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Name That Place: Jerusalem in 1900

I think that for a certain subset of this blog’s readers, photo challenges are enjoyable.  I’ll tell you a little and you can tell me the rest.  This photo is part of the Jerusalem volume of The American Colony and Eric Matson Collection and it was taken in approximately 1900.

jerusalem_challenge

The best answer in the comments below wins a free copy of the Jerusalem CD (or your choice of another if you already have it).  An important part of the answer is why it is impossible to take this same photo today.

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12 thoughts on “Name That Place: Jerusalem in 1900

  1. Is it the southern end of the Western wall of the Temple Mount?

    Today much of the area has been excavated as part of the Southern Wall excavation project – post 1967 – and is today part of The Davidson Center.

  2. The windows give it away. It's the upper room area and the Tomb of David on the Western Hill. We can't see this view today because the courtyard has been built around it.

  3. One thing I noticed is that the dome on the left has a decoration on the top that looks like one of the crescent variations seen on most mosques. It is certainly not a cross.

    I remember being in the roof in 2006 and I took a picture of the dome. It looks to have been fairly recently re-leaded, but there are no decorations on the top at all.

    I wonder if at the time this picture was taken if the ‘Upper Room’ was an active mosque. I seem to recall that there is a mihrab in the main room.

    One thing I noticed is that the dome on the left has a decoration on the top that looks like one of the crescent variations seen on most mosques. It is certainly not a cross.

    I seem to remember a mihrab in the Cenacle. I've never been sure who actually controls what in that building, but this must be before the Franciscans reestablished their presence.

  4. Sorry. I’m not usually that repetitive. My computer seems to have gotten a little over zealous with the cut and paste command on the last post. I'm not usually that repetitive.

  5. The best answers so far are those of Wayne and Al. There's something missing though. What prevents this photo from being taken today? ("Courtyard" is not quite right.)

  6. Al, hello… Just to respond to your queries: Yes, the Upper Room (likewise the "lower room", the so-called Tomb of David) was a mosque, starting from the 16th century, when Suleiman threw the Franciscans off Mt. Zion, until 1948 when a Jewish enclave was established there. Since then, the building has been overseen by Israel's Ministry of Religious Affairs. So, the Franciscans have never re-established control over the Cenacle itself – although they would dearly love to (and they do own and inhabit an adjoining property to the north). Someday they will cut a deal of some kind with the Israeli government, wait and see…
    TOM POWERS / Jerusalem

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