- Type: Museums
NileGuide Expert Says:
See one of the most important collections of ancient artifacts and rare works of art.
NileGuide Expert tip:
Be sure to allow time for the gift shop with its selection of exquisite jewelery and glass.
This museum, opened in 1992, was founded by Dr. and Mrs. Elie Borowski, who donated an incomparable private collection of ancient Near Eastern artifacts as the nucleus of an institution that would survey cultures surrounding the ancient Judeo-Israelite world.
This is an art lovers' museum: Visitors will be amazed by the beauty of the objects on display. In the words of Dr. Borowski, a noted Near Eastern scholar and adviser to museums who carefully built his collection over a period of 40 years, "Each of the objects has its time in history, its location in space, its meaning in religion and daily life, and last but not least, its beauty and artistry."
The museum is arranged chronologically: Artifacts from differing cultures that existed at the same time are displayed side by side. Themes such as religious worship, trade, communication, and transportation are examined in ways that bring the objects to life and give you a personal, human insight into life in the times they represent.
Museum highlights: the Assyrian ivories from Nimrud (ca. 800 B.C.), including a masterpiece winged griffin delicately grazing on foliage; and the 4th-century-A.D. sarcophagus of Julia Latronilla, with its bas-relief depiction of the life of Jesus (among the earliest known representations of Jesus and of elements of Christian theology). Other objects catch the eye with their charm, vitality, or mysterious beauty: an Egyptian cosmetics container in the shape of a swimming girl (ca. 1550 B.C.); a Minoan terra-cotta sarcophagus, freely painted in bright colors with folk motifs; a 1st-century-A.D. Roman painted linen shroud with the serene, ethereal image of a woman covering its length. A special section of the museum is devoted to cylinder seals and scarabs; a remarkable computer/video program brings these minute works of art to life with detailed, fascinating explanations. There are also visiting exhibitions and new donations.
The Bible Lands Museum hosts a wonderful program of Saturday evening concerts (including wine and cheese) that often feature many of the country's most talented new immigrants. Admission for concerts is NIS 80 ($20/£10); discounts for students.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Highly Recommended 2010
- visit website
- tel: +972 2 561 1066
- fax: +972 2 563 8228
- send email
- 25 Granot St
- Beside the Israel Museum
- Jerusalem 91046
- Sun-Tues and Thurs 9:30am-5:30pm; Wed 9:30am-9:30pm; Fri 9:30am-2pm. Call ahead for a schedule of English-language tours
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