Talbiya or Talbiyeh ( الطالبية, טלביה) is an upscale neighborhood in Jerusalem, Israel, located between Rehavia and Katamon. 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. It is A beautiful, prestigious Jerusalem neighborhood with magnificent villas, the Talbieh neighborhood was built during the British Mandatory period. Most of these buildings are magnificent, intricately decorated samples of that period´s architectural style and well worth a look.
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. 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. Years back, 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. 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 IDF. 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.
Today, Talbieh is an upscale neighborhood, It is a very convenient place to live – a quick walk to the Old City, Ben Yehuda Street, and to the Emek Refaim area. Karen Hayesod Street, which is located just on the edge of Talbieh, carries many bus lines, so getting about via public transportation is really easy, yet does not disturb the majority of the quiet and tranquil streets in the neighborhood. It is an older, elegant neighborhood, with many of the buildings dating back to the Mandate period. Many houses in Talbieh have been declared historical buildings. The serene neighborhood, abound with gardens, is comprised of a variety of Mandate-period-buildings as well as of authentic Arab houses that have been expanded. The streets are lined with trees and the gardens are beautifully manicured. It is not difficult to understand why Talbieh is among the most popular destination for retired Olim and new Olim families. The popular Ulpan Mitchell, within a short walking distance, has primarily middle-aged and older, retired students – and most are American. It is an Anglo neighborhood, so one could easily live here and only speak English. This can also be a drawback, as there is less opportunity to speak Hebrew. On its fringes, the neighborhood today houses several embassies and consulates, the Prime Minister’s and the President’s residencies, and the Crown Symphony Hall and Auditorium. The Jerusalem Theater, with its plethora of cultural events, is located in the center of the neighborhood. The cosy little Rose Garden in Talbieh´s backyard, on Dubnov St., is the ideal place to take a break. Talbieh is considered one of the most beautiful as well as one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Jerusalem (the wealthiest streets are Hovevei Tzion, Disraeli, and Dubnov).