Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mystery in the Courtyard of the Arches

Supreme Court Building architect Ada Karmi-Melamede calls her courtyards "roofless rooms."
In a post last week we talked about the symbolism of the water conduit in the Courtyard of the Arches.
But today look carefully at the far end of the courtyard shown above.
From up close you can see it has the vaulted ceiling and the other characteristics of Medieval Crusader buildings in Israel!
A nod to the Crusaders! Yes, those same knights who crossed Europe, slaughtering Jews as they went, and who arrived in the Holy Land and killed all the Jews and Moslems they could find.

And facing it another universal tribute, an arch suggesting a Roman triumphal arch!
So our guide said.
OK, fine, again, no hard feelings.

But what is that mysterious thing in the arch, next to the pool of water?
I found no reference to it in the official brochure.
Orly Peled, in Yad Ben-Zvi's Jerusalem, a walk through time, writes this:
"Pay special note to the arched structure toward which the water of the conduit flows. Is this a church, a synagogue, or maybe a mosque? The architects intentionally left it enveloped in mystery, thus alluding to the ideal of the legal process that shows no favor on the basis of race, creed, color, or gender."


Anonymous said...

Those photos are really artistic, Jerusalem must be a beautiful place!!!

Leif Hagen said...

Very monumental, stark architecture!

Ann said...

This really is a beautiful building.

Louis la Vache said...

The symbolism of the meting out of unprejudiced justice is both powerful and amazing.

Eki said...

I like the passage ways in the first and second photos. They look great.