Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Holy Land Tour: Independence Hall

After lunch in a nice cafe in Tel Aviv, we toured Independence Hall. As the name suggests, this is the place where the Israeli Declaration of Independence was signed. Once a private home, the building is now a museum with exhibits related to the Israeli Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration was announced by Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion on May 14, 1948 to the members of the Jewish National Council  just a few hours before the expiration of the British Mandate over the area. We viewed a brief video explaining this history and then went into the assembly hall where it all took place.

The hall itself is rather spare and not very large and reminded me of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, minus the Greek Revival architecture.

There were a couple of striking murals in the hall as well:

Two buses waited for us on the busy Tel-Aviv street as we left Independence Hall. One took those returning to Houston back to the hotel in Tel-Aviv and then to the airport. El Jefe and I boarded the other one bound for Eilat, at the southernmost tip of Israel. Our wonderful guide, Lee Glassman, did not go with us to Eilat, and we hated to part with him! The rest of the day we drove once again through the punishing desert country to the Red Sea.

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