A city as ancient as Jerusalem keeps quite a few secrets hidden away in dark
alleys and small nooks. But for one weekend, the city will fling open her doors
and invite the public into some of the lesser-trod historical and artistic
buildings during the annual “Houses from Within” Festival.
wander through modern marvels such as a hard-hat tour of the construction sites
and a train tunnel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Or they can explore the
500-yearold private home of former rabbi of the Western Wall Meir Yehuda Getz in
the Jewish Quarter, in a tour given by his son Nuriel.
The event focuses
on Jerusalem’s past as well as its future.
Architects, archeologists and
other experts will give multiple tours at the abandoned Arab village of Lifta at
the entrance to the capital or share secrets uncovered about the Old City Walls
during the Israel Antiquities Authority’s five-year restoration of the
But there are also ample opportunities for those interested in
envisioning Jerusalem’s future, including a evening of short presentations by
Jerusalem activists at the Museum on the Seam; and a tour of the commercial
center outside of Damascus Gate by architects who want to completely renovate
Cultural institutions, from the Jerusalem Bird Observatory to
the Bible Lands Museum, will also host special tours and lectures.
keeping with the philosophy of the Open House World Wide movement, all events
are free and open to the public, though many require prior
There are 15 cities around the world with Open House
weekends, including Tel Aviv, Helsinki, New York, Melbourne, Barcelona, Chicago
and Rome. The main aim of Open House is an educational and cultural event that
celebrates architecture, according to the organization’s
Jerusalem’s event, which runs from Thursday through Saturday,
features 110 tours and events, including a bike tour organized by Cycle
Larger cities get even more expansive, with London hosting 750
separate tours and events during their weekend, which was October
The sixth annual Houses from Within event is organized by the
Jerusalem Municipality, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Tourism Ministry.