Thursday, June 08, 2006

I LOVE the Internets!

Today I found this on the internet:
It's a picture of Jerusalem's Jaffa Gate. There is no date for the image, but it was taken during the Ottoman Empire (see the flag in the photo) which ended in 1917. Check out that big clock tower!

For almost 6000 other old images of Jerusalem, Israel and Palestine, click on over to the Library of Congress PPOC and search for "Matson Jerusalem" - without quotation marks. Just click on "Preview Images" and start browsing! It's wonderful - and you can download the images and print them yourself. Quick and fun art!

Here's what Jaffa Gate looks like today:


At 6/08/2006 12:04 PM, Anonymous aviv said...

So what happened to the tower?

At 6/08/2006 12:37 PM, Blogger John said...

Aviv: I think that the tower was build by the Ottomans in 1909 and then in 1917... (from

The new British rulers of the city recognized the need to preserve Jerusalem's unique character and historic landscape/beauty, while transforming it into a modern city. The new British administration instituted town planning. In 1918 Sir William McLean, the city engineer of Alexandria, was invited to Jerusalem by Storrs in order to prepare a town plan. Two months after his arrival he submitted a master plan. McLean's plan aimed at preserving the Old City and the Mount of Olives, while developing areas to the west and north. Building was also forbidden in the area adjoining the Old City walls, so as not to obstruct the sight of the walls from afar. In order to ensure the basic principles of this plan Ronald Storrs forbade new building without his written permission. Later Storrs issued a law that required that all construction in the city use only "native Jerusalem stone". This law is still exists and has done a remarkable job of preserving the city's unique beauty. In fact, although McLean possessed little prior knowledge of the city and worked quickly he succeeded in preparing a master plan which has, in many respects, determined the course of Jerusalem's urban development with an emphasis on preservation. Other steps aimed at preserving the city's historic beauty included removing the Turkish clock tower from the top of Jaffa Gate; clearing away shops built against the exterior of the Old City walls...

At 6/08/2006 12:40 PM, Blogger John said...

Of course there is still the Ottoman clock tower in Jaffa:

At 6/10/2006 12:27 AM, Anonymous aviv said...

Thanks. It's a pity that they couldn't relocate that tower.

At 6/11/2006 3:02 PM, Anonymous aviv said...

Google had increased the resolution for Israel's satellite images! The Rockefeller museum is very impressive from space.

At 6/12/2006 7:51 PM, Blogger TM (Jewlicious) said...

Great resource. Thanks!


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