Friday, March 15, 2013

King David awaits Obama


Jerusalem's King David Hotel  anxiously awaits the arrival on Wednesday of President Obama and his entourage of hundreds.
Every room of the prestigious hotel is in fact booked for them. 

Recently I was delighted to find this huge historical  photo covering  a whole wall in the lobby.
It shows Ragheb Bey al-Nashashibi, Arab mayor of Jerusalem 1920-1933, inaugurating the new King David Hotel tennis courts on June 13, 1931.


Fran said...

On my first journey to Jerusalem, I stayed across the street, at the Y. It was a wonderful location. I wandered around the lobby of the King David, very fancy!

Hels said...

I have only seen King David from the front. The photo adds an entirely new dimension, thank you.

What architectural style would you say the hotel has?

VP said...

Nice to see it before the 'remodeling' by the Irgun...

Dina said...

Fran, you picked the best location. I like to wander in the YMCA lobby as well as the King David lobby, both wonderfully old and weird.
I knew a guide (my ex) who quipped that some Western tourists would be happy having a "lobby tour" of Israel. :)

VP, "remodeling"--a nice word you thought up.
(VP refers to the bomb set off in the hotel in 1946 by the Irgun Jewish underground movement.
The King David was then the site of the central offices of the British Mandatory authorities of Palestine. See

Helen, the KD is impressive from any direction, even with the two floors that were added in 1967.
It has what I call the typical mishmash style, popular with European architects of those years.

Wiki says this about the style:

The design ... was commissioned from a Swiss Architect, Emile Vogt .... According to Hebrew University professor Ruth Kark, Vogt's approach was typical of European architects who, commissioned to design buildings in Jerusalem, incorporated "Eastern-style domes, arches, various kinds of different-colored stone, and interior decorations with religious symbols and inscriptions," in buildings whose strict symmetry marks them indelibly as European.
The public rooms were decorated by G.G. Hufschmid in motifs taken from Assyrian, Hittite, Phoenician and Muslim buildings in an effort to evoke a "Biblical" style. Hufschmid, also Swiss, stated that his intention was "to evoke by reminiscence the ancient Semitic style and the ambiance of the glorious period of King David.


Karl Demetz said...

I would also visit Jerusalem one day, but not in this Hotel, too small for me ;-)

Petrea Burchard said...

Fantastic! Very exciting.

Kay said...

I wonder what it looks like on the inside. I hope President Obama has a successful discussion.

Spiderdama said...

I like the simple lodging, but it's certainly fancy enough.

Fotografaire said...

I love the mural...very nostalgic. Lovely capture of the architecture.