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النشر الإلكتروني

CHAPTER VII.

Topography of Jerusalem continued-Public Buildings-Hebrew Architecture-Baths-Bazaar, or Street of ShopsDulness of the other Quarters-Population of JerusalemHarat-el-Yahoud, or Jews' Quarter-Their Houses and Synagogues-Visit to the Khakham, or Chief Rabbi-State of the Jews in Jerusalem-Stones of the ancient Temple.

JERUSALEM, Aug. 21.-The streets of Jerusalem are only partially paved, for where the naked rock appears, it is made to serve this purpose; and owing to the inequality of the ground on which they stand, one scarcely ever passes over an uninterrupted level of more than twenty yards together. Many of them are arched over, which, coupled with their narrowness, gives a gloomy appearance to the town, already rendered sufficiently dull by the heavy style of its architecture-a degeneration from

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that of the Hebrews. The houses are built of large rough stones, close to each other, and are seldom more than two stories high. They resemble fortresses, little more being seen towards the street than a plain wall, and a mean entrance, the windows mostly looking into the interior court. Every house has a terrace or dome, the roofs being universally built of this form, as no timber can be procured except from a great distance. The effect of these dull masses when seen from above, is singularly monotonous, the minarets and cupolas of the churches and mosques, alone appearing above the level, to break the uniformity. The public buildings are not numerous, and excepting those consecrated to religious worship, there are none worthy of notice. We visited the baths, situated in the Turkish quarter, but we found them greatly inferior to similar establishments in other parts of the East. The Bazaar, or street of shops, is arched over, dark and gloomy, the shops paltry, and the merchandize exposed for sale, of an inferior quality. This is the only part of Jerusalem where any signs of life are shown. But even here, round the heart, (for it is situated in the centre), the pul

sations of the expiring city, are faint, and almost imperceptible; its extremities are already cold and lifeless. In the other quarters of the town, you may walk about a whole day without meeting with a human creature.

The modern population of Jerusalem is variously estimated by travellers, and its proportions, still more at variance with one another. The discrepancy in their accounts is attributable, partly to the difficulty of procuring such statistical details, and partly to their coming here at various periods of the year, so (the inhabitants here are divided into residents and non-residents); that all have anequal claim to correctness. From the information I have been able to procure, and from my own personal observations, I am inclined to believe that the fixed residents do not exceed twelve thousand, if even so many. Of these, perhaps two-thirds are Mussulmen. Of the other third, two-thousand five hundred are Jews. the residue being divided amongst the Christian sects. Owing to the presence of strangers at certain seasons of the year, particularly towards Easter, the above estimate, at those periods, may be carried to about half as much more, making a total aggre

gate of eighteen-thousand persons present at one time. The casual population is crowded into the convents, or into buildings belonging to them. If all quarters were equally well-inhabited, the modern city of Jerusalem is capable of containing from five and twenty to thirty-thousand souls; but besides the great enclosure of the mosque of Omar, there are several large spaces unoccupied by dwelling-houses.* The Mussulman portion, as in all sacred cities, are distinguished for their intolerance and fanaticism, and on this account the traveller should be on his guard, and respect their prejudices.

Decidedly the most interesting population of Jerusalem is that of the Jews themselves. Here, as in all other Eastern towns, they are confined to a particular quarter. The part they occupy in Jerusalem is the hollow space lying between the site of the ancient temple, and that part of Mount Zion which is included within the walls. It is called Harât-el-Yahoud. Their habitations have a mean appearance from without, being generally built of

See Appendix. No. 17.

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