The German Colony, known in Hebrew as HaMoshava HaGermanit; is one of Jerusalem’s most popular neighborhoods. The German Colony is a fascinating mixture of Jewish traditions; Arab and German architecture; and American modernity. As you stroll through the community; you will witness stately manors; upscale restaurants; and high-end boutiques. Unlike the many more traditional Jewish neighborhoods in the historic city of Jerusalem, the German Colony gives off a cosmopolitan vibe.
The reason why this neighborhood is so vastly different from others is due to its history. The neighborhood was established by the German Templers who had previously created colonies like the German Colony in Haifa and Jaffa; which quickly explains why this neighborhood is called the German Colony! The Templers were a sect of Christians who had broken away from the Protestant Church and encouraged members to immigrate to the Holy Land to prepare for the Second Coming. Soon, though, the demographics of the German colony changed.
The German Colony – A Hip Place to Walk Around
Over the years, this neighborhood attracted quite a few wealthy Christian Arabs to move in, who, in turn, left their unique mark on the community. When the Templers made the poor choice to support Hitler in the 1930s, their time in this neighborhood came to an end when the British authorities kicked them out. Then, during the War of Independence, the fighting between the Jewish and Arab populations caused all the Arabs living in the German Colony to flee; leaving it nearly empty until new Jewish immigrants and Americans settled there. Peace and gentrification soon led this neighborhood to grow and become what we know it as today.
While German people originally established the German Colony; those who live here now are primarily upper-class Israelis and Americans. As you walk down the street, you will rarely hear anyone speaking German; you will mainly hear English as the predominant language, and occasionally Hebrew as well. English as the primary language is one reason why so many tourists flock to this neighborhood.
However, the main reason the German Colony became one of the most popular neighborhoods in Jerusalem is due to Emek Refaim Street that bisects the area. Fashionable boutiques, charming cafes, and delightful restaurants line the Emek Refaim; offering plenty of things to see and do for all kinds of tourists. Whether you want to watch a movie, go window shopping, or grab a delicious bite to eat, the German Colony is the place to be!