City of Lions festival 311.
(photo credit: Muky Schwartz)
The City of Lions festival is an annual celebration of medieval culture in
Jerusalem’s Old City, and this year it’s getting an international twist through
a partnership with the Carnival of Venice. A large group of Venetian artists
will appear alongside their Israeli counterparts in a wide variety of shows,
medieval dances, jousts and work with masks.
Massimo Andreoli, one of the
leading artistic directors of the Carnival of Venice, is coming to Israel for
the first time to take part in the artistic direction of the City of Lions
festival. He has served as a director and historical consultant on many similar
festivals throughout Europe and is the president of the Consortium of European
Reenactment Societies (CERS).
This festival is part of a concerted effort
by the City of Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Development Authority (JDA) to
provide a greater number of more diverse cultural events throughout the city,
particularly in the Old City, especially in the evenings.
Hazan, director of the JDA, “City of Lions is an exceptional, colorful
historical celebration, which serves as the opening for this autumn’s evening
events in Jerusalem and the Old City. This year, we chose to put an
international emphasis on the festival and to bring elements of magical Venice
to Israel and the festival. The Old City has, in the last while, become full of
life in the evening and night hours and has become an attractive venue for
visitors from Israel and abroad.”
Elad Kendel, director of the Old City
Basin at the JDA, sees the festival as an exciting part of a larger
“City of Lions gives visitors cultural and historical value beyond
the entertainment value that’s visible to the eye. It is part of the strategy of
the JDA, the government of Israel and the City of Jerusalem to develop exciting
cultural events and to enrich the range of evening events for visitors in the
Old City,” he says. “Our goal is to enrich the night life, the culture and the
entertainment throughout the Old City so that its millions of tourists and
visitors can enjoy diverse, quality events both day and night.”
brave-hearted knights, beautiful princesses, jesters, wizards and troubadours of
the festival will take their places in the Old City on Thursday evenings on
November 3-24, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Activities will take place throughout the
Old City, with the route beginning and ending at Jaffa Gate.