"West Jerusalem: Sculpture Garden & Israel Museum" Jerusalem Things to Do Tip by Ekaterinburg
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The Israel Museum is large with several different buildings. There's an Archeological Wing, an Arts Wing and a Judaica and Jewish Ethnography Wing. A fairly recent addition to the museum's attractions is the open air, model of Jerusalem, previously located at the HolyLand Hotel - far better than a map for finally grasping what's where in the city- but the major attraction is the tagine-shaped building called The Shrine of the Book, which holds the Dead Sea Scrolls. This is what we came to see and after examining the model of the city from every angle and finally getting a grasp of where we actually were, this is where we headed. These 2000 year old scrolls were discovered in 1947 at Qumran near the Dead Sea and were written during the Second temple period by the Essenes, a fundamentalist sect of of jews. They are remarkably well preserved and obviously of great historical interest but I am not a lover of manuscripts behind glass and after 10 minutes I'd had enough. Outside I'd seen signs for a Sculpture Garden and I was curious to see what it contained. This is just uphill from the Shrine of the Book and a refreshing and original way to display art. In between the gravel paths, clusters of olive trees and grassy expanses, you come upon a weird and wonderful display of modern sculpture, culminating in the monumental Henry Moore piece called Vertebrae. This was the first piece of Henry Moore's work I'd seen outside of Art History books and lectures and it was a big thrill for me. I'm sorry I missed the Judaica wing as I believe there are some marvellously colourful displays there and when I revisit Jerusalem this will be high on my must-see list. Admission cost is NIS 42, a little over EUR 8. For information on opening times and current exhibitions check the website.
Address: Rupin Street, Givat Ram
Directions: In West Jerusalem, quite close to the Knesset building.
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