Monday, 20 August 2012

1960's JERUSALEM Part 1

This video was made to accompany the blog, it has all the pictures included in the blog. Backing track All Angels. 

Yesterday (18/08/2012) while browsing in a Charity Shop, this book literally jumped out at me, it is a hard back copy of a Book about Jerusalem.

The pictures in this book tell a story of three of the Worlds most prevalent religions, which are all rooted in this ancient city. Islam, Christianity and Judaism all claim ancestry from this City.

These amazing pictures were taken during the 1960’s, they capture moments in time that I felt should be available on line. The historical, religious and political interest in Jerusalem is Universal, because of my own personal appreciation of these pictures, I felt others would also appreciate them, so I have dedicated a whole day to scanning them and making them available on line. My scanner is ancient in PC terms, and it is attached to my equally prehistoric PC, so scanning them to file was a laborious process.

This blog is not about my personal religious or political beliefs; it is merely to make these images available on line. All commentary will be taken from the book unless otherwise stated.

The book was published in 1969 by Heinemann, then in 1976 by Time Life Book’s, the Author is an Englishman called Colin Thubron, and the photographer Jay Maisel, a native of New York. Both author and photographer strived to document the city and its inhabitants without prejudice.

1. The City of Earth and Heaven

Christian symbols of cross, thorns and chalice in Dominus Flevit church overlook one of Islam’s greatest shrines, the Golden Dome of the Rock. The Dome itself stands on the site of the Temples of Solomon and Herod, sacred in the memory of the Jews.

The Fatherly Abraham cradles in his lap members of Jerusalem’s three faiths-Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In this twelfth century illumination from a French Bible. 

Although the three religions differ radically, they all venerate the Patriarch who broke from the worship of many Gods to focus on one God alone.

A trick of the light on a misty winter’s day trims sprawling Jerusalem to the proportions of the Old walled city.

 (left) An Arab Pedlar

The realm of Biblical seers and prophets, the eroded Judean Hills to the East of Jerusalem stretch to the horizon in parched desolation.
This is the so called Wilderness where John the Baptist preached, and Jesus came to fast and meditate for 40 days and 40 nights.

Joined by the patron (centre) outside his café, men wearing kaffiyehs sit in the sunshine and shade and indulge an Arab passion: animated conversations.

Two Muslim women stroll along El-Wad, another of the Old Cities thoroughfares. They are veiled in strict adherence to Muslim orthodoxy.

Bending beneath his sombre load, a porter carries a coffin of rough boards, its lid ominously agape. Its destination: A Christian dwelling, where a man has died.


Shielded from the late sun by a café’s half-lowered shutter, two young Arabs study their newspaper.

Two intense Café customers pursue a conversation, seemingly unaware of their Spartan surroundings.

In a quiet corner an elderly Arab reflectively smokes his narghile, or water pipe. Local tobacco is employed, sometimes combined with a little hashish.

A solitary Orthodox Jew, picked out by a light of dawn, walks through a still shuttered Muslim Street on his way to pray at the wailing wall.

Absorbed in his prayer book, and old Jew sits close by the Moroccan Gate leading to the site of the ancient Jewish Temples. His orthodoxy demands that he does not visit the area, where now the Dome of the Rock stands, for fear of treading on the sacred ground that was the Temples “Holy of Holies”.
  2. The Place of David
Ancient Olive Trees grow in tiers on crumbling terraces that criss-cross the slopes under the Old City’s Eastern Walls. For centuries olives have been the main agricultural of the rocky hill country around Jerusalem

Cavernous limestone quarries that run 250 yards into the heart of the hill beneath the Old City were cut in the 1st Century BC by Herod’s masons, and perhaps begun 900 years earlier by King Solomon.
Sealed of by the Turks in the 16th Century, they were rediscovered only by accident in 1852.

A low tunnel dug by Jebusites more than 3,000 years ago, leads away into the dark interior of Mt Ophel from the underground spring of Gihon. Threatened by Assyrian conquest in the 8th Century

The upturned palm of this blind man, one of Jerusalem’s many beggars, is an invitation for the Muslim devout to perform their religious duty of almsgiving.
Many on their way to work automatically drop coins into waiting hands.

History built in stone.
The colour of Jerusalem, humble houses and grandiose monuments alike, is the colour of its local limestone. Herodian, Byzantine, Crusader and Turkish masonry, weathered to honey, grey green or gold forms a patchwork, the stones of one period often used again in the next.

A wall of Grief and Joy.
Written prayers tucked into crevices in the stones of the wall are thought by those who place them there to carry their messages straight to God.

In the heat of the afternoon, the broad Plaza before the Wailing Wall is deserted although worshippers cluster at the wall itself.
The open space dates from after The Six-Day War of 1967, when the crowed houses of the Moroccan quarter were demolished to make way for the paved Plaza.
Above the wall and to the left is the golden Dome of The Rock, and at the far right gleams the silver dome of the Aqsa Mosque, another focus of Muslim veneration and worship.

After finishing their service one group starts a joyful dance while others still pray at the wall. The woven screen separates the men from the women.

At the wall, adults fasten straps holding a phylactery (a prayer box) to a boy’s arm during a bar mitzvah.

Awed by the rite, the 13 year old wears on his brow a phylactery containing Old Testament verses.

At a night time swearing in ceremony the burning insignia of Israeli Paratroopers casts an orange glow on the floodlit wall. All Israeli paratroopers-members of the elite force that regained possession of the wall from the Jordanians in 1967 - are sworn in here.
They pledge to themselves at this relic of Herod’s temple to protect the new “Temple” – today’s state of Israel from any foe.

3. The Yoke of Greece and Rome
Carved from the cliff that now encloses it, the tomb of Zachariah (it is in fact a funerary monument to a priestly family) dates from the 3rd or 2nd century BC. When Greeks held sway over Jerusalem.
Behind it are the more recent graves of Jews, and at its base is a pit dug in 1961 by archaeologists searching for treasure believed to have been buried there in the 1st century AD by Jews fleeing Roman persecution.

 Survivors of Herod’s day, The stables of Solomon were misnamed by the Crusaders who kept their horses here. The piers and vaults still support a broad esplanade, once part of Herod’s Temple complex.

 Ancient Sheep Market
An Arab girl, incongruously clad in gold lame dress keeps a attentive watch over her Father’s flock.

Bargaining traders inspect their long-eared sheep

 At sunrise, newly-bought sheep, led by goats and followed by their owner, head home along a road that winds through a crowded Muslim Graveyard.
Miniature replica of Herod's Temple

A model of Herod’s Jerusalem, complete with Herod’s Temple (above) occupies grounds of the Holyland Hotel. The structure with towers is the Antonia Fortress, while to the far right of it, just outside the wall is Golgotha, the place of the scull, where tradition places Jesus’s crucifixion.
Behind the fortress a broad rampart forms the structure that partially survives today as the Wailing Wall.
 4 The Presence of Christ

Six bullion domes poke into the mist blanketing the grounds of the convent church of St Mary Magdalene near the Garden of Gethsemane.

Christ in his moment of agony in the Garden of Gethsemane is the subject of this mosaic on the façade of the Church of all Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane itself.
Successive churches have stood on the site since the 4th century. This one, built in the 20th century with donations from 12 Nations, houses the stone on which Jesus is believed to have prayed before his arrest.

In her parlour in the Russian convent at Gethsemane, the Mother Superior remembers the Russia of the Czars, commemorated in pictures on the walls.
Looking down from among them is a large photograph of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodrovna, who carried out the building of the convent’s church before the Russian Revolution and is buried there today.
In the convent of St Mary Magdalene at Gethsemane there are three elderly Russian Nuns who busy themselves painting icons.

Modern gravestones-topped by rocks left by Jews as a record of their visits – crowd among ancient tombs in the Jewish cemetery on the slope of the Mount of Olives. For the devout there can be no more Holier burial ground than this, lying as it does so close to the site of the ancient temples.

The Massive stump of Phasael’s Tower (left) and the Domes of the Church of the Holy Sepulche (right) dominate a lithograph by British artist David Roberts

5. The Heart of Christendom

Keeping watch over the site of Christ’s tomb, in the church of the Holy Sepulchre is an icon of the Virgin Mary. Her face and hand have been blackened and effected by age the heat and soot of the candles and the kisses of Pilgrims.

Led by Franciscans, the procession of Pilgrims that sets out every Friday to retrace Christ’s steps to Calvary halts for prayers (aided by a microphone), at the seventh station of the cross.

 The washing of Jesus’s body after it was taken from the cross, an event that according to belief took place on this spot.
 Uniformed boys from the Armenian school line up at the entrance to the Holy Sepulchre, where they have come to worship.

Votive lamps suspended above Christ's tomb by various sects suggest the crowded conditions prevalent in the church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The Franciscans 
The Franciscan order, reputedly established in the Holy Land when St. Francis travelled there in 1219, has been the chief representative of the Roman Church in Jerusalem ever since the Crusader period.
Dimly lit, a modern mosaic of the Crucifixion rises sombrely – and symbolically – behind the altar of the Franciscan Chapel on the side of Calvary.
The simple Franciscan Chapel of Calvary inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre stands on the spot where the Crucifixion is believed to have taken place.

 Only a few feet from the plain Franciscan chapel, a blaze of candlelight shed a golden lustre on the Orthodox Chapel of Calvary.

 An Orthodox Priest on duty borrows a votive candle to read his paper.
An archway through which Jesus is supposed to have passed through as he carried the cross to Calvary.

The Armenians

Armenian Christians have been in Jerusalem for over 1,500 years. Like the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics, they have secure rights in the church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Choir, congregation and hooded clergy celebrate the liturgy in the huge Church of Saint James, rich with lamps, wall tiles and fine carpets.

                              Unmistakable in their pointed hoods, Armenian Monks pass by a grille.

The Ethiopians

In the vicissitudes of its history the small but ancient Ethiopian, or Abyssinian, sect has lost most of the rights of possession it once had in the church of the Holy Sepulchre. The Monks now live a humble, contemplative life on the roof of the chapel of Saint Helen, stubbornly guarding their privileges against the rival claims of neighbouring copts.

On the roof of the Holy Sepulchre, interlocking walls and arches of different periods give the Ethiopian Monks a small complex world of their own.

LINK Part 2
Sandra Barr

1 comment:

Popular Posts

Follow by Email

Blog Archive