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“Jerusalem's 'Central Park'. Literally.”
Review of Independence Park

Independence Park
Ranked #123 of 304 things to do in Jerusalem
Attraction details
Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
228 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
“Jerusalem's 'Central Park'. Literally.”
Reviewed March 2, 2012

This is the largest park in the centre of Jerusalem. The eastern part is built on a late Crusader and Moslem cemetery, which was mainly cleared after 1950. It was cleared based on the Religious decision of the then Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who permitted a major part of the cemetery to be cleared so he could build his Orient Palace Hotel on the site (across Agron St. from the park; presently being restored and enlarged as a Waldorf Astoria Hotel and Residences), in 1931.
There is a superb late Crusader tomb monument in the area, near to the huge Mamilla pool, itself part of the Jewish Second Temple period water system to supply water to the city and the Temple sacrificial cult 2000 years ago (you need a lot of water to wash down the area after all those sheep, cattle, doves, and oxen have been sacrificed). It would make a great outdoor swimming pool - it must be more than Olympic size!
On Mondays and Thursdays, many visitors to Jerusalem who've brought their sons to celebrate Bar Mitzvas at the Western Wall, come here to have a BBQ. More than once, as I've gone by, I've wished a happy family 'Mazal Tov!' (Hebrew for Congratulations), and been invited to share a delicious meal of lamb or chicken on the grill. I've taken to having on me a 2000 yr.old Jewish coin in a silver mount, on a silver chain, which I give the Bar Mitzva boy as a gift. I buy the genuine coins at a registered Antiquities Dealer (they are US$5 - 50, depending on quality, plus the mounting and chain, another US$25 in silver, a lot more these days in gold; I usually buy coins for ±US$20 each).
I've met some very nice people this way.
After dark it is a well known cruising area for Gays who, because of their Ethnic or religious sensitivity (Christian or Moslem Arabs, or ultra-Orthodox Jews or Religious Jews from Arab countries) do not feel comfortable in the Open House (HaBayit HaPatuach), the Gay Centre a few minutes walk away off Shlomzion HaMalka St.

Visited February 2012
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