History of The New Imperial Hotel

About New Imperial Hotel

 In the Holy Land, there are historical monuments that still stand today as a firm and solid filled within an air of grandeur as when they were built over 100 years ago. The buildings with their charming façade have a unique place in the history of The Holy Land. While they may not be particularly impressive today, they were witness to important and moving historical events and do still retain an air of past grandeur.

One of the oldest hotels in the Holy Land is the new imperial hotel which is attractively located in front of the Citadel as you enter the old city of Jerusalem from its northern jaffa gate. This is the one of the busiest entrances to the old city. The Arabic name for it is bab ell-khalil ( Gate of the Friend)  in reference to Abraham , forefather of both Jews and Arabs and the friend of god.  The wall bears the inscription in Arabic: “there is no god but Allah and Abraham is the friend of Allah” from here entered Jerusalem the Moslem caliph Omar Ibn alkhattab after its capture in 638AD. Also from here in December 1917 entered general Allenby, commander of the British forces which captured Jerusalem during world war one heading a victory parade. In the area where you now find the new imperial hotel and beyond it, there were fields here wheat grew in the winter. In the summer, the empty fields became dumping grounds for carcasses of donkeys, camels and horses.

The Turkish authorities moved this “cemetery” outside the wall and the grand new hotel was built in its place in 1884. Travelers began to write of the new hotel with grand facilities inside jaffa gate when it first opened. Its round arched windows are articulated with dentils beneath an archivolt high on pedestals on the roofs tailing sit fine” Grecian urns”. The building is built of a light red variation of Jerusalem stone. The Greek Orthodox Church owns the building.

When it was under construction there was discovered a pool of a light red Batsheba from the supposition that Uriahs wife was bathing here when seen by David. It is now cistern underneath the hotel. here also was discovered a part of second wall , Roman tiles of the Tenth Legion and part of the shaft of column bearing a votive inscription in honor of Augustan Legate, Marcus Julius Maximus, erected by the tenth legion. The column now forms a pedestal of a street lap; a bomb scalped it in 1948. in the late 1940s it became known as Morcos hotel.

 

 

Kaiser Wilhelm II stayed here when he visited Holy Land in 1898. the wall between the gate and the citadel was torn down and the moat filled by the ottoman Sultan Abdel Hamid II in order to permit the Kaiser and his wife to ride into the city. In the 1950s and 1960s it had an elegant ballroom in which many weddings were held sitting on the hotels balcony overlooking Omar Ibn Al-khatab square, one observes below an ever changing mosaic of people, images colors and sounds