Monday, 17 July 2017

Israel Museum

 We loaded into the bus and headed over to the Israel Museum, an eclectic collection of just about everything you could imagine, art, culture, history, you name it!

Of course I always see interesting things on the way  like this crusader type building:

or like this wind mill,

- or like this Giraffe on top of a building.

The Israel Museum was a long flat structure with a glass front.

Once you enter you go down a long hall that includes a wide variety of objects, 

such as this mosaic....

or this sculpture by Rodin. (The lighting is much better for modern sculpture than it is for detailed art.)

 Inside there was a special exhibit on Faces with these strange things in it.

There was so much anthropological stuff that it was overwhelming!

Those of you that visit my blog regularly know that i have a fetish for animal objects and can post endless images from museums, so here goes...

This dog head from Mesopotamia was a bit larger than a hand.

This was the top of a Roman standard.

I am fascinated with Greek pottery and the two colored slips that they use in producing the images on a third color of clay.

There were lots of objects from archaeological sites from amany different cultures and periods.

There was also a special section on Judaica.

I thought this was particularly delicate and lovely.

You know my fascination with mosaics and animals This is a detail from a very long piece that they had mounted onthe wall.

They also had a special exhibit on Cats and Dogs.

They had intersting art and then some stuff that was just weird.

This cat/dog pillow for kids to lean on falls under the weird category.

Here is some of the art.

And maybe this is some of both.

Here was the grave of a woman buried with her pet.

and this is a pretty well known photograph!

These are implements for making one beautiful.

There was a lso a very lovely room with antique glass of all kinds.

And coins were also covered.

A more modern room took the theme of Being at home and worked numerous well known works into the appropriate rooms.

Here's Andy Warhol in the kitchen area.

And Murikami overlooks the children's room.

In the Judaica rooms there were some gorgeous clothing and textiles.

They also had a special exhibit on Wei Wei. They had both his trees and his room full of sun flower seeds.

The walls are covered with the  IOUs Weiwei wrote after Chinese donors raised millions of dollars to help him pay his "taxes" when he was given 15 days to pay. They raised the money in 10 days!

This is a glimpse into the Room that focuses on "Design".

Another special exhibit I found interesting was by Ilit Azoulay, who has used the Storerooms of the Israel Museum to craft collages on the subject of "No Thing Dies".

Here are a few of her pieces.

After a while it got to be too much, so I headed outside to look at the giant model of Jerusalem and also to find the museum for the Dead Sea Scrolls. You can see how immense this model is.

The museum for the Dead Sea Scrolls is under this dome.

You can't take pictures in there but here is an image from that shows the interior. (I don't actually remember it looking like that, but my focus was on the cases of manuscripts (and it was dark.))

There was also a sculpture garden that seemed a bit derelict.

It had the famous OHEVA (Love) statue mounted on the hill overlooking the city. That was pretty cool!

As I was coming back from it an old guy came rushing over to me to tell me I couldn't be there. Evidently the sculpture garden was closed.  So I apologized and headed out.

It was actually time to leave anyway. I bought my earrings at the museum store and then went back to join the group waiting for the bus.


Our stay at Ein Gedi had been fabulous. We were refreshed and rejuvenated and now it was time to head to Jerusalem. We said goodbye to the Dead Sea and headed back North so we could head west.

We passed the ubiquitous date palm trees and you can see a clump of dates on the tree to the right (but not clearly).

I was fascinated by the Bedouin settlements and we saw quite a few on our way.

I can't say much about them, so I will let the images speak for themselves.

You can see a pen of cattle in this one. 

There often were  donkeys, too.

On our way in we could see the Dome of the Rock built in 691 during the second Fitna. It was buit on a Roman temple, which was built on a Jewish synagohue, which was built on who knows what other sacred building(s).

We wended our way past romantic streets,

and through the Bazaar, but had no time to shop right then.

Our goal was the very famous Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Here, the Bible tells us,  Jesus was crucified and then entombed.

This holy place is claimed by a wide variety of groups of course and was particularly fought over between the Franciscans who renovated the place in 1555 and the Orhtodox. Possession switched back and forth depending on who was able to get permission from the sultan. The ladder under the middle window shows how petty they can be about  their "ownership." One faction was doing work and the other faction found out and it was proclaimed that nobody was allowed to go up an remove the "immovable ladder." Made of cedar wood, the ladder has supposedly been there since 1757. According to Wikipedia, basically no cleric from any of the six ecumenical orders is allowed to move, rearrange or alter any property of the Sepulchre without the permission of the other five orders.

Supposedly (according to Eusebius of Caesarea - remember Caesarea?) Hadrian had a Temple to Venus constructed on the site of Jesus crucifiction to bury the site in the second century CE. In 325-6 Constantine then decided to replace the temple with a church, which is the distant beginning of the structure you see above. Constantine actually built two churches one over the tomb and one over the site of the crucifiction. He is the one that built the aedicule around the remains in the tomb. This is the exterior of the aedicule.

...and this is a part of the interior. 

This is from Wikipedia. (Bless them for all their information and the hard work of the public that keeps thigs up to date - everyone should send them money!)  

Below you can see an artist's rendition of Constantine's churches (again from Wikipedia). Notice there are domes and no tower yet (The tower came from the Crusaders hundreds of years later.)

Here, I believe, is Golgotha's rock:

Of course there were fires and earthquakes and a variety of destroyers, builders and rebuilders as well as changes in "ownership" over the years. In 1009 the Caliph ordered the place destroyed and most of it was torn down. Sadly (and alas not atypically) European Christians blamed the Jews, which resulted in expulsions of Jewish people from European cities such as Limoges and of course this falsehood was later used to rouse up people to go on the crusades. Later there was permission given to rebuild by a different Caliph (And this church was one of the focal points for Europeans marching to the Holy Lands - Pope Urban II did not want the Turks to come into possession of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.)

This explains Godfrey of Bouillon's choice of title when he took over Jerusalem: "Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri" - Protector of the Holy Sepulchre.

The crusaders excavated, rebuilt, remodeled - added a romanesque tower and unified the place into a single edifice.

Notice the use of rounded arches characteristic of romanesque architecture.

A fire brought the dome down in 1808 and it was subsequently rebuilt and the church remodeled once again this time in Byzantine style.

People from many different sects come to visit.

This little R2D2-like structure was yet another not too happy reminder of how well Christians (and other religions) play together and is a fitting monument to the history of the place.

Have you figured out what it is? It is a bomb disposal unit.

We next went to the Church of the Redeemer , a 19th century German Lutheran church of little interest (to me) to climb the bell tower and see a beautiful panorama of the city.

Near the bathroom were these arches - looked very romanesque, but I don't know their origin.

What follows are some pieces of the panorama that I shot from the bell tower.

These are most likely all very famous buildings, but I can't identify any of them.

Here is another view of the Dome of the Rock again. The gold on the roof was added in 1959.

My guess is, it probably used to look more like this:

After we climbed down again, it was time for shopping.  I admit, I was overwhelmed. I hate, hate, hate bargaining and everybody I try to deal with can tell! So everything I saw was either too expensive or I paid what they asked. 

My one (near) succes was with this guy. 

I wanted that black and white scarf. I got him down to 38 shekels, but the students I was with told me that was too much, so I didn't buy. Now of course I wish I had. BUT, I owuld not have had enough money for the beautiful earrings I bought later, so maybe it was okay after all. Oh well. Much too soon it was time to get back in the bus and go to the Israel museum, but it turned out to be a fantastic museum with more stuff than anyone could ever imagine, so it must have been a good thing to leave when we did!