Colonial Room With a View by the Forward

Colonial Room With a View

Image by Aviad Barness

Crossposted from Haaretz

Standing in the sunken garden at the bottom of the former British High Commissioner’s headquarters in Armon Hanatziv, a neighborhood in southeast Jerusalem, it’s easy to imagine the cocktail parties once held here by British Mandate officials. Members of Arab and Jewish high society would gather with them under the arched portico, which overlooks both sides of the garden. The discussions included diplomacy, politics and the future of the British Empire, mixed with strained humor about relations among the local residents.

The various nations that have conquered Israel bequeathed a legacy of grand buildings — from the Roman fortress of Masada, to Byzantine citadels and the arched palaces of effendis in Acre. But the British High Commissioner’s headquarters is the only one that still serves more or less its original purpose. It has not been turned into a museum, hotel or visitors center, or, on the other hand, left to sink into ruin. Since the British Mandate ended in 1948 and to this day, it has been used as UN headquarters and as the private home of the commander of UN forces. The sunken garden has lost some of its splendor and its exclusive crowd, but now and then it hosts weddings or other parties held by UN staff.

Read more at Haaretz.com

Author

Colonial Room With a View

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Colonial Room With a View

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close