American Colony Hotel, Jerusalem
A point of departure and of coming together at the same time, joining people and places of different origins. One of the oldest cross-roads in the world, the ancient city of Jerusalem, is also one of the most dynamic. A meeting point of cultures, religions and histories, for some it’s a land fraught with tension, for others a place of respite.
A city bursting with contradictions and contrasts, regardless of one’s orientation its spiritual power is potent. Wandering the old city’s narrow alleys, gazing up at the glistening Dome or observing families of Orthodox Jews rushing around the souqs before the Sabbath, it’s impossible not to lose oneself to its charms.
In a city so intense, the American Colony Hotel provides welcome sanctuary. Far from the hustle and bustle on the streets, its historic premises have served as neutral ground for centuries, where travellers, journalists, pilgrims and diplomats could lay their heads when passing through. Having endured countless challenges and a series of wars, it was a bed sheet from one of its hospitals that became the white flag which initiated the truce that ended Ottoman rule in Jerusalem in 1917.
Somewhat of a cross-roads in itself, in the thrust of a larger intersection. I’m never sure which way to turn at a junction. But if you take the high road leading up from the Damascus Gate towards the American Colony Hotel, you won’t falter.