a new Isrotel site in Jerusalem's German Colony neighborhood. The facility will be built at an estimated cost of NIS 256 million, including about NIS 31 million from the ministry [of Tourism]. The hotel, which will have 256 rooms, will be located at the corner of Emek Refaim Street and Bethlehem Road. Construction is slated to begin near the end of this year and is expected to take three years.
Looking south along Emeq Refaim (the construction site is marked by the white fence on the left):
On the first building on the left:
By 1875, 100 people lived in the neighborhood. 1878 marked the beginning of a golden era. In this year the Templar leadership moved from Jaffa to Jerusalem. The head of the Templars, Christoph Hoffmann, called this the 'step' to Jerusalem....A secondary school was built in 1892 at 3 Emek Refaim. A cultural center was built at 1 Emek Refaim Street. This was transferred by Israel after 1948 to the Armenian Church.and this
The Communal Hall – 1 Emek Refaim St.
...Communal life was important to the Templars, and the Communal Hall is evidence of this. It was inaugurated in 1882 in the presence of the governor of Jerusalem, and other honorable guests. The building also served for as a place of Sunday’s prayers and sermons, but the community members made sure not to call it a church and thus it hosted performances and meetings.
The architecture is unlike that of any conventional church: the apse, the recess where the altar stands near the wall of the church, rather than facing east, faces north. The building was built in Neo-Romanesque style, which was common in Europe of the Middle-Ages. The roof has a triangle façade, embedded with a rounded window at its center and a small belfry on its vertex.
The communal life was led by the head of the colony who managed economical issues, by the communal council, and by the Council of Elders. Once a year a general meeting was held, and similarly to our government, it had to decide about the annual budget for the coming year and about other plans. It was mandatory for all citizens to participate, and those who were absent had to pay a fee of one mark, an example of the German's love of order...
and on the houses in the Colony that are on the construction site:
The School – 4, 5 Emek Refaim Street.
The children of the Templars studied in these houses. The school – lyceum – was built during two phases – the older southern part was built in 1878 and the newer northern part in 1882.
The Miller house – 6 Emek Refaim Street