Sunday, March 9, 2014

What is it?


Beer Sheva's Old City is a strange mixture of crumbling "old" early 20th century Ottoman Turkish buildings, renovated houses, and new structures.
But this castle-like place is the strangest place I've seen so far.
In September it was still being worked on.
I'll have to go see what it turned out to be, if I can find that little street again.

The Municipality has started investing in renewal of the Old City.
Let's see if it will attract more visitors and shoppers.

Beersheba ca. 1900
Photo by American Colony-Jerusalem Photo Dept.
(Collection is now in the Library of Congress)

 Some history from Wikipedia:
The Ottomans, who had controlled Palestine since the 16th century, took an interest in Beersheba in the late 19th century.[7] At the beginning of the 19th century, European pilgrims to Palestine described Beersheba as a barren stretch of land with a well and a handful of Bedouins living nearby. Towards the end of the 19th century, the Ottomans built a police station in Beersheba in order to keep the Bedouin in check.[8] 
They built roads and a number of small buildings from local materials which are still standing today. A town plan, created by Swiss and German architects, called for a grid street pattern,[9] a pattern which can be seen today in Beersheba's Old City. All houses built during that period were of one story, and the two-story police station towered above them. 
Most of the residents at the time were Arabs from Hebron and the Gaza area, although Jews also began settling in the city. Many Bedouin abandoned their nomadic lives and built homes in Beersheba.
(Linking to Our World Tuesday and  Whimsical Windows, Delirious Doors.)


toby said...

Oh, it's downright adorable! What a funny thing to find, walking down the street...
I'm so glad that you found some architecture to share with us :) Have a great week, and enjoy the rain!

VP said...

Very interesting architecture!

Adullamite said...

It's like something out of Las Vegas.

Hels said...

It looks like a fortified medieval castle, made in small proportions.

William Kendall said...

I'm curious too! It's a striking looking building.

Petrea Burchard said...

Do you think it's old? Maybe that archway to the right. The rest looks newish.

Dina said...

Petrea, I think it is not old, no. Well, it depends what you mean by old.
Modern Beersheva began only around 1900.
I'll add some history in the post now.

Dina said...

Petrea, you can see such an arched doorway in the historical photo I just added.

photodoug said...

Nice find. Hope you return to photograph an update.

Petrea Burchard said...

The history fascinates me. I was about to say I agree with Adullamite--well, actually, I do! But this is what Las Vegas imitates, not the other way around.

Dina said...

Petrea, I've never been to Las Vegas but I understand Adullamite's reaction that this place brings to mind the pseudo-places in Vegas.
It's just so incongruous in the setting.
Meanwhile an American blog-friend who visited Beersheva in 2010 thinks this might be a restaurant where they ate.
When I poked my head in the arch door back in September it was dark, with workmen in the back, and construction going on.

Englepappa said...

Yes, that was really an interesting building. Definitely not an average construction... It must be exciting to live in a place where such buildings just suddenly occurs. I'm living in little village, and I know just exactly which houses to be found around the corner...

carol l mckenna said...

Fascinating post and photos ~ House is, indeed, intriquing ~ Great post for OWT ~ thanks,

artmusedog and carol said...

Building a police station first…! Makes you wonder. Thanks for introducing us to a part of the world I have not known about.