Collection of 150-Year-Old Pictures of Jerusalem
Thanks to British
Explorers and the New York Public Library
|Cover of the Ordinance
We provide here a selection of some of the amazing photographs. Future postings will focus on particular pictures and the photographers.
|Survey photo of the "Wailing Place of the
(1865). The photo was taken by Peter Bergheim who
established a photographic studio in the Christian
Quarter of the Old City. The Survey team had its
own photographer, but, apparently, Bergheim was
subcontracted by the Survey team. (Source: New
York Public Library) See here for similar photos.
|The sealed Golden Gate, also
known as Shaar |
Harachamim (1865), is located on the eastern wall
of the Old City and closest to the site of the Jewish
Temple and the Dome of the Rock. The photo was
taken by the Survey's official photographer, James
McDonald. (Source: New York Public Library)
See here for similar photos.
The 1865 Survey contained measurements, maps and descriptions of the city of Jerusalem which was almost all contained within the Old City walls. The explorers sank shafts along the Old City walls, explored underground tunnels, cisterns and caverns, and recorded their findings.
In 1871,Wilson and Warren published The Recovery of Jerusalem, a Narrative of Exploration and Discovery in the City and the Holy Land, a memoir of their experiences in Jerusalem, including dealing with rapacious Ottoman officials, impassible roads, and local workers.
Interestingly, the Wilson-Warren book did not include photographs; it was illustrated with woodcuts such as this one possibly copied from the Bergheim photo above. And note how similar the woodcut is to the one illustrating William Seward's travelogue. Seward was Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of State who visited the Holy Land in 1859 and 1871. Both books, both published in 1871, describe Jewish prayer at the Western Wall as restricted to Friday evening.
|Woodcut in Seward's book|
|The woodcut in Wilson's book |