Schoolchildren in Rocky Fields
by the Old School (1882)

The German Colony with
the Railway station (1898)

Antique Map (1894)

Greeting Card from the German Colony

The German Colony in
the Late 19th Century (1898)

The Jerusalem Train Station,
Opened Near the German Colony in 1892

Historical Notes

Emek Refaim (Valley of Refaim) is mentioned in the books of Joshua and Samuel. This name is derived from a legendary race of giants who lived in the region during biblical times.
In 1873, after establishing colonies in Haifa and Jaffa, members of the German Templer sect settled on a large tract of land in the Refaim Valley, southwest of Jerusalem’s Old City. They had purchased the land from the Arabs of Beit Zafafa. The Templers were Christians who encouraged their members to settle in the Holy Land to prepare for Messianic salvation.
They built their homes in the style to which they were accustomed in Germany – farmhouses of one or two stories, with slanting tiled roofs and shuttered windows – but using local materials such as Jerusalem stone, instead of wood and bricks.

All photos in the Historical Notes section, courtesy of architect David Kroyanker, from his book “Jerusalem – The German Colony and Emek Refaim Street: Biography of a Neighborhood, Story of a City”, published by Keter and the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, 2008.

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BASMAN/TENENBAUM

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