Talbieh

Talbiya or Talbiyeh (Arabic: الطالبية‎, Hebrew: טלביה‎) is an upscale neighborhood in Jerusalem, Israel, located between Rehavia and Katamon and the German Colony. It was built in the 1920s and 1930s on land purchased from the Greek Patriarchate. Most of the early residents were affluent Christian Arabs who built elegant homes with Renaissance, Moorish and Arab architectural motifs, surrounded by trees and flowering gardens.[1]

History

After World War I, Constantine Salameh, a native of Beirut, bought land in Talbiya from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate with the idea of building a prestigious neighborhood for Christian Arabs. In addition to a villa for himself, Salameh built two apartment houses on the square that was named for him.[2] After Israel’s War of Independence, some Arab residents of Talbiya lost the right to their properties due to Israel’s Absentee Property Law. Salameh, however, proved that he had not fled his home but left the country on business, and was thus paid compensation by the Israeli government.[3] Talbiya’s Gan Hashoshanim (Rose Garden) dates back to the 1930s. After the establishment of the State of Israel, official Independence Day events were held at this park.

Before the Six-Day War, many of the villas in Talbiya housed foreign consulates. The home of Constantine Salameh, which he leased to the Belgian consulate, faces a flowering square, originally Salameh Square, later renamed Wingate Square to commemorate Orde Wingate, a British officer who trained members of the Haganah in the 1930s. Marcus Street is named for Colonel David (Mickey) Marcus, an officer in the U.S. army who volunteered to be a military advisor in Israel’s War of Independence.[4]
Today
The neighborhood’s Hebrew name Komemiyut, (קוממיות) introduced after the establishment of the state, never caught on, and it is still known as Talbiya. Many of Jerusalem’s important cultural institutions are located in Talbiya, among them the Jerusalem Theater, the Van Leer Institute and Beit HaNassi, the official residence of the President of Israel.
Notable residents
• Edward Said
• Shimon Peres
• Ya’akov Ne’eman
• Martin Buber

properties in Talbieh

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