Part III - German Colony, Holocaust memorial & last stroll by night

September 23, 2018

This article relates Day 4 of our Journey in Palestine. It's the last post about Jerusalem. After that begins the exploration of the Palestinian Territories!

Today, we will explore the outskirts of Jerusalem and visit the Holocaust Memorial.

First, we walk through the first Jewish neighborhood built outside the walls of the Old City in 1860, Mishkenot Sha'ananim. According to our guide book, it's a beautiful and lively quarter. It's true, this area is very nice, but for me it looks like many residential areas in Southern Europe and is too "gentrified".

From there, we go further to the First Station, an historic railway station build by the Turks at the end of the 19th century. Apart from the walls of the main building, there are only few remains of the original station, but this site is nevertheless very interesting. Since 2013, it's a culture and entertainment center with nice architectural ideas.

Then, we walk to our actual destination, the German Colony. This neighborhood was established by members of the German Temple Society in the 19th century. Unfortunately, there is nothing left of a "German Flair" there, it's only a normal upscale district with expensive restaurants and organic grocery stores!

We return to the city center and take a tramway to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial. Situated on Mount Herzl, a height in western Jerusalem, it's a huge complex containing not only the Holocaust History Museum but also many other memorial sites.

We go to the museum and stay there for almost 3 hours. As expected, it's very depressing and after a while it's too much. Too many information, too many pictures, too many people. It's not a memorial, it's like a Holocaust University.

And the whole time at Yad Vashem, I must think about the situation of the Palestinians: After having suffered so much themselves, how could the Israelis became the tormentors?

On the evening, we go for dinner in the Old City with a Palestinian friend in a nice family restaurant.

After a great meal (especially the starters!), we stroll again in the Old City, visiting for the 2nd time the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Not so crowded as during the day, it's very atmospheric. I like this place!

 

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