Tuesday, May 20, 2008


It's a rare day when you see two old sundials, and both within a short walk one from the other.
Today I discovered this one behind the big wall that hides Jerusalem's Anglican International School from the busy Prophets' Street.

"Until the day break and the shadows flee away" is from the Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon) 4:6.
On the other side the verse appears in the original Hebrew.

This building on Jaffa Street, across from the shuk, was built a hundred years ago.
There is still a synagogue inside.
The sundial, a full five meters in diameter, was made by one Moshe Shapira.
He was a self-taught astronomer who had made a study of the science according to the writings of Maimonides and the Gaon of Vilna.
For cloudy days two mechanical clocks were added.


Musings said...

How neat! Did you check to see if the sundials were accurate?

babooshka said...

Not something i was expecting to see here, sundials. It's amazing how a timepiece so simple in design can be so varied around the world.

Dina said...

Hi Musings and Babooshka,
Yeah, the sundial--it's an ancient idea, forever new. Fascinating.
The Anglican School one was just about 1/4 hour fast.
The big one seemed to be out of commission. The two clocks were not running either. The Sundial Building was ravaged by fire in 1941 and only partially restored by the Municipality in 1980.

the donG said...

the sundial on the building is amazing.

reader Wil said...

How interesting dina! I,ve never been to Jerusalem, but this way I learn more about the Holy City. So I am glad I discovered your blog!