Monday, November 14, 2011

Charming old doors in an Ein Kerem convent

As you know from yesterday's post, I recently walked through the hill country over to the village of Ein Kerem.
Enlarge the photo and you will see the Sisters of Sion convent surrounded by a big white wall.
For Monday Doorways I'll show you some of my favorite doors from the beautiful enclosed and peaceful place.

As the main entrance door says, Our Lady of Sion was built in 1861.
Back then Ein Kerem was an Arab village and we were all ruled by the Ottoman Turks.

This nice entrance is to one of the guesthouses.

Not sure what this door leads to . . . .

Near the cemetery, the nice old stones showing through.

A storage place with a heart carved in the shutters.

In the food garden, one of the few gateways through the thick outer wall.
Two French brothers who converted to Catholicism founded the orders of the Sisters of Zion and the Fathers of Zion and built this convent in Moslem Ein Kerem.
As the fine Jerusalem, Step by Step guidebook points out,

"The convent, built in surroundings hostile to Christians, looks like a fortress: high, thick walls, water reservoirs inside the grounds and a vegetable garden so that the nuns could grow their own food and withstand a siege."

I'll show you pictures of these elements in coming posts, inshallah.
This post is also for Our World Tuesday.


Louis la Vache said...

Wow, Dina! You win the prize for the most doorways in a Monday Doorways post - and a fascinating post it is, too!

Dina said...

Louis la Vache, merci. Is the prize a doorknob?
Seriously, Notre Dame de Sion is a fascinating place.

Kim, USA said...

Wow Dina another beautiful information. Hope to see more ^_^ Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful doors...captured nicely. So much history in your world...Christian Sisters in the middle of a land ruled by Ottoman Turks. How did they witness to others who were or might want to become Christians? Was their fortress ever overrun? But then God was/is their shield and their defender!

Rob Siemann said...

So many nice doors. Seems to be a church door day at Louis's!

Dina said...

Theanne and Baron, I don't think the sisters ever had trouble from the neighbors. I'd have to research their 19th C. history somewhere.
Re your question, How? Well, sometimes just a visible (and that place is huge!) presence of peace and prayer in the Holy Land is enough of a "witness."
I can only quote from the guidebook which I mentioned. The authors say about the Ratisbonnes [the ex-Jewish brothers]that "Their goal was to convert all Jews (and if possible a few Moslems too) to Christianity." So Alphonse came to Israel in 1855 to try.
But "even during Ratisbonne's life, the focus of the convent's activities shifted, with humanitarian aid replacing missionary work." In 1860 the Sisters of Sion took in the orphans who survived the massacre of some 10,000 Maronite Christians by the Druze in Lebanon.
The guidebooks continues, "Ratisbonne's death led to another dramatic change. Instead of trying to convert Jews, the nuns began preaching love of the Jewish people among the Gentiles. . . ."

VP said...

Nice, but it looks more a fortress than a convent!

Shannara said...

Lovely pics. =)

cieldequimper said...

I agree with VP. I like though. I like a lot.

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Love all the different doorways and stone work.

Dianne said...

Wonderful to see the stone-work and those charming doors Dina.

Esther Garvi said...

Definitively a place I would love to visit!!

Tania said...

Looks like a wonderful walk..
I like that guesthouse very much, but
I am weak of heart.. I fell for that window with a small heart:-)

Robin said...

Lovely doors. Ein Kerem has so much character, doesn't it?

My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography on etsy and Society6 and bring home something beautiful today!

Unknown said...

hello beautiful Dina,BRRRRRRRRRRRRR our third day of snow here. I thought I would come over and warm up in the spiritual fires of jerusalem daily photos, I cant believe I said that oh well it is a good thing to say.

thankyou for this history. it is amazing how religion can reach out and touch so many issues where it probably doesnt belong.
HUGS and shalom

Unknown said...

oh thanks for the comment here Dina. Isn't that wonderful - they started an orphanage-that must be so rewarding.

Kay L. Davies said...

Fascinating post, Dina.
I was pleased to read that the sisters began preaching love of the Jewish people.
I'd never consider trying to convert my Jewish husband (not that he'd pay any attention to me) because I believe the words "religious freedom" should be taken literally.

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

Frostbite and Sunburn said...

Lovely series of shots portraying so much history - if those walls could speak .... thanks for sharing.

Arija said...

Another of your wonderful and informative posts. For millenia people have been fortifying their residences and they still do. One would have thought that the human race was capable to live together in peace.

Jim said...

Great shots.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Petrea Burchard said...

There's always something fascinating to see and learn on your blog, Dina.

Kay said...

Very beautiful doors and windows, Dina. What an interesting place. That guest house looks like a comfortable place to stay.

diane b said...

It sure looks like a safe haven. The variety of doors is interesting.

Anna said...

So beautiful captures Dina!
I really love the view and al de doorways...
Greetings from a misty Holland,
Anna :-))

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your response Dina...I like the change the Sisters made in their teach Gentiles to love Jews!

It's always amazing to me how many Christians tend to forget that Jesus was a Jew!

Pietro Brosio said...

What a fascinating sequence, Dina, really enjoyable.
I have a 56K connection, it's not fast, is it?...

genie said... really does sit way up there. Would love to walk all around it. Such a beautiful place. genie