Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Monster landmark of Jerusalem


Theme Day at worldwide City Daily Photo bloggers group today is LANDMARK.

My favorite landmark in new Jerusalem is The Monster! 

It's a giant slide loved by kids and by their parents and even grandparents as well.
The neighborhood folks make a birthday party for the sculpture every year. 

Jerusalem's "Golem" was created in 1973 in the Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood by sculptress Niki de Saint Phalle as a gift to the children of Jerusalem.
A UC San Diego website says that de Saint Phalle (1930-2002) "is best known for her oversized figures which embrace contradictory qualities such as good and evil, modern and primitive, sacred and profane, play and terror."

But no one calls it Golem.
We call it HaMifletset, Hebrew for "the monster."
It is a landmark.

The bottom doubles as a sand box.
The sheer size of the cavernous slide can be frightening the first time a little boy sees it.
But my grandsons gradually learned to accept and love the Monster.
(More pictures at my earlier posts.)
 UPDATE Nov. 3:  Google gave Niki a doodle in honor of her 84th birthday!
Unfortunately, as a result of inhaling toxic polyester fumes while creating her artwork, she suffered from emphysema, from which she died in 2002 at the age of 71.

(Hat tip to my fellow Israeli blogger Yael for the doodle tip. Visit her delightful blog, "More or less, simple life of a grandmother.")


William Kendall said...

I can certainly see that being a lot of fun, but intimidating for a little one the first time out.

I recall the word golem from Jewish culture, but somehow monster seems more fitting for it.

Dina said...

William, agreed! The famous Golem of Prague is so different from this Jerusalem Golem.

Linda said...

This is amazing, Dina!

Spiderdama said...

Very special. I do not know if I like it, but it is great for the kids and I really like the last picture of your grandchild

crystal said...

What a neat sculpture ... art that can be used. The golem in stories is so interesting ... there was even an X-Files episode with one once :)

VP said...

An outstanding landmark, created by a renowned artist: I am sure the kids enjoy it!

william braquemard said...

Well that's quite a monster, not too scary though.

cieldequimper said...

This is great fun, and surprisingly enough, I like it.

I'd much prefer to be combing olives though.

RedPat said...

Now that is fun!!

Sara said...

That is quite a monster with his mismatched googly eyes and three tongues spewing assorted children! But lots of fun too, once you get used to the steep incline.

Julie said...

It certainly is a monster, styled as befits the 1970s. The name "Golem" sounds like a desperate marketing ploy.

What is the collective noun for people from Jerusalem? Jerusalemites ... ?

Karl Demetz said...

That's quite a monster :-)
I like especially your last shot.

Birdman said...

Golem? ... from The Hobbit? hahaha

yael said...

It was her birthday a few days ago and Google Israel mention it. There was the first time that I heard about her.

Dina said...

Yael, thanks for the tip. I just updated the post with the Google Doodle.

Dina said...

Julie, yes, Jerusalemites. Or in Hebrew, Yerushalmim.

visualnorway said...

Seldom has a slide had a more fitting name! Pity about the artist, though.