Land of Israel Style

Architecture in Israel

The Land of Israel Style is an important architectural style in the Holy Land. It is precisely the strengthening of Zionism and with it the aspiration of the new immigrants to disengage from European culture and to create a Jewish-national-independent culture; which has revived traditional Arabic architecture. The new immigrants, especially the Second Aliyah immigrants; tried to blend their Western culture with the local culture they met in the country. And through this merger, they hoped to create Hebrew culture. These efforts were evident in almost all areas, and of course in architecture as well. Two of the most prominent architectural works of this time were the Hebrew Gymnasium in Tel Aviv (Brasky). And the Technion in Haifa (Baerwald). A large part of small Tel Aviv houses carried a similar character; as did some of the colonies and yards built around the country.

More About Land of Israel Style

The characteristics of the Land of Israel style are, as mentioned, the effort to merge elements of eastern architecture in construction which is essentially western: For example, the construction was mostly symmetrical, in fairly large dimensions. And according to the principles of the organization of the rooms then common in Europe. For example, long corridors; impressive entrance hall; building; stairs at the entrance to the building, and more. But there is also a considerable effort to give all of these “oriental flavors”: great use of pointed arches or horseshoe arches, oriental decorations, flat roofs and domes, plazas, and even biblical elements such as altarpieces.

Land of Israel Style: Arab Houses

Particularly noticeable in this context was the construction of the “Arab houses” in Metula; when Baron Rothschild tried to move to local style construction. His architects designed stone houses with pointed arches; high ceilings and domed roofs for the Metula settlers. But the settlers themselves refused to reside in these houses. Either because of their eastern appearance or because of their fears of dampness. The effort to produce Western-Eastern synthesis, architecture, culture, and Zionist politics has not ceased to this day, though since the 1920’s it has become the sole possession of a minority. Therefore, buildings that meet the definitions of “Israeli architecture” can also be found in eclectic, modern, brutalist, and even contemporary architecture.


Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

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