At the end of last week, I spent two days visiting different venues all over Jerusalem as part of Open House Jerusalem: Houses from Within.
The ‘Open House’ concept originally began in London as an opportunity to showcase outstanding architecture for everyone to experience, completely free. The aim of the event is to gain an appreciation of architecture and the built environment. The project soon spread to other cities around the globe with Jerusalem being one of the first to participate.
For one weekend a year Jerusalem opens up building and spaces – many of which are usually not accessible to public. They include private homes, buildings with architectural significance, unique synagogues and gardens.
Although I had previously visited the London event, this was my first time experiencing Open House Jerusalem; and it was an enriching one. A chance to see buildings both ancient and modern, and experience both nature and urban life in Jerusalem. I also found it was a great way to learn more about the city and its history. To discover new places, look at familiar ones through different eyes and interact with people from all walks of life.
Here you can get a taste of some of the buildings I visited and places I saw including The Mount Scopus Botanical Garden. An apartment in the Old City where an incredible archaeological find was discovered in the basement: an ancient layer of a street over 2000 years old. And an exquisite apartment with industrial and Scandinavian design inspirations, with its biophilic balcony filled with hanging plants.
Hansen House, once a leprosy asylum and now a centre for design, media and technology.
The home of the late Rabbi Getz (Rabbi of the Kotel – Western Wall for 27 years) situated in the Old City and over 500 years old.
The Jerusalem Artists House, a building originally constructed in 1890.
And the Market Courtyard – an apartment hotel in Nahlaot, designed to look like the original homes of the quarter that surrounded communal courtyards in this historic neighbourhood.
In the coming few days there will be a series of features on some of the venues that were part of Open House Jerusalem. So why not sign up to get updates so that you don’t miss any of them?