about a better understanding between Jews and Christians and to convert Jews. In 1855 he went to Palestine, where he spent the rest of his life working for the conversion of Jews and Muslims. One year later he established the Ecce Homo convent for the Sisters of Zion on Via Dolorosa in the Old City. In 1874, he founded the St Pierre de Sion Orphanage in the grounds of this convent.The Institute began as a primary school that also taught languages: French, English, Arabic and Hebrew. Along with this, there was also technical training for those who needed it. The house was dedicated to the service of the local population, and was animated by a spirit that was open to all: Jews and Arabs, both Christian and Muslim.
Ratisbonne’s goal was to have a vocational school for about 200 pupils. The space available being insufficient, he soon decided to move it to the New City. In 1874 he acquired a plot of land on a hill from a Greek Orthodox Christian to the West of the Old City, not far from Jaffa Gate. The plans were prepared by M. Daumat, and funds came from donations. Construction began the same year. At the death of Ratisbonne in 1884, however, only half of the front building had been completed. By 1917, only the front and the north wing had been built.
Bezalel st. today is known by many due to Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. It’s the oldest institution of higher education in Israel.
The school is named for the biblical figure Bezalel, son of Uri (Hebrew: בְּצַלְאֵל בֶּן־אוּרִי), who was appointed by Moses to oversee the design and construction of the Tabernacle (Exodus 35:30).
From there we continued to Emek HaMatsleva – Rehavia Park.
It’s an Eastern Orthodox monastery.
The monastery was built in the eleventh century, during the reign of King Bagrat IV by the Georgian Giorgi-Prokhore of Shavsheti. It is believed that the site was originally consecrated in the fourth century under the instruction of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great, who later gave the site to king Mirian III of Kartli after the conversion of his kingdom to Christianity in 327 AD.
Legend has it that the monastery was erected on the burial spot of Adam’s head—though two other locations in Jerusalem also claim this honor—from which grew the tree that gave its wood to the cross on which Christ was crucified.
Due to heavy debt the monastery was sold by the Georgians to the Greeks in 1685. It is currently occupied by monks of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
The remains of the crusader-period monastery forms a small part of the current complex, most of which has undergone restoration and rebuilding. The crusader section houses a church, including a grotto where a window into the ground below allows viewing of the spot where the tree from which the cross was (reputedly) fashioned grew. Remains from the 4th century are sparse, the most important of which is a fragment of a mosaic. The main complex houses living quarters as well as a museum and gift shop. The monastery library houses many Georgian manuscripts.
And on top of the hill, you can find the Knesset.
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.
Note: all quotes were taken from Wikipedia.
For additional points of interest nearby check out Jerusalem page.