Usually saying “Jerusalem” they imagine a city-museum in which almost every stone is a historical monument. However, not only that attracts tourists today. In the city – an incredible number of exhibition halls, museums and galleries of modern art.
The huge Israel Museum, which opened after reconstruction in July this year, is located on an area of eight hectares. There is nothing from the boredom of a frozen story. In art galleries concerts and theater performances are held, so even if you are not a lover of fine art, but just came to listen to music, it is impossible to ignore the interiors. And on weekends in the museum are “silent” discos. They give out wireless headphones to everyone who comes in – and it begins: the DJ sets the music to which everyone dances, admiring the light projections on the walls of the museum. From the side, the dancing crowd looks unrealistic: in complete silence, people raise their hands, sometimes in a quiet choir singing along to their favorite songs. In a word, it is not surprising that the Museum of Israel does not even cram through at night.
The Tower of David Museum is located in the medieval citadel in the Old City. It hosts exhibitions of contemporary art, concerts, lectures on art. And from the top of the tower, which serves today as an observation deck, offers a fantastic view of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem Cinematheque is another interesting place. It was founded by Leah van Lear, winner of the State Prize of Israel and holder of the Order of the Legion of Honor of France. Now she is 86 years old and retired, but this does not prevent Cinemateca from acting actively. An international film festival is held here annually, and the rest of the time there are exhibitions, film screenings and training programs. One of the most famous local projects is I Am You Are, in which mixed groups of Jewish and Arab teens jointly make short films on the peaceful coexistence of representatives of different faiths. Among these films there are real masterpieces, which are then shown at various festivals around the world.
Hotels and SPA
The Dead Sea is far from the only place in Israel where SPA lovers should go. Almost every hotel has its own wellness center. By the way, the Israelis are well versed in SPA: for them this concept includes not just a standard set of tourists (manicure, pedicure, foot massage and face mask against fatigue after a flight), but also a wide selection of different procedures for the most sophisticated. Moreover, the local SPA is relatively inexpensive. So, in the chic five-star hotel The David Citadel Hotel in the very center of the city, Ayurvedic Shirodara will cost you $ 50, a Swedish massage with Pevonia Botanica cosmetics – $ 72, and a face mask with caviar – $ 157. A signature relaxing massage with seashells, during which you will be put on shell “headphones” to listen to the sound of the sea, costs a little more than $ 100.
The holistic retreat at the neighboring Mamilla design hotel, created by Italian designer Piero Lissoni, will start working in the fall of 2010, but now it can be assumed that its opening will be an event for those who like to take care of themselves at the highest level. The spa manager for both hotels in the neighborhood is the same, and you need to sign up for the working center at The David Citadel Hotel in a few days – there are always a lot of people who want to get there.
In the meantime, Mamilla is pleased with the service and striking with its interiors: a mixture of ultramodern technologies and cozy details makes you feel at home here. The creators of particular pride are the internal partitions in the rooms, made of special glass using liquid crystal technology. Press the button – and the bathroom, located right in the middle of the room, is clouded, hiding from view.
The Israelis say: “Jerusalem is praying, Haifa is working, Tel Aviv is having fun.” Joking as a joke, but a few years ago, according to local residents, the city was completely different. A year and a half ago, the former mayor, ultra-religious Uri Lupolyansky, was replaced by a very secular Nir Barkat. He carried out a series of reforms designed to attract secular Israelis, young professionals, and even more tourists to the city. Cafes, restaurants, night clubs, many cultural events – despite the rich and magnificent history, Jerusalem is an ultramodern city where you can find entertainment for every taste. “Today, two million people come to visit us,” said the mayor. “But I hope that in the near future there will be five times more guests.” By the way, as a salary, Nir Barkat, a multimillionaire who made a fortune in the computer technology market, receives … 1 shekel (about 30 cents) per year. Not too expensive for such a job!