Project prepared for the Municipality of Jerusalem

The main reason for the fame of Ein Karem lies in its identification as the birth place of John the Baptist and the place at which his mother, Elisheva, met with Mary – thus making it of great significance to Christianity. From the tenth century onwards Ein Karem begins to feature increasingly in sources – at first mentioned in passing by crusaders, monks and pilgrims. From then on, Ein Karem has been numbered amongst the more attractive sites in Jerusalem and forms an important stop on the tourist route. The picturesque village is surrounded by ancient views: olive trees more than six hundred years old, remnants of agriculture from the second Temple period, historic stones supporting ancient paths, foundations of churches from the Roman period, wine presses hewed out of stone, Canaanite graves, Churches and a Mosque. This document aims to provide a planning model for the endurance of a complicated urban structure (Ein Karem) with a large quantity of visitors passing through it and lodging therein. The model aspires to provide a basis of intellectual and planning tools which may also be used in other parts of the city which are facing similar difficulties. The aim of the model is to contribute to the increasing numbers of tourists visiting the city. Within the framework of this document three major subjects have been identified:

  • Evaluation of the capacity of Ein Karem in regards to various issues linked with tourism.

  • Proposal of solutions and tools, which use will offer both tourists and residents ease of movement.

  • The creation of a model, planning tools and language, which will be available for use in order to solve similar problems in other neighborhoods and eventually in the city as a whole.