The end of summer is a wonderful season in Jerusalem. While in most areas in Israel the heat is unbearable and the humidity threatens to immerse every piece of dry clothing in sweat, here in Jerusalem a pleasant wind blows and on some nights one even needs a sweater!
It’s true that Jerusalem doesn’t have the sea but magical springs flow in the mountains of Jerusalem and often those who stroll in the streets of the city come to dangle their feet in the cool waters of Jerusalem. A moment before the thermometer breaks from the high temperatures and just when the dates are ripe and spread their wonderful smell, we went to search for the best fountains in the area.
The Lions’ Fountain, Liberty Bell Park
There is no Jerusalemite who does not know of the Lions’ Fountain opposite the Liberty Bell Park. The fountain was donated to Jerusalem by the German government in 1989 and was the first public fountain in Jerusalem. The fountain was placed next to Mishkenot Sha’ananim, not far from the Old City and the neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, with the aim of connecting the old city to the new city and with the aim of creating a meeting place for the different populations of the city. The design of the fountain was inspired by symbols common to the three religions, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, and by symbols related to the city of Jerusalem. At least ten different symbols are hidden in the design of the foundation. How many can you identify?
(Source: The Jerusalem Municipality’s website)
Fountains in Teddy Park at the Foot of the Tower of David
What do Barcelona, Los Vegas, Prague, Moscow, and Jerusalem have in common? Almost 25 years after the Lions’ Fountain was erected, the Hassenfeld Fountain was erected in Teddy Park and Jerusalem thus became one of many cities in the world with impressive fountains that incorporate water, light, and music shows. The impressive fountain features a unique show that includes 256 water nozzles, approximately 1,500 light structures, and original music played by the New Jerusalem Orchestra. The height of the water jets varies depending upon the pace of the music as well as the lighting, which changes throughout the show, and the entire show is a joy for children and parents alike.
(Source: The Jerusalem Fund)
The Fountain in the Worldwide North Africa Jewish Heritage Center Building, Mahane Israel Neighborhood
This fountain is fairly hidden, between the magical alleys of the Mahane Israel neighborhood. In the second neighborhood built outside the walls of the Old City, founded in the 19th century, sits an ancient building with original detail. This is the Worldwide North Africa Jewish Heritage Center of the Mughrabis, which was built in order to document the flourishing community life that existed in this neighborhood.
A visit to the courtyard of the building reveals an Andalusian garden with unique works of mosaic. On the southern side of the garden are arcades decorated with unique mosaic works and along the length of the garden are three original Moroccan fountains which are connected to a canal from which water flows on a regular basis. The mosaic works are especially stunning and sitting in the garden takes one on a journey straight to colorful Morocco.
(Source: The Worldwide North Africa Jewish Heritage Center)
The Open Mosque Fountain, the Tower of David Museum
Here too, at the Tower of David, there is a fountain. You will not find another museum in Jerusalem with an active fountain.
Today, flowing water in Jerusalem is almost a fait accompli. However, throughout history, the city rulers who set up their residence in the citadel wanted to demonstrate their control over the city and what better display of power is there than flowing water in a city which hardly has any water?
One of the first rulers who was able to overcome the conditions in Jerusalem was Herod. Herod built his glorious palace in this part of the city and remains of the huge pools which decorated the courtyard of the palace can be seen today in the moat of the Tower of David Citadel.
The tradition of water in the Citadel continued and the beautiful waterfall at the entrance to the Tower of David tells an interesting story of the Armenian Sandroni family, that came to Jerusalem in the 1920s. When the British, who ruled in Jerusalem, wanted to renovate the tiles on the Temple Mount, they called upon three Armenian families who lived in Turkey and asked them to move to Israel (then-Palestine). One of these three families was the Sandroni family, which took upon itself the task of decorating the tiles of the fountain at the Open Mosque. The task of developing the pattern of the tiles lasted approximately half a year. It was of great importance that the whole human and cultural mosaic of Jerusalem, as well as the interaction between the three religions, be represented and expressed in the mosaic. The result is stunning and you are invited to visit and enjoy yourself in a cool and shady area in the heart of Jerusalem. The water is not intended for use but on a hot day, being near any source of water in the shade is appreciated!