Caesarea house 521.
(photo credit: Uriel Messa)
The owners of this huge house in Caesarea arrived there by chance. They had
really intended to buy an old khan in Binyamina and turn it into a place where
artists could stay and feel free to create. They are artlovers, and their home
is testimony to this, with many paintings and sculptures dotted around. The idea
didn’t work out, however, and when their lawyer took them to Caesarea and showed
them this place, sitting on 2.5 dunams of land, they fell in love – with the
town by the sea, the garden, and the huge space that allowed them to display
many loved collections, antique furniture – and most of all,
The place didn’t look quite like it does now when they bought
it seven years ago. The owner, who has several business interests, including
growing seaweed for local consumption and export, explains that in the original
house, the large living area was divided into two spaces separated by a low
“It felt as though someone was sitting on my head,” he
The major change they made was to lift the ceiling, for which they
had to bring in a 150-ton crane, and to add the striking decorative motif that
embellishes the two sides of the vast room.
“It was designed by my art
teacher, David Zindalovitch, and takes its inspiration from the trees out in the
garden,” he tells me. Above the motif they added windows so the room is flooded
Fir wood and some synthetic material were used for the whole
construction, which is eye-catching in the extreme. That and the longest table I
have ever seen in a private home contribute to a huge “wow” factor on entering this house.
The table is 5.5 meters
closed and 7.5 m. when opened, and has 24 chairs around it.
“We got it in
Canada,” he explains, “and we think it belonged to a Greek shipping
But why so huge? It’s not as if the family is so big.
love to cook and entertain,” says the owner. “For me, cooking is like an art,
engaging the five senses. And we also have many meetings here of the different
organizations we belong to.”
On closer inspection, the table is beautiful
as well as enormous – made of light oak with an ornate gold inlay around its
AROUND THE room, one notices some lovely furniture – an
Art Nouveau sideboard with pink glass inserts and classic bronze decoration, a
perfect little Biedermeier seating arrangement in rust shades, and a nest of
tables, perfectly proportioned and signed by Galle. At the top of the stairs
leading to the basement is a highly decorative and imposing antique Chinese
There are also several glass display cases, one
holding a collection of Roman glass, another of fine Italian
The paintings and sculptures are either by well-known artists
like Leo Ray or done by family members.
The kitchen has two separate
sides – his side, which is like an industrial kitchen with lots of impressive
equipment, and hers, which is more conventional. They like to be able to cook
side by side. The island with tall chairs around it acts as a room
The bedroom is where the wife – a Leo – keeps her large lion
collection. It’s on the ground floor, and the blinds open automatically to
reveal a jungle-like garden just outside the window – a lovely sight to see
first thing in the morning. The warm wooden parquet floor and flowery Indian
bedspread, armchairs, book shelves and display cabinets make the room especially
inviting. In the adjoining bathroom, the free-standing fiberglass tub is on a
raised dais, and the colors take their cue from the bright painting hanging
above it on the textured walls.
Outside around the magnificent pool, two
lions stand guard; they happen to have been there already and were not brought
in by the lionizing owners. Also out here are several sculptures, a bar and even
a covered home cinema.
In the basement is a beautifully tiled Turkish
bath, as well as facilities for many other leisure activities.
garden is a tropical paradise filled with luxuriant palms, ancient artifacts and
a variety of sculptures and art works. Truly a magnificent home of a kind one
does not encounter often. Do you feel you own one of Israel’s most beautiful
homes? Please e-mail: email@example.com