Monday, December 19, 2011

Greek Colony -- some history

The sign for the Greek Colony in Hebrew, Arabic, and transliterated Hebrew.
But not in Greek.

In the previous post we started talking about Jerusalem's Greek Colony.
And once I showed you one of the neighborhood's finest buildings.
But today's pictures show a more typical house.

The writing above the lintel says 1937.
Who can translate the Greek? Help!

UPDATE: Martus and Robert Geiss have come to the rescue. They say it means
Greek Friends-of-the-Poor
Brotherhood of Jerusalem
In the 1800s Christians ( Arab Christians as well as foreigners who came from Germany, Austria, Russia, Italy, England, etc. ) played a major role as initiators of modern construction in Jerusalem, both inside and outside the Old City.

I'll quote from Ruth Kark's excellent book, Jerusalem Neighborhoods, Planning and By-Laws (1855-1930):

"The Christian initiatives in the field of construction stemmed from a mixture of religious and philanthropic motivations on the one hand, and business considerations on the other hand. Both types of enterprise drew mostly upon capital from abroad.
. . .
By contrast [to the Catholics, Russian Orthodox, and Protestants], during the nineteenth century the Greek Orthodox channeled most of their entrepreneurial efforts into acquiring agricultural land (in Nikoforiya), and into economic and commercial activity.
Thus they built hotels . . ., shops . . ., and markets . . . .

Near the turn of the century a number of Greek Orthodox residential neighborhoods began to develop outside the [Old City] walls, especially in the southern part of the city:
the Greek Colony, Katamon, and Abu Tor."

This little tour joins other tours around the globe at Our World Tuesday.


Robert Geiss said...

A kind of brotherhood is seems to have been, maybe still is, from back then.

Thank you for this interesting glimpse of your world. Please have a good Tuesday.

Fran said...

Gosh, I have no clue where that is, but I am intrigued! Oh, how I long to visit Jerusalem again.

Theanne and Baron said...

I found interesting the differences between the Christians and the Greek Orthodox reasons for acquiring land and building! It really makes history come to life when you blog about it Dina!

μαρτυς said...

Dina, the Greek sign reads:

Greek Friends-of-the-Poor
Brotherhood of Jerusalem

crystal said...

Interesting that the Greek Orthodox had such a different take than the other Christians.

You inbspired me to try the Our World Tuesday meme too :)

Dina said...

Shalom friends, and thanks for your thoughts.

Robert and Martus, what would I do without your knowledge of Greek! Thank you!

μαρτυς said...

Theanne and Baron,

You said, "...differences between the Christians and the Greek Orthodox...".

Was that a typo or did you imagine the "Greek Orthodox" folk were Athenian Cheredim?

You'll get a lot of arguments from Pentecostals, but I'm pretty sure the Greek Orthodox Church is still generally defined as Christian ;-)

Dina said...

Martus, often when I say Orthodox people think of orthodox Jews.
But I'm sure Theanne meant to say "the difference between the OTHER Christians and the Greek Orthodox."

JM said...

The stone house is lovely! Sorry I can't help you with the translation... :-)

VP said...

I didn't know much about this, a very interesting piece of history.

Kay L. Davies said...

Very interesting, Dina. I am amused by the sign in the first photo not being in Greek at all.
Wishing you all the best now and throughout the coming year.

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

Pietro said...

So interesting, Dina.