Tag Archives: tradition

The Italian architecte Antonio Barluzzi and his artwork in the Holyland

The architecte Antonio Barluzzi

The architecte Antonio Barluzzi

The architect Antonio Barluzzi (1884-1960) was born in Rome. He devoted his life to the Holy Land and designed, on behalf of the Custody of the Holy Land, new Sanctuaries. the first one was at the foot of the Mount of olives called ‘Gethsemane’  meaning the Olive Oil Press. After that he created the  ‘the Church of the Transfiguration’ on Mount Tabor, which was to be followed by many others works.

Barluzzi brought new architecture to the Holy Land. At that time, designers were following the styles of past eras by rebuilding of gothic cross-shaped churches in a  classic Byzantine style

Antonio Barluzzi was a strong believer. He conceived these religious sanctuaries to remind “the Mystery of Jesus’ life”, so that every pious visitor would be able to feel the serenity of this sacred place.

After receiving the task of designing the new “Church of All Nations” in the Gethsemane project, which also included the design of the Sanctuary of Mount Tabor, Barluzzi adapted the project according to the discoveries that took place at the same time on the ruins of the Byzantine church of the fourth century.

The basilica buit in 1924 was designed as a unique space. It contains only two rows of six columns, into which the light is filtered throughmidnight blue glazing, where thousands of stars are reminding Jesus’ Night of agony.

The mosaics that decorate the apses are the illustrations of events that occurred on the next morning of the agony, the kiss of Judas and his arrest.

Everything has been designed to make this place for meditation and prayer and to lead to the most important element : the Stone, remembering the location where Jesus spent the night crying and praying,  located near the ‘altar.

Antonio Barluzzi was getting quite frustrated at not being known enough and left his mark by been represented on the vault of the dome to the right of the apse.

Also in ‘the Church of the Visitation’  at ‘Ein Karem one can see the architecte been painted in one of the drawings inside the church.

In 1960 began the construction of an even more remarkable church : the ‘Annunciation to Mary’ in Nazareth.

Barluzzi died that year and did  not have the opportunity to see this church built according to his plans.

The Basilica of the agony - Gethsemane

The Basilica of the agony – Gethsemane

 

The church of the Mount of Beatitudes

The church of the Mount of Beatitudes

The Church of the Transfiguration - Mont Tabor

The Church of the Transfiguration – Mont Tabor

View of Mont Tabor and the Church of the Transfiguration

View of Mont Tabor and the Church of the Transfiguration

Sarona – Tel-aviv’s German colony –

Tel-aviv - Sarona

Tel-aviv – Sarona

”The Templers” were Protestant religious people who came to the Holy Land in the nineteen century with their mentor Christoph Hoffman calling for the return to the origins of Christianity and the establishment of urban and agricultural settlements in Palestine.

Their involvement with the Nazism government during Hitler’s time made them the ennemy of the British in power in Palestine and after World War II, the entire Templar community with their seven settlements in Palestine was deported to Australia, never to return.

They arrived in Palestine more than a decade before the first Zionist Jewish immigrants came and in many ways, they served as models.

Despite their small number in the country, the Templars nonetheless contribute to
modern techniques of agricultural development in Palestine and they quickly gained a reputation for their skill and precision in the execution of various works.

They planted vineyards and orchards using modern technology unknown in Palestine, they created the first oil mills for grain that operated with steam engine. They have tapped into the soil to find this water so rare and necessary for the survival of everyone. They opened the first European-style hotels and pharmacies, and embarked on the production of important commodities like soap and cement – or beer and wine. They were the first in the market of “Jaffa Oranges”.

Their beautiful houses,  of continental elegance, with their red tile roofs were surrounded by flourishing gardens. These neighborhoods have become today, after their renovations, trendy and luxurious places either in Jerusalem, Haifa, Bethlehem of Galilee, Jaffa and Tel Aviv Sarona.

The Sarona district includes 37  Templar houses that were renovated (out of 85 at the time of the Templars) 5 of them have even been raised and displaced to expand the Kaplan street and to allow better circulation. The project, which lasted for years, finally ended and we can see now numerous high luxury buildings that are being built on the site of the houses that were destroyed together with shops and “haute cuisine” restaurants even installed in underground vaulted cellar of the agricultural cooperative used by the German Templars.

This unique neighborhood, thanks to the renovation, allow us to keep an eye on the past and I was told  that the young german generation belonging to this community come sometime to visit the Holy Land and their ancestors patrimony. They are delighted to know that their heritage has been preserved and they are proud of it and so are we !….

 

Tel-Aviv - Sarona

Tel-Aviv – Sarona

Tel-aviv - Sarona

Tel-Aviv – Sarona

The Trumpeldor Cemetery – the Tel-aviv ”Père Lachaise”

Shoshana Damari

Shoshana Damari

Trumpeldor street in Tel-aviv, situated south of the White City and close to its beautiful beach is where one can find the most famous cemetery of Israel. One could call it the Israeli  ”Père Lachaise’.

The cemetery was named after
Yosef Trumpeldor – a  Hero of the Modern                         History of Zionism.

At the end of the nineteenth century it was located outside the City of Jaffa,  when Tel- Aviv did not yet exist..

The cemetery was situated far away to the Northern part of the Ottoman urban City of Jaffa. During late afternoons, when darkness fell over the country,  the ‘undertakers” had sometimes difficulties to find their way to the cemetery, and many stories were spread about this awkward transportation. One of the reasons was that the Plague invaded the city and in order to avoid an epidemic the bodies had to be hastily buried as far away as possible.

The dilapidated state of the cemetery has been a deep concern for the Israeli patrimony lovers. Some of the graves are even nameless.

But what a wonder to discover the names of some notabilities that are buried here :

Moshe Sharett – second Prime Minister of Israel , Meir Dizengoff – the First mayor of Tel Aviv, Chaim ArlosoroffMenahem SheinkinMax Nordau and other founding characters of Zionism, Hayim Nahman Bialik, the National Poet and other writers like Shaul Tchernichovsky, Menahem Sheinkin, and the great painters  Nahum Gutman and Reuven Rubin, who rest alongside well-known singers buried more recently Shoshana Damari and Arik Einstein.

              As children say, in the Trumpeldor Cemetery one can find

                                          ALL THE NAMES OF THE STREETS OF CITIES OF ISRAEL

Arik Einstein

Arik Einstein

 

The Chagall Stained Glass windows at Ein Karem

Naftali-Marc Chagall

Naftali – Marc Chagall

The Synagogue of the Hadassah Medical Center Hebrew University in West Jerusalem was inaugurated on February 6th, 1962.

It contains the twelve magnificent stained glass windows, created by Marc Chagall.

Marc Chagall donated those windows to the Hadassah Hospital. The only thing he requested was compensation for the cost of materials, the labor specialist Simon Atelier of Reims and expenses relating to the artwork.

When it was decided to request Marc Chagall to paint the stained glass windows, a delegation travelled from Jerusalem to Paris to meet with the famous Jewish French artist. The great violinist Isaac Stern was aboard the same plane and joined the delegation in its cause.

Asher - Marc Chagall

Asher – Marc Chagall

Levy - Marc Chagall

Levy – Marc Chagall

 

 

During the two hours of this remarkable visit, Mrs. Chagall revealed that her husband had always hoped to be approached by the Jewish People one day. The answer of the delegation was:                                                     

 “This is the opportunity to work for posterity and create an unbreakable bond between you and the Jewish people.”    

During the last thirty years of his life, Chagall’s artworks were mainly inspired by the Bible.

Marc chagall photo

Marc Chagall

“I felt while working, that my father and my mother were watching over my shoulder and behind them millions of Jewish people”. 

It took Chagall two years to design, develop and execute the twelve stained glass windows for the Synagogue. They symbolize the twelve sons of Jacob, from whom the twelve tribes of Israel originate.                                                   

Reuben, Simeon, Dan, Gad

                                               Judah, Zebulon, Issachar, Naftali,

                                                                                                              Levy, Asher, Joseph, Benjamin

Naphali, Joseph, Benjamin - Marc Chagall

Naphali, Joseph, Benjamin – Marc Chagall

How can one not be carried away by these vibrant colors of red, green, yellow and blue, and the animals, flowers and trees? As required by Jewish tradition, there is no human figure but only biblical symbols like :

                                                  The Torah              Star of David                    The Menorah

                                          Hebrew letters          The Horn of ram      The Protective Hands

Judah, Zebulon, Issachar - Marc Chagall

Judah, Zebulon, Issachar – Marc Chagall

 

 

The Jerusalem Cross

 

red_simple_jerusalem_cross_tshirt

 

The ”Jerusalem Cross”, also known as ”Crusaders’ Cross”  is a Christian symbol consisting of a large cross surrounded by four smaller Greek crosses.

  It is the symbol of the ”Custody of the Holy Land”.

The middle of the big cross represents Jerusalem and stands for the Center of the Universe.

  

The five crosses together represent :

                          The five wounds on Jesus’ body when He was crucified. 

                          The hands, the feet and the wound underneath Jesus’ chest.

  The four small crosses represent  :

                          The four Gospels: Air, Earth, Water and Fire , together with 

                          The four directions in which Christ’s Word has spread around the world.

                        

 

The Byzantine monasteries and the ”Lauras”

The ''lauras'' in the Judean desert January 2015

The ”lauras” in the Judean desert January 2015

 The lauras (laurae in Latin) are a type of monastery,
consisting of a cluster of cells or caves.
They gave their name to the whole monastic ideology,
whose fascinating remains are the main
evidence of early Christian monasteries.

IIn the Orthodox Church and the Eastern Churches, a  laura is a religious institution where the monks  (from the latin word monachus: ‘single,solitary’), lived five days a week as hermits, scattered in remote populated areas. Saturday nights,  sundays and holidays were community days, on which the monks gathered under the leadership of an Abbot to sing,  take their meals together and receive instructions. They then joined their hermitage for the week charged with a food basket (cooked food, wine, etc …) This is a semi-hermit mixed monastic lifestyle.

 

Mar Saba February 2015

Mar Saba Monastery February 2015

Sabbas the Sanctified was born in 439 AD in Cappadocia he directed the great Laura Mar Saba for almost 50 years. During all these years he expanded the site to accommodate the hundreds of monks who lived in the area and built walls to protect the community.

Saint Sabbas lived about 10 years in a cave near the future site of the monastery. He found in this remote location, near a river bed the Kidron, the perfect place to gather and fully live his solitude.

 

The Kidron in the Judean desert in February 2015

The Kidron in the Judean desert in February 2015

In the time of Saint Sabbas a total of thirteen monasteries were established in the Judean desert, some of them have become famous in particular the Monasteries of Saint Martyrius and Saint Euthemius. The number of hermits went from hundreds to thousands during this period.

He influenced and reshaped the customs and lifestyle of the monks. He was the first among ‘the fathers of the desert hermit’ who formulated a set of written rules on the conduct and way of life of the monks in the Judean desert.

Saint George Monastery Wadi Qelt Judean Desert

Saint George Monastery Wadi Qelt Judean Desert

 

The Mosaics of the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes

Mosaics of the Church of loaves and fishes

Mosaics of the Church of loaves and fishes

Mosaic with the nilometer

Mosaic with the nilometer

 

The Benedictine Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes, called Tabgha in Arabic or Heptategon in Latin meaning –  seven sources is located on the shores of  the Sea of Galilee on the ancient roman road – The Via Maris.

The magnificent Byzantine mosaics of the church, dating from the sixth century,  describe  the migratory birds crossing the Holy land and resting at the Sea of Galilee.

Israel is the passage of migratory birds on their way to Africa heading to Europe, one never get tired of watching flights of storks, cranes, pelicans, cormorants, kingfishers, hawks and many others above our heads in Spring or Autumn.

There is also a Nilometer in  this mosaic, a measure that was used in Egypt to know the height of the Nile.

                                     The fact that a nilometer is shown in this mosaic implies either :

                                   That this measure was used outside Egypt and the artist probably an                                                          Egyptian reproduced what he knew best.

                                    We know as well that the nilometer allowed to know the water level                                                    of the lake meaning  a better harvest if there was a lot of                                                              water and higher taxes to be pay by the farmers.

An Rock Hyrax fed by a bird

An Rock Hyrax fed by a bird

 

The rite of the Sacred Fire

feu sacre 3

It is an ancient ritual that symbolizes eternity, peace and resurrection of Christ.

The Holy Sepulchre is the latest episodes of the Passion of Christ, His crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

Many Christian from the Orthodox faith come to the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem during Easter to follow this traditional ceremony of the “Sacred fire”,

From the first hours of the day a crowd of believers eagerly await this miracle. The atmosphere is tense. The Greek Orthodox patriarch enters the Chapel of the empty tomb, and, according to tradition, while he is praying for long hours, appears a ray of light, which does not burn but sparkles and illuminates. The patriarch lit his candles and a bouquet assembled thirty three candles thirty-three as the age of Christ. and, passed, the sacred fire very rapidly among the faithful. Cheers explode some cry others sing,

Outside, the Kyrie eleison “CHRIST IS RESURRECTED. ” Are becoming increasingly pressing, hands tend waving candles to candles.

                                         The secret about the origin of ‘sacred fire’ is carefully preserved                                                                     by the Orthodox hierarchy.

In front of the basilica, the Israeli police maintains order, it is often impossible to get so many people in this sacred enclosure.

This day is made of songs, music, prayers and ceremonies for each church according to their tradition.

Six chretien communities manage the Holy Sepulchre, Greek Orthodox, Latin Rite Catholics, Armenian Apostolic, Egyptian Copts, the Syrian Orthodox and Orthodox Ethiopians. Each of Church controls a carefully defined part of the building.

                                       In the past, the ceremony of the “Sacred Fire” has been repeatedly                                                           marred by fights between people of different                                                                         communities and dramas inside the Holy Sepulchre.

feu sacre 2