Old Katamon

Katamon (Arabic: قطمون‎, Hebrew: קטמון‎) is a neighbourhood in south-central Jerusalem, Israel. The official Hebrew name, Gonen (Hebrew: גּוֹנֵן‎‎), is only used in municipal publications. Katamon is derived from the Greek kata tōi monastēriōi (“below the monastery”).[1]

Geography

Katamon is bounded by the neighborhoods of Talbiya in the northeast, and the German Colony and Greek Colony to the southeast. The neighbourhood is bounded on its south side by Rachel Imenu street and Hizkiyahu Ha’Melech street (separating it from the Greek Colony), and on its east side by Kovshey Katamon street (separating it from Talbiya). These streets connect to Emek Refaim and Rehov ha-Palmach,[8] respectively.

History

Katamon was established just before World War I. German aerial photographs taken during the war show a grid of building lots demarcated by stones.[2] By 1914, a total of 5 homes had been built.[3] From 1924, building activity resumed, mostly by affluent Christian Arabs, who built large mansions there.

 

Landmarks

A major site in Katamon was the St. Simon monastery, on a hilltop to the north. The monastery is now surrounded by a large park in the neighborhood known as Givat Oranim.

The neighbourhood was home to the Hapoel Jerusalem football club from its foundation in the 1930s until it moved to the YMCA Stadium in the 1980s. In 2007, several dissatisfied Hapoel Jerusalem fans formed a new club, naming it Hapoel Katamon after the club’s former home, although the new club does not play in the neighbourhood.[9]

Katamon was the home of several foreign consulates, among them the Greek consulate, the Italian consulate, and the Costa-Rican consulate. The old Hapoel stadium was purchased by developers and is now the site of the upscale Ganei Katamon neighborhood, surrounding Ofira Navon park.

The Misgav Ladach hospital on the southern edge of the neighbourhood specialized in maternity care, but is now a Kupat Holim Meuhedet diagnostic center. The L. A. Mayer Institute for Islamic Art is also located on Palmach Street in Katamon. Katamon also houses the core community of Erloi Hassidism, as well its yeshiva, Ohel Shimon. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem has been based in Katamon since 1997.

 

 

properties in Old Katamon

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