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Rare Turn-of-the-Century Color Photos of Jerusalem Reveal the Holy City's Simple, Ancient Glory

Abra Forman : Sep 13, 2017 : Breaking Israel News

Through these stunning photographs, it is possible to return through history to the very dawn of Israel as a geopolitical reality and witness life in the land as never seen before.

(Israel)—[Breaking Israel News] Though historical photos of Jerusalem and Israel in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries do exist, most are in black and white. But in the late nineteenth century, a revolutionary lithographic method known as photochrom was invented, and black and white pictures were transformed into color—though not the kind of color photography most are familiar with today. The method lent itself to a painterly and artistic style, resulting in pictures that seemed more like artwork than photos. (Photo: An Arab tailor/National Library/via BIN)

Two photochrom albums, dating from around 1900, from the National Library of Israel's archives reveal turn-of-the-century Jerusalem and Israel in astoundingly beautiful color. From the most iconic spots in the city, such as the Western Wall or Jaffa Gate, to Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem and the Jordan River, the photos captured a life which likely had more in common with Biblical times than modern. 

Donkeys are visible in and around the Old City, led by Arab and Jewish merchants dressed in...

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