Tag Archives: Jerusalem

Jaffa in ruins

24 Jan

‘The ascendancy over men’s minds of the ruins of the stupendous past, the past of history, legend and myth, at once factual and fantastic, stretching back and back into ages that can but be surmised, is half-mystical in basis. The intoxication, at once so heady and so devout, is not the romantic melancholy engendered by broken towers and mouldered stones; it is the soaring of the imagination into the high empyrean where huge episodes are tangled with myths and dreams; it is the stunning impact of world history on its amazed heirs.’ Rose Macaulay, The Pleasure in Ruins (1953)

Bernhard von Breydenbach’s late fifteenth-century map of the Holy Land served as a template for maps of the region for some three hundred years, as a wonderful small exhibition, Mapping the Holy Land II, currently at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, shows.

Breydenbach, a wealthy monk from the German city of Mainz, travelled to the Holy Land in April 1483 and returned to Germany in 1484. Unusually (but not uniquely), he was accompanied by an artist, Erhard Reuwich. Reuwich drew a map to accompany Breydenbach’s accounts of his travels, but it’s clear that Reuwich drew the map upon his return home to Mainz. The map is in many ways ‘accurate’ but in other ways it reflects literary and ‘exotic’ ideas that Reuwich and Breydenbach knew from what they had read, rather than seen, of Palestine.

In the foreground of the map is the port of Jaffa (also known as Joppa, now Yafo/יפו, a rapidly gentrifying suburb of Tel Aviv). Here, pilgrims once disembarked from Venice, Ragusa and Crete for Jerusalem. It’s marked on the map as a set of caves, and broken, ruined buildings, with a group of pilgrims disembarking in the foreground


Detail of pilgrims disembarking at Jaffa amongst caves and ruins, from Erhard Reuwich’s map for Breydenbach’s guide to the Holy Land, made in Mainz, 1486.

The map seems to agree with pilgrims’ accounts. Many pilgrims spent uncomfortable and disorientating nights in these caves, either arriving or waiting to leave.

One pilgrim, an anonymous Englishman travelling in the 1340s, described how, at Jaffa, his companions ‘had slept in the open, on the sea sand for 18 days, because they could not get passage.’ Some of them then died, due to privations they had undergone, sleeping rough in Jaffa (Hoade, Western Pilgrims, p. 76). Lodgings in Jaffa were clearly very rudimentary, and many pilgrims give (self-serving) accounts of harassment there from Mameluke officials (on the Breydenbach map, these seem to be the hatted figures, sitting on top of the caves). The French pilgrim the Seigneur de Caumont, visiting in 1419, noted how the city had once been conquered by the Christians but was now destroyed, with nobody living there.

The medieval journey to the Holy Land was intended to be the zenith of a Christian’s earthly life, and it guaranteed spiritual health in the afterlife too. But the Holy Land presented a world marked by the Crusaders’ defeat. Late medieval pilgrims saw Christendom in ruins all around them, and often commented on the ‘broken down’ churches and fortresses left by the Crusaders. If they moralised this, they tended to follow Sir John Mandeville, writing in the 1350s: ‘when God wishes, just as these regions were lost through the sinfulness of Christians, so shall they be won again by means of God’s aid through Christian folk’ (Mandeville, Books of Marvels and Travels, p. 42). The ruins stimulated a kind of emotional archaeology, which was interpreted as a promise of a glorious future and the pious reclamation of Holy Land.

Ruins of the Crusader kingdom still punctuate the landscape of the Middle East; they are at once ruins of a remarkable military achievement, and a testament to its failure. Sometimes, these ruins are incongruous, sitting in the landscape as if waiting to be reanimated, like the beautiful, untouched fortress at Cafarlet (Moshav HaBonim) near Haifa. Cars speed past, the site is deserted but for the white egrets busily inspecting their domain.

The Crusader fortress of Cafarlet (HaBonim), January 2014.

The Crusader fortress of Cafarlet (HaBonim), January 2014.

Others, like the impressive and isolated ruins at Montfort in the western Galilee, have become tourist sites, principally for hikers and on account of the views. At neither Cafarlet nor Montfort is there any sustained historical interpretation on offer to visitors; we are still silently encouraged to approach such ruins in a fundamentally Romantic way, as appeals to awe rather than investigation. They are to be gazed on, a sublime enhancement to the landscape. At the port-city of Akko (precious to the Crusaders, but rarely visited by later pilgrims though there was a Venetian port here in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries), Crusader ruins continue to comprise the urban fabric.

The remains of the twelfth-century Crusader fortress of Montfort/Starkenberg, western Galilee, Israel

The remains of the twelfth-century Crusader fortress of Montfort/Starkenberg, western Galilee, Israel 

Akko: ruins in the Pisan harbour. January 2014.

Akko: ruins in the Pisan harbour. January 2014.

Akko: medieval masonry reused the Khan es-Shawarda, built by the Ottomans on the site of the medieval nunnery of the Poor Clares. January 2014.

Akko: medieval masonry reused at the Khan es-Shawarda, built by the Ottomans on the site of the medieval Franciscan nunnery. January 2014.

Medieval pilgrims travelled through a layered world of ruins. They identified, re-identified, and sometimes ignored these ruins. Throughout, they saw themselves moving through a legible landscape which was inextricably connected to the Christian past and future. Sometimes these ruins asserted themselves, and continue to assert themselves, a reminder of the failure to build a martial state in the Middle East, focussed on Jerusalem, based on religious precepts, aggressive colonisation, and intense emotion.

Mount Joy: the view from Palestine

21 Jan

“And so they went on to the Holy Land until they could see Jerusalem. And when this creature, riding on an ass, saw Jerusalem, she thanked God with all her heart, asking Him for His mercy that, just as He had brought her to see this earthly city of Jerusalem, He would grant her the grace to see Jerusalem the blissful city above, the city of heaven…Then, for the joy that she had and the sweetness she felt in conversing with our Lord, she was on the verge of falling off her ass, for she could not bear the sweetness and grace that God performed in her soul. Then two German pilgrims went to her and kept her from falling off. One of them was a priest, and he put spices in her mouth to comfort her, believing her to have been ill. And so they helped her onwards to Jerusalem.” The Book of Margery Kempe.

The English mystic Margery Kempe, whose Book I have been translating recently, was making her way from Ramla to Jerusalem in 1413. She felt such sweetness and grace when she saw the holy city that she nearly fell off her ass. From Kempe’s account it’s likely that this moment – of both spiritual glory and embarrassing awkwardness – would have taken place on Mount Joy, the highest point around Jerusalem. Mount Joy  (Mons GaudiiMonjoie) is now the Palestinian village of Nabi Samwil [or Samuil], just 7 miles north of the Old City of Jerusalem, and less than a mile from the edge of the large Israeli settlement of Ramot, now a suburb of Jerusalem. It was customary, in the later Middle Ages, for pilgrims to travel on foot or by ass from Jaffa via Ramla and Emmaus to Mount Joy, there to gain their first view of the city, hence the name Mount Joy. Pilgrims like Kempe were led from place to place by Franciscans and local guides. Before Kempe’s time – certainly by c. 1100 – Nabi Samuel  had also become established as the burial-site, revered by Christians, Muslims, and Jews, of the prophet Samuel.

Mount Joy is interesting to me in the current context because of the ability of Jerusalem to be translated out of itself, which here extends to the hyper-mediated landscape around the city itself. In the later Middle Ages the view of Jerusalem from a hill known as ‘Mount Joy’ became as much a part of the pilgrimage route as visiting Jerusalem itself. In fact, medieval pilgrims would not have been able to see the now-iconic view of the Old City – the Dome of the Rock and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – because these sites sit in a hollow, behind a hilly landscape. They would, however, have viewed the approaches to the city, and possibly some of the buildings on the suburban outskirts around the town.

The view of Jerusalem from Nabi Samuil, January 2014

The view of Jerusalem from Nabi Samuil, January 2014

The site itself is an interesting palimpsest of different religious traditions. Early Christians identified Mount Joy as ‘Ramatha’ (1 Samuel 25: 1) where Samuel died, although several other places (including the post-biblical, Arab town of Ramla, where pilgrims usually slept) were also identified with Ramatha. It is now controlled by the Israel Parks and Nature Authority (with a critique of the Authority’s control of the area, by alt-arch, here).

In the twelfth century, during the Crusaders’ establishment of a state in the Holy Land, a Premonstratensian monastery was founded at Mount Joy; but in 1187 it fell to Saladin and various battles were fought there. One story says that a hermit, named Elias, gave Richard I (the Lionheart) of England a relic of the True Cross there, which he had secreted at Mount Joy when Saladin took Jerusalem. Throughout this time, Jewish pilgrims often visited the site, and, possibly, a mosque was there in the thirteenth century. The Crusader church of St Samuel, photographed here, was significantly rebuilt in 1912 as a mosque, with the Crusader crypt and ruins incorporated into the new buildings (the tomb of Samuel itself, now a Jewish holy site, is in the basement, under the mosque).

The remains of the Crusader-era ramp and entrance to the buildings, a kind of fortress-church

The remains of the Crusader-era ramp and entrance to the buildings, a kind of fortress-church

The layers of different cultures came be seen very clearly and impressively now, following recent archaeological work there. Medieval Christian pilgrims always write about the view of Jerusalem from Mount Joy – like Mandeville, who says, ‘two miles from Jerusalem is Mount Joy, a pretty and delightful place. The prophet Samuel is buried there in a fine tomb. It is called Mount Joy because it is from there that pilgrims first see Jerusalem, a cause of great joy after their exertions’ (p. 49). The Christian pilgrims’ hearts and eyes were focussed on Jerusalem, shimmering in the distance and always full of spiritual promise. But, whilst pilgrims tend not to mention it, they must have noticed that they were taking part in something like cosmopolitanism: at Mount Joy, they would have seen Jews, Muslims, and non-Latin Christians praying, and the ruins left by the Crusaders who had been and gone before them.

The mosque (rebuilt in the 1920s) on top of the ruined Crusader-era church. In the foreground, Hellenistic and Hasmonean ruins, recently excavated.

The mosque (rebuilt in the 1920s) on top of the ruined Crusader-era church. In the foreground, Hellenistic and Hasmonean ruins, recently excavated.

Nabi Samuil has very far-reaching views over the entire area. Here, looking north, towards Givat Ze'ev, Bir Nabala, and Ramallah

Nabi Samuil has very far-reaching views over the entire area. Here, looking north, towards Givat Ze’ev, Bir Nabala, and Ramallah

Jerusalem, geometry, and medieval Germany

21 Nov

The English pilgrim Margery Kempe made her way by foot and wagon, from Danzig, via Wilsnack, to Aachen in the fifteenth century. This is a long journey of over 700 miles and it was, for Kempe, through hostile territory. She was an elderly woman, in poor health, and throughout her journey she was both bullied and subject to considerable misfortune. Nevertheless, she stuck to her route, crossing the Rhine and reaching Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) to see the showing of the famous Aachen relics, which were brought out once every seven years. What kept Margery Kempe moving?

The Book of Margery Kempe says almost nothing about what Kempe saw at Aachen, other than that she viewed the famous relics: of the Virgin Mary’s smock, Christ’s swaddling clothes, the decapitation cloth of John the Baptist, and the Christ’s loincloth from his Passion. Kempe must have thus visited the cathedral, where the relics were shown and were stored in the remarkable shrine of the Virgin Mary, an oak box decorated with silver gilt, made in Aachen between 1220 and 1239 (pictured below).


Kempe had already visited Jerusalem, Rome, Canterbury, Walsingham, Wilsnack, and Santiago de Compostela, so she had visited all the most important pilgrimage sites in Western Europe; but the journey to Aachen complemented her journey to Jerusalem. In part, she was emulating St Birgitta of Sweden (1303-73), who had also gone to Jerusalem, Santiago, and Aachen. Whilst it is not made explicit in The Book of Margery Kempe, Aachen itself had long styled itself as a kind of ‘New Jerusalem’: indeed, the city’s founding by the Emperor Charlemagne (742-814) was an attempt to create an imperial city which combined the splendour of a New Rome with the spiritual promise of a New Jerusalem. The mathematical and geometrical dimensions of the cathedral have long been recognised as referring to the apocalyptic Jerusalem: an eight-sided dome, a sixteen-sided ambulatory, and eight arcades of columns, as eight represented perfection and harmony; the circumference of the octagon is 144 feet, the cardinal number of the Heavenly Jerusalem Apocalypse [Revelation]. 7:4, 14:1 etc.). This was mirrored in the remarkable chandelier (the ‘Barbarossa Chandelier’) given to the cathedral by Emperor Frederick I, and made in Aachen about 1165-70.

The chandelier, which Kempe would most probably have seen, is an image of the Heavenly Jerusalem, according to Apocalypse, chapter 21. Its theme is, like the dome in which it hangs, the number eight. It resembles the city walls of Jerusalem, and has sixteen towers (with bases which speak to the person standing underneath), engraved with scenes from the life of Jesus, from the Annunciation to Christ in Majesty. 48 candles represent the twelve apostles, the twelve martyrs, the twelve confessors, and twelve virgins, recalling the liturgy sung when Roman kings were enthroned in the building.

Kempe’s eye for material luxury would also have been drawn to another Jerusalem scene in the cathedral: the sumptuous ‘Palo d’Oro’, a gold ‘sheet’ across the high altar, made in Germany about 1020, which is one of the earliest strip-art scenes of the Passion and looks forward to the Stations of the Cross/Via Dolorosa tradition.

20131122-080949.jpg It’s perhaps hard to make out the individual scenes from my images, but the scheme starts in the top-left corner (Entry into Jerusalem); the Flagellation can clearly be seen in the far-right panel of the middle row; the scheme ends with the Women at the Tomb. The scenes of the Passion like a montage of devotional ‘stills’, clearly anticipating the vivid tableaux summoned in the ‘mind’s eye’ of medieval mysticism, and a series of loci, like the later schema of the Stations of the Cross

Finally, the Byzantine-style mosaics, at the main entrance, which were renewed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, feature images of the City of God – civitas Dei – surrounded by personifications of the four rivers of Paradise, making manifest the Heavenly Jerusalem built in this German city.


Visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre with Sir John Mandeville

9 Aug

My current work is concerned with the ways in which late medieval travellers and writers ‘made’ the landscape of Jerusalem, a landscape which was subsequently accepted as historically ‘true’, and in some cases biblically accurate. Often, these medieval sites can be traced back to the Crusades, and many of them endure today.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, now in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City but once outside the city walls, presents the visitor was a wonderfully rich, sometimes chaotic, accretion of religious traditions and narratives. The Church is one of the few religious sites shared by eastern and western Christian traditions, and it is busy with visitors from all over the world: when I visited earlier today, the languages I heard most frequently were Russian, Italian, French, and Arabic.

I toured the Church using Sir John Mandeville’s fourteenth-century Book of Marvels and Travels. The author of this book almost certainly did not visit the Church, but some of his readers, such as William Wey in the fifteenth century, did, and would have likewise have had to rely on Mandeville to help them find their way around the Church, busy with altars, inscriptions in foreign languages, and sites of dubious authenticity.

Here are some quotations from Mandeville’s book, with photos I took of the sites as they are today. For those who haven’t visited the Church, you can have your own ‘virtual pilgrimage’ experience, just like medieval readers in Europe did…

“…when people go to Jerusalem, they make their first pilgrimage to the church of the Holy Sepulchre…in the middle of the church is a tabernacle like a little house, beautifully crafted in the manner of a semicircle and richly decorated with gold, azure, and other colours…”


“…to the right, inside that church, is Mount Calvary where Our Lord was placed on the Cross. And the Cross was set in the rock, which is white in colour with a little red mixed in; blood dropped onto that rock from the wounds of Our Lord when He was tortured on the Cross, and it is now called Golgotha.”


“And one goes up to this Golgotha by a staircase.”


“Also near Mount Calvary, to the right, is an altar where the pillar lies to which Our Lord was bound when He was scourged.”


“Also near to this altar, in a place forty-two steps down, was found the True Cross, as endorsed by St Helena, under a rock where the Jews had hidden it. And it was tested because they found three crosses, one of Our Lord and two of the two thieves; so St Helena tested them on a dead body, that revived as soon as the True Cross was laid upon it.”



“In the church of the Holy Sepulchre on the north side is a place where Our Lord was put in prison, though He was nevertheless imprisoned in many other places.”


“Outside the church doors, to the right, as one climbs thirty-eight stairs, Our Lord said to His mother thus: “Mulier ecce filius tuus, that is to say, ‘Woman, behold thy son’ [John 19:26]. And then He said thus: “Deinde dicit discipulo, ecce mater tua”‘ that is to say, ‘After that, he saith to the disciple, “Behold thy mother” [John 19:27]. These words He said also on the Cross. Our Lord went by these stairs when He carried the across upon his shoulders.”


“Underneath this staircase is a chapel where priests sing, not according to our rite but according to their own rite. They always perform the sacrament of the holy bread as well as the prayers with which the bread is consecrated by saying the Paternoster and little else, because they don’t know the additions that many popes have made; but they do sing with sincere devotion.”


Kalvariestenen, Stockholm

21 Jun

Whilst the medieval city of Stockholm was centred on the low-lying islands of Riddarholmen and Stadsholmen, the city is overlooked by an impressive hill, known as Pelarbacken (or Pelarberget), now part of the fashionable and bohemian Södermalm area.


Calvary Stone, Stockholms Medeltidsmuseet/Museum of Medieval Stockholm

On this hill, in 1511, three monumental limestone carvings were erected, one of which can be seen today (photograph below) in Stockholm’s Medeltidsmuseet, the Museum of Medieval Stockholm. These stones were a Calvary installation; a picture here shows the stone in situ in 1896 and a drawing here suggests the state of the stone c. 1870. The weathered surviving stone, pictured here, shows Christ on the cross, with figures at either side: apparently the grieving Virgin Mary to his right and, according to the museum, John the Baptist to his left (although elsewhere this figure is said to be Mary Magdalene). The stones were reached as the culmination of a procession from Stockholm’s Old Town, from the city to the hill, mirroring Christ’s route to Golgotha. The distance from the Old Town to the Calvary Stones was said to be identical to that of Christ’s route from Pilate’s House to Calvary, reflecting an interest in late medieval religion in the empiric, measurable details of Christ’s Passion (the number of footsteps, the length of his sepulchre etc.). This procession was given added resonance because of two particular features of the hill of Pelarbacken: first, from the fourteenth century, the hill had been the site of a Chapel of the Holy Cross, at which pilgrims would ask for protection on their travels, and second, the hill was also where the city’s gallows were located – literally, a place of the skull – so Stockholm’s physical geography came to be understood as similar to that of Jerusalem. Such an arrangement had recently been built in the city of Lubeck (1493). On a map of Stockholm from 1733 the hill is still called ‘Gollgata’ – Golgotha, the place of the skull.

The two other stones showed a pair of episodes from Christ’s Passion: one showed Jesus carrying the cross, the other showed him falling under the cross. These other stones were damaged in the seventeenth century, but the surviving stone was in place until the end of the nineteenth century.

The Stockholm installation is interesting to me in part because it shows how this kind of holy landscape was far from being a southern European phenomenon, as it is often said to be. However, it may be the case that the Calvary Stones were influenced by the Passion devotion emanating from southern Europe – in particular, that of pseudo-Bonaventure’s Mediatationes Vitae Christi which urged one to imagine oneself as being at the Passion, within the Passion; such texts also had a considerable influence on St Birgitta of Sweden (d. 1373). In her meditations and visions on the Passion (in particular chapter 15 of the seventh book of her Revelations), Birgitta, who visited Jerusalem, does not describe the sites of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and she certainly does not give a pilgrimage guide, but rather she is transported across time and space into the Passion of Christ. The Calvary Stones in Stockholm would have fulfilled a similar role, transporting medieval Swedes to a Jerusalem of the mind.

At the Whipping Post, Florida

23 May

I’ve been based in the USA since August 2012, at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina, with not many medieval Calvary sites close by. I did, however, make the journey in May 2013 to Orlando, Florida, to the Holy Land Experience theme park, a large and apparently successful venture only a few miles from popular tourist destinations like Universal Studios, Walt Disney World, and Wet n Wild. I was interested in seeing what the Holy Land Experience had in common with the medieval sites I’m studying and how visitors interacted with the sites there. One scholar, Annabel Wharton of Duke University, has written some interesting material on the Holy Land Experience in her book Selling Jerusalem; in brief, she explores the park through a Marxist/Situationist lens, thinking about the relentless commercialisation and commodification of Jerusalem-as-spectacle, as spiritual capital is turned into financial capital. I was interested to see if my reactions to the park chimed with those of Wharton.


Whipping Post

This picture shows the Whipping Post, a replica of a non-site, ‘the place Pilate had Jesus scourged’: a place known from liturgy and iconography, rather than archaeology or history. It’s one of the first sites one encounters on entering the park, in a dazzling and rather bewildering jumble of religious times and narratives: the Whipping Post is situated on top of the Tiny Town of Bethlehem, a miniature model of Bethlehem, and just in front of a bold and rather dazzling replica of the Second Temple. The Whipping Post does not strive for authenticity – the ‘blood’ is so thickly applied that it appears that someone has dropped a pot of paint onto it. Most of the visitors to the site walked past it, apparently oblivious, but one little girl walked up to it, touched it, as if to check if the blood/paint was dry. She examined her fingers and walked away.

There are many things to be said about the Holy Land Experience, but here I’ll restrict myself to just a few of the things that struck me most about it.

The most noticeable thing about the park is its thoroughgoing and strident Christian Zionism. In the car park, the Bethlehem Bus Loop is surmounted by a giant Star of David. One enters through the ticket booth to be greeted by staff with a ‘Shalom’; staff wear name badges saying ‘Shalom my name is …’. In the entrance area the bracing sounds of Hava Nagila blast out on a loop. In the gift shop, one can buy a menorah, a kippah, a tallit. There is mock-Hebrew signage (pictured below). In the restaurant, ‘authentic Israeli food’ was on offer, though lamb kebabs don’t seem to me particularly authentically Israeli. This uninflected Zionism is messianic and eschatological in flavour, and uses Jewish narratives as a way of constructing a Christian story. It is telling that, nestling amongst the Judaica in the gift shop, one can buy the Life of Jesus. The politics of the project are revealed in the labelling of Bethlehem as being in Israel, when the town is, in fact, in the West Bank area, occupied by Israel in 1967.

The other thing that very much struck me was that very few of the visitors were wandering, gazing, exploring – that is, they were not acting like tourists. The Holy Land Experience is organised by itineraries and activities, recalling the directed, teleological itineraria that governed medieval pilgrims’ journeys. On entry to the park, one is handed a timetable of the day’s events: this includes ‘Holy Communion with Jesus’, in which one sits at a Last Supper-style table, with a little piece of matzo and a tiny communion cup made of Israeli olive wood, and takes communion under the instruction of an actor playing Jesus; ‘Sermon on the Mount’, a live drama on the He is Risen hillside, complete with a living hedge bearing the legend ‘He is Risen’; and emotive playlets based, loosely, on biblical narratives (I found myself gripped by the melodrama of the repentance of Hosea’s wife, the harlot Gomer, but the canned applause was bathetic).

I wouldn’t say that the park discourages reflection, but very few, if any, of the guests seemed to be entering it in a spirit of contemplation. It’s a very noisy place, with music emanating from hidden speakers all over the place. Instead, large groups went busily from place to place, tableau to tableau, mostly photographing as they did so. Yet there was a great deal of prayerfulness: the whole park was imbued with a meaningful religiosity for many of the guests, who prayed at various sites, not just in the giant church at the back of the park.

Perhaps most instructively for medievalists, the Holy Land Experience revels in its dizzying mixing of different times and places: it does not seek a seamless authenticity but revels in a medievalish ‘double-think’ (pace the scholarly work of Richard Krautheimer and Sabine McCormack) in which the original and the copy, the old and the new, co-exist quite happily, seamlessly, purposefully. This might be troubling to professional historians, concerned with chronology and authenticity, but it is decidely enabling in the transference of holy space. A case in point is the fibreglass fishing boat (pictures below, with the He is Risen hedge in the background): visitors are attracted to the forlorn boat by a placard asking ‘Was this the boat that Jesus used?’ The boat can be seen in the third picture, below, with a sign saying ‘Please, no passengers! (I’m an antique).’ It’s a copy of a boat found on the Sea of Galilee in 1986, which has almost no relationship to the historical Jesus (it is simply the kind of boat Jesus may have sailed in). The Holy Land Experience deals in emotive simulacra, copies without originals. These things mostly have only a slight resemblance to the physical Jerusalem; even the fruit in the Jerusalem street market (pictured below) is not real. Unique things can disappear, whereas copies, simulations, fakes and replicas certify each other through their mutual, but apparently valuable, inauthenticity.

Further photos are available here: https://rememberedplaces.wordpress.com/the-holy-land-florida-photographs/


Plastic fruit at the Jerusalem street market


Jesus boat with He is Risen hedge in background


Guest Services sign in ‘Hebrew’ script


Second Temple


Reimagining the Sacred Buildings of Jerusalem

8 Feb

This forthcoming conference is likely to be of interest to readers of this blog: Reimagining the Sacred Buildings of Jerusalem, to be held at the Courtauld Institute of Art March 15-16 2013. It includes papers on all kinds of interesting topics connected to medieval Jerusalem, including some on representations and imitations of Jerusalem.