The Real World History Behind Rogue One: A Star Wars Story‘s Jedha City — A Guest Blog by Randy Hutchinson The tragic real world history of one of the key influences behind NiJedha In the Star Wars universe, creators have utilized real world influences in its design, such as Yavin IV and the Mayan Temples […]
Architect Nitza Smok’s study led to UNESCO’s proclamation of Tel Aviv as a World Heritage Site but she wishes she had marked more buildings for preservation.
The demolishing of the Dolphinarium in Tel Aviv a week ago reignited the argument about preservation of monuments and the demolishing of public buildings in Israel, especially in Tel Aviv.
Architect Nitza Smok, who assembled the preservation team at the Tel Aviv municipality engineering administration in the early 1990s, conducted the first comprehensive survey of buildings for preservation in the city, and initiated and promoted the city’s statutory preservation program, admits that in retrospect she would have put many more buildings on the preservation list.
“Had I prepared the list today, there would be twice as many,” she says. “For example, I didn’t include the Bialik school (located at the corner of Levinsky Street and Har Zion Street, it was demolished a decade ago), because I never imagined that anyone would demolish it. They demolished it because they thought that it would cost too much to fix the concrete, so they lost a valuable property.”
Read more from source: “Tel Aviv’s buildings are a treasure”
Premier Example of Bauhaus Architecture
Today the White City in Tel Aviv, Israel is considered to be most extensive remnant of Bauhaus architecture. The multi-block city section is so distinctive that UNESCO has designated the whole area to be a World Heritage Site. Today, many of the buildings house urban residents, while upscale stores, coffee shops and boutiques are often found at street level.
A Brief History of Tel Aviv
Before 1900, the coastal city of Tel Aviv in modern day Israel did not exist. At that time the area, that currently houses the Israeli capital was nothing more than a large tract of undeveloped land, situated just outside the ancient port and walled city of Jaffa.
All of this changed in April 1909, when several dozen families gathered on a large parcel of arid land, sitting adjacent to the Mediterranean. Through a lottery system of sea shells, each family received a plot of land, where they could build a home and become part of a new and growing town.
Read more from source: Where Is the White City? And Why Is It Important Today?
This remote palace complex of Masada looks as dramatic as the stories behind it.
Set high on a cliff above a forbidding, lunar-like landscape, the ancient fortress of Masada looks as dramatic as the legend behind it.
The remote palace complex is known as the site of a desperate last stand by Jewish patriots besieged by the Roman army, which allegedly culminated in a mass suicide pact rather than surrender.
The UNESCO World Heritage site stands guard over a barren expanse of the Judean Desert of Israel, broken by the blue of the Dead Sea sparkling in the distance. Pilgrims often arrive before dawn to make the hourlong climb up the winding path leading to the top of the cliff as the sunrise turns the desert sands from brown to rose.
Masada was built as a palace complex under Judean king Herod the Great, who reigned from 37 B.C. to 4 A.D.
Read more from source: Video of the Ancient Desert Fortress of Masada, Israel
The presence in the Judean Lowlands of thick and homogeneous chalk sub-strata enabled numerous caves to be excavated and managed by Man. The property includes a complete selection of chambers and man-made subterranean networks, of different forms and for different activities. They are situated underneath the ancient twin cities of Maresha and Bet Guvrin, and in the surrounding areas, constituting a “city under a city”. They bear witness to a succession of historical periods of excavation and use, over a period of 2,000 years. Initially, the excavations were quarries, but they were later converted for various agricultural and local craft industry purposes, including oil presses, columbaria, stables, underground cisterns and channels, baths, tombs and places of worship, and hiding places during troubled times, etc. With their density, diversified activities, use over two millennia and the quality of their state of preservation, the complexes attain an Outstanding Universal Value.
The Incense Route was a network of trade routes extending over two thousand kilometers to facilitate the transport of frankincense and myrrh from the Yemen and Oman in the Arabian Peninsula to the Mediterranean.
The four Nabatean towns of Haluza, Mamshit, Avdat, and Shivta, with their associated fortresses and agricultural landscapes linking them to the Mediterranean, are situated on a segment of this route, in the Negev Desert, in southern Israel. They stretch across a hundred-kilometer section of the desert, from Moa on the Jordanian border in the east to Haluza in the northwest. Together they reflect the hugely profitable trade in Frankincense from south Arabia to the Mediterranean, which flourished from the third century BCE until the second century CE, and the way the harsh desert was colonized for agriculture through the use of highly sophisticated irrigation systems.
Background information and travel tips when visiting Necropolis of Bet She’arim, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Israel.
Hewed into the limestone slopes of hills bordering the Vale of Jezre’el, a series of man-made catacombs was developed from the 2nd century AD as the necropolis of Bet She’arim. It became the primary Jewish burial place outside Jerusalem following the failure of the second Jewish revolt against Roman rule and the catacombs are a treasury of eclectic artworks and inscriptions in Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew, and Palmyrene. Bet She’arim is associated with Rabbi Judah the Patriarch, the spiritual and political leader of the Jewish people who composed the Mishna and is credited with Jewish renewal after 135 AD.
Unlike many of the other World Heritage Sites in Israel, it primarily deals with post-Christian era Jewish Heritage, so it only tends to attract Jewish visitors. Nonetheless, it deals with an interesting part of Jewish history and is worth a visit if you are in the Haifa area.
About the Necropolis of Bet She’arim: A Landmark of Jewish Renewal
We continue apace from Masada and the Dead Sea for an extended jaunt bound for Tiberias, a historical resort town on the Sea of Galilee and one of Israel’s four holy cities.
We drive through a Palestinian town in the West Bank in the Jordan Valley on the way to the Sea of Galilee. Not much to see here, but we sure get a sense of the disparity between this disputed area and other parts of Israel. Much of the first part of the drive is spent gazing at the mountains of Jordan, rising from the banks of the Jordan River and the Jordan Valley.
In the Jordan Valley, an electrified fence equipped with motion sensors separates the actual border from the road in the form of a No Man’s Land. Trespassers will be stopped or worse. Though Jordan is one of two of Israel’s neighbors actually to recognize Israel (the other being Egypt), there is no love lost between most of the general public of these countries.
Feeling famished, we stop for lunch.
There are very few places in this world that invoke a feeling of passion like Israel does, thanks to its massive geographical, political and religious importance in the world. The endless valleys, tall hills, unique strangeness of the Dead Sea, ancient alleys of Nazareth and complex political backdrop, make Israel one of a kind in every sense of the term. There’s something for everyone here, and hence it comes as no surprise that I strongly recommend that you visit this Mediterranean gem in 2018.
If you’re convinced already, you can book an immersive package by ezeego1 to this beautiful place right away. But if you’re still looking for concrete reasons, find 10 of them below that are bound to convince you to go.
1. Experience the raw intensity of Jerusalem’s Old City
The Old City is located within the modern Jerusalem city, and adds to its charm.
Laura Francis explores the distinctive International Style of Tel Aviv’s UNESCO-protected White City, reputed to be the only ‘Bauhaus city’ in the world.
Tel Aviv is a city flushed with youth. Perched on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean and barely a century old, it is renowned for it’s long beach, its nocturnal party scene, and its religious and sexual tolerance. When I visited for the first time this September, I was overwhelmed by the incongruously Western atmosphere of the city, its familiarity – more a sunny outpost of Barcelona or San Francisco than a gateway to the Holy Land.
It’s a feeling that’s enhanced by the prominence of modernist, and distinctly European, architecture.