Israeli History Photo of the Week: The Valero Family Property in Damascus Gate

JPost special feature: A Library of Congress collection of photographs that document pre-state Israel.

By
July 12, 2012 14:48
1 minute read.
Damascus Gate and the Valero property

Valero Family 390. (photo credit: American Colony-Jerusalem-Photo Dept.)

 
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The Library of Congress has recently digitalized a collection of over 10,000 photographs, taken by the "American Colony" in Jerusalem, a group of Christian utopians who lived in Jerusalem between 1881 and the 1940s. The photographers returned to the US, and bequeathed their massive collection to the Library of Congress in 1978. The collection includes Winston Churchill's visit to Jerusalem, Jewish expulsions from the Old City during riots, and the
building of Tel Aviv.

By some accounts, the Valero family arrived in Jerusalem in the 18th or 19th centuries from Turkey.  Researchers have even suggested that the family were once Conversos - secret Jews who were forced to convert to Christianity in Spain. They later traveled to Turkey and returned to their Jewish faith.

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