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Open House Jerusalem 2014

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Open House Jerusalem 2014 will take place over the weekend of September 18-20 and will showcase over 120 interesting homes, public buildings, historical monuments and unique apartments - all with distinctive architectural design, free-of-charge and open to the general public. Dozens of architectural tours, some from an historical point of view, and others from a technological or social and activist perspective, will enable the participants to explore the city uniquely and in depth, and celebrate its urban life.

Open House Jerusalem, which started in 2007, was inspired by the Open Houses held in London and in New York and follows their format and values.

In the event catalog you can find a rich variety of about 120 items that reflect the city's diverse architecture from the oldest remains from the 19th century B.C to the 21st century contemporary building. Discover the typical building technology of the city that lies on a mountain and was often the subject of conquest, and learn about the different eras of Jerusalem and their architectural footprint.

As a holy city to three religions and one of the oldest urban built environments, Jerusalem offers a fascinating and unique Open House experience that can take you back and forth in a time warp in only three days.

The complete program will be posted at the beginning of September 2014 on the event website:


Bergman House. Photo: Guy Itzhaki
Bergman House. Photo: Guy Itzhaki


Christian sites participating in the event

The Jerusalem Center for Near East Studies (Brigham Young University)

Hadassah Lampel St., Mount of Olives

Friday, November 4th, 10:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.. 

Architect: David Reznik in cooperation with architect Franklin Fergusson, 1988.

One of the most beautiful and impressive buildings constructed in Israel since the 1980s. Surrounded by a garden containing plants that were common in the Biblical period, nearly every spot in the building offers a panoramic view of the Old City. Tours will include a brief video, explanation about the building, a taste of organ music, and offer an opportunity to witness exciting architecture first hand. Conducted in English, each tour will be limited to the first 55 people in line.

8 open tours. Reservations not required.

* A guided tour will leave from the entrance to the building every 30 minutes.


Dr. Efklides's Residence

3 Rachel Imenu St., Greek Colony

Saturday, September 20th, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Architect: Spyro Houri, the beginning of the 20th century.

A visit to this house offers a glimpse of how Greek Orthodox families lived in Jerusalem at the beginning of the 20th century. Once the home of Dr. Photias Efklides, a pillar of the local Greek Orthodox community, the house has been restored as a museum which exhibits furniture, artifacts, and photographs of the doctor and his family. Guided tours will be conducted every 30 minutes.

Open house. Reservations not required.


The Greek Community Club

8Yehoshua Bin Nun St., Greek Colony

Saturday, September 20th, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Architect: unknown, 1902.

An open house and meeting with members of the local Greek Orthodox community. The building was constructed in 1902 as a club for this small community, and it still serves as their gathering place and cultural center. The stone structure has a charming, shaded courtyard with a number of places to sit. Guided tours will start every 30 minutes.

Open house. Reservations not required.


The Templar Cemetery

41 Emek Refaim St., German Colony

Friday, September 19th, 10:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, September, 20th, 10:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.  

Day and evening tours led by Miro Aharoni, the caretaker of the two cemeteries hidden behind a high stone wall on Emek Refaim Street. Aharoni will talk about the people who are buried in the cemeteries, and how and why they came to the country. Among them are two architects by the name of Amberger, who were also a married couple, and John Stanley, who after World War II purchased ships that brought Jewish refugees from Europe to Israel.

Guided tours will leave from the front gate every hour on the hour.

Open tours. Reservations not required.


Tabor House, The Swedish Theological Seminary

58HaNevi'im St.

Friday, September 19th, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.; Saturday, September 20th, 11:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Architect: Conrad Schick, 1882-1889.

An open house in a building that Teddy Kollek, a former mayor of Jerusalem, once called "the most beautiful house in Jerusalem." It was designed and built by Conrad Schick for use by his own family, who lived there between 1882 and 1901. From an architectural standpoint, the style of the house is European with Oriental motifs. Tabor House is currently home to the Swedish Theological Seminary. The visit includes entrance to the intimate garden, sitting room and chapel.

On Friday at 3:00 p.m., and on Saturday at 12:00 p.m., short guided tours in English will be led by the Seminary’s director, Mr. Hakan Bengtsson, who will talk about the history of the house.

Open house. Reservations not required.


The Home of the Artist Birgitta Yavari-Ilan

30  Tura St., Yemin Moshe

Friday, September 19th, 10:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m.; Saturday, September 20th, 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 

Architect: unknown, 1860; Addition: architect Lev Stern, 1979.

A visit to one of the original Mishkenot Sha’ananim homes that overlooks the walls of the Old City. It was expanded in the 1970s when it became home to the Swedish artist, Birgitta Yavari-Ilan. The visit includes a brief tour of the house which is filled with traditional Swedish furniture and artifacts, as well as Birgitta’s own paintings. Visitors will also get to meet the artist, known for her love of Israel. Entry to the house will be in groups of 25 every thirty minutes.

Open tours. Reservations not required.


The Garden Tomb

Conrad Schick Lane, between 4 Nablus Rd. and 6 Nablus Rd. (across from the East Jerusalem Central Bus Station).

Friday, September 19th, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; Saturday, September 20th, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

Guided tours of a well-tended English garden that is sacred to Protestants, who believe it once belonged to Joseph of Arimathea and is where Jesus was buried after his crucifixion (and not in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as most Christian denominations hold to be true). Managed by a British charitable trust called the Garden Tomb Association, it has a number of lush green niches and projects a sense of spaciousness, which Protestants say has not changed since the days of Jesus. The garden also features a water cistern, wine press and dual-chamber burial cave. The tour will underscore the history of the site and its meaning for the pilgrims who visit.

Friday, September 19th: guided tours in Hebrew every hour on the hour between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., the last starting at 5:00 p.m.; tours in Russian, Arabic, Spanish and French at 3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 20th: guided tours in Hebrew every 15 minutes, and guided tours in English every hour on the hour, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., the last ones starting at 5:00 p.m.. Tours in Russian, Arabic, Spanish and French at 3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. The tours last about 30 minutes.

Open garden and open tours. Reservations not required.