Sunday, June 26, 2005

In My Neighborhood (part 1)

I've decided to start a new series of posts about my neighborhood so that I can share with you some of the neat and fun things that I see from day to day. My neighborhood is called Rehavia or Rechavia. Either way the throaty H sound in the middle of the word is a sound that we don't have in English. It sounds a little like clearing your throat.

Generally, the neighborhood was initially developed in the 1920's and 1930's (British Mandate)although some buildings date from the 1880's. There is a mix of architectural styles that make walking here interesting. The homes in Rehavia were planned with a garden area surrounding them encompassing an area twice as large as the footprint of the house itself. This allows for lovely trees and shrubs that thankfully provide shade and a buffer from city life.

From the balcony of our apartment you can see an interesting building or compound. I'm still researching the history of the building and its current use. I know that during the British Mandate it was used for British offices and that now a Christian religious organization uses it (I've seen Nuns coming and going)- but I am not sure about the specifics.

This photograph is of the back of the building. You can see their nice garden with grape vines and olive trees. In the center of the picture there is a small, domed structure. Click on the picture to enlarge.

Here's a close-up. I'll try to get another shot from the road later today. Can you see the small slits in the concrete structure? Again, click to enlarge. Since I moved here, I wondered what in the world this little building was used for. Naively I thought that it might be a place for folks to get out of the sun in the garden or used to store tools. Then a couple of months ago Yaacov was reading the autobiography of Aharon Barak and he discovered interesting information. Barak tells the story of growing up in the building next to ours on Radak Street. He talks about trying to get to school during the unrest of the Jewish Resistance during the British Mandate. Apparently, this little concrete structure is/was a guard post and the slits were used for surveillance and shooting.


At 2/22/2006 2:13 PM, Anonymous Kari said...

Wow, that's amazing.. there is so much to learn about your little place... That's one thing in Israel, everything has so much history to it... it is amazing to discover what it's all about. Now you are making your own history.


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