July 5, 2011

Not a Turkish prison!

Filed under: Biblical archaeology, Historic — acagle @ 7:20 pm

An old Turkish prison opens briefly in Jerusalem

An old Turkish prison in Jerusalem is briefly opening to the public this weekend, allowing visitors a rare glimpse inside an infamous local landmark.

The Kishle prison in Jerusalem’s Old City was built by the Ottoman Turks in the mid-1800s. It later served the British as a jail, housing Jewish and Arab prisoners in the stormy years leading up to Israel’s creation in 1948.

One of those prisoners, Samuel Matza, who was a member of a Jewish underground group as a young man, recalled sleeping on rags on the jail’s floor after British police arrested him on weapons charges 64 years ago.

Weirdest part: It will open on Saturday for three weeks, having been temporarily transformed into a concert space for a visiting troupe of Swedish musicians.

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