Israeli history photo of the week: Palace hotel

A Library of Congress collection of photographs that document Israel before the creation of the state.

By
November 22, 2012 11:43
1 minute read.

Israeli history photo of the week: Palace hotel . (photo credit: American Colony-Jerusalem-Photo Dept.)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

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 Arab riots, and the building of Tel Aviv.

When the Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin el Husseini built the Palace Hotel in 1929 he spared no cost. After renovating the Muslim sites on the Haram el Sharif (Temple Mount), he sought a palatial luxury hotel for visiting rulers of the Muslim and Arab world. He had no compunction about using funds from the Muslim religious trust.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Early in the construction, one of the Jewish contractors wrote in his memoirs, workers discovered buried human remains, apparently from an ancient section of the Mamilla Muslim cemetery across the road. Husseini instructed the contractor to quickly and quietly rebury the bones lest his political rivals discover the desecration. But they did find out, and a nasty public relations and religious court battle ensued.

The hotel was unable to compete with the plush King David Hotel a few blocks away and closed its doors in 1935. The building was expropriated by the British Mandate Government.

After the British departed Palestine in 1948 and Israel's creation, the Palace Hotel became Israel’s Ministry of Industry and Trade. Today, the historic building is under renovation and construction with plans to reopen as the 5-star "Palace Jerusalem --Waldorf-Astoria."

More photos can be viewed at www.israeldailypicture.com

Related Content

Supreme Court President Asher Grunis
August 28, 2014
Grapevine: September significance

By GREER FAY CASHMAN