HISTORY, ARCHITECTURE, AND LUXURY IN JERUSALEM: THE "NOBLE STREET" IS RESTORED TO ITS FORMER GLORY
The expansion beyond Jerusalem’s city walls in the middle of the 19th century was symbolized by the luxurious "Noble Street", today known as HaNeviim Street. After almost 200 years, this street has now been restored to the glory of its heyday, showcasing magnificent architecture that considers the unique aesthetic and style of its surroundings.
For thousands of years, Jerusalem has undergone continuous expansion limited only by its ancient walls. The historic development that transformed it from a typically insular city to a thriving city center began in the mid-19th century. This was the process of breaking out from the walls and building just outside them.
So, for the first time, the city developed new outskirts along the major roads leading towards it from Jaffa, Nablus, Bethlehem, and Hebron. Hostels, road services, commercial systems, and eventually residential buildings that were used by local residents and visitors, all swiftly led to municipal restructuring and reorganization.
This period symbolized the beginning of the prestigious "Noble Street", where impressive public buildings, hospitals, and churches were built in magnificent architectural styles that included decorative stonework created using unique techniques. Some affluent Jerusalemites had homes on the street, although it was not an especially wealthy city at the time and was mainly characterized by its simplicity and population density.
The luxurious "Noble Street" is known today as HaNeviim Street. Walking the length of HaNeviim Street, is a fascinating journey through time that includes dozens of historical landmarks. Dating from different periods in the city’s history, these remarkable buildings combine architecture and history from the 19th and early 20th centuries. In fact, other than the holy sites, there is no place in Jerusalem that combines aesthetic, historical, religious, and cultural values quite like HaNeviim Street.
Several years ago, following the Jerusalem Municipality's approval of a development plan for the city center, the transition began throughout the downtown area, and HaNeviim Street in particular. This development boom brought luxury residences back to HaNeviim Street, as well as the prestige characteristic of its glory days as a "Noble Street".
Compared to the Jerusalem of old, the luxury of the new Jerusalem is also reflected in the residential buildings. The modern residences now being constructed in the city combine the historic and traditional atmosphere of Jerusalem with innovative design and architecture, taking into account the unique style and aesthetics of the city, as well as the needs of its inhabitants.
For example, take a look at the luxurious HaNeviim Court residential complex, which includes a boutique hotel and commercial area. It is ideally located on HaNeviim Street at the junction of Heleni HaMalka and Monobaz Streets.
Luxurious architecture that takes into account the unique aesthetic and style of the surrounding environment
The starting point for HaNeviim Court’s architectural plans was placing special emphasis on the infrastructure and surrounding urban environment, so it would blend in with the historic buildings and wonderful architecture nearby, such as the Sergei Courtyard and Russian Compound.
According to the initial city construction plans, the building would have blocked the view of the Russian Compound, the Church of Mary Magdalene, whose unique pure golden dome is reminiscent of the 15th-17th century Kremlin churches in Moscow. Today, thanks to the attentive planning that takes account of the surroundings, if you walk down HaNeviim Street towards Monobaz Street you can enjoy unobstructed views of this historic church.
The architecture of HaNeviim Court was also influenced by the immediately adjacent building – the Sergei Courtyard, named after Grand Duke Sergei Romanov, the fifth son of Tsar Alexander II. This historic structure features a circular stone tower and tall, chess-like spires, similar to the great 19th century buildings in St. Petersburg. It is among the most richly-decorated stone buildings that exist in Jerusalem. Although HaNeviim Court also used Jerusalem stone in order to blend in with the surrounding structures, it was necessary to use simple techniques when cutting the stone so as to not compete with or detract from the impressive Sergei Courtyard.
Impressive architecture that perfectly suits the local surroundings
Another theme reflected in the building is the wide range of uses. Similar to the urban revolution the occurred in Jerusalem in the mid-19th century, with the expansion outside the walls, the new construction boom in the city center is encouraging the establishment of multipurpose areas. HaNeviim Court is a perfect example of this, as it includes a residential building, public commercial level, and boutique hotel, with a separate entrance lobby, stairwells and elevators, thereby ensuring privacy for all residents without detracting from the functions of each individual area. The entrance is through a central landscaped plaza, and each building has its own lobby. This multipurpose space also includes a hanging garden within the complex.
The HaNeviim Court residential complex is located at the heart of the Jerusalem city center, where there is almost no natural greenery. It was therefore decided to add an enclosed private garden to the building’s design, including a wooden deck and seating areas. The garden is located above the central city square, which acts as the main entrance to the complex and is open to the public. The garden, initially planned to be private and closed-off, in fact took shape as an open hanging garden, so all city residents can enjoy its beauty.