The Israeli Museum




Jeff Coons Sacred Heart

Jeff Coons Sacred Heart


The Israeli Museum in Jerusalem is one the the most interesting museums we have ever been to. Its main attraction is the Shrine of the Book which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is an amazing building – a white dome shaped like the lid of the first jar the scrolls that  were found in at Qumram between 1947 and 1956. Three quarters of the building is underground and is meant to be based on the caves in which the scrolls were found. It is dark inside and you are not allowed to take photographs.

Shrine of the Book

Shrine of the Book


Next to the shrine is a large outdoor model of Jerusalem in AD 66 just before it was destroyed by the Romans.

Jerusalem AD 66

Jerusalem AD 66

Our guide thought this was the most interesting part of the museum and was slightly incredulous that foreigners wanted to see everything else. After persuading him we really were keen to see the rest we were allowed time on our own.

First we saw the smallest bible in the world. The whole bible is inscribed on a silicon chip the size of a grain of sugar and has to be magnified 10,000 times to be readable.

Next on to the Archaeological Wing which begins with 13th century human shaped pottery coffins and has many other fascinating objects.


Archeology at Israeli Museum

13th century coffins

But by far my favourite was the exhibition to mark 50 years of German – Israeli diplomatic relations.

Twilight over Berlin. Fifty master works from the National Gallerie in Berlin that were banned by the Nazis most of which were called degenerate.

The artists were driven into hiding or exile. All the works are very powerful and there is nothing that doesn’t have a strong message.

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Lotte Laserstein     Evening over Potsdam  1930

Lastly we just had time for a quick walk around the Billy Rose Art Garden. This is designed as a Zen garden with gravel paths and we could have easily spent so much more time there.

Love in Hebrew



Looking over Jerusalem this work by Robert Indiana says Love in Hebrew, we didn’t even have time to wait for the people to move so I could take a photo.

A place to go back to.