The Mamilla neighborhood has changed drastically over the last 150 years. From one of three Herodian reservoirs to the upscale pedestrian mall that it is today, the neighborhood Mamilla, whose name probably is derived from the Arabic term “that which comes from God,” is one of our favorite places to eat Friday breakfast before exploring the Old City.
Here is a photo history of Mamilla with the changes clearly described through the progression.
The Mamilla Pool was constructed during the Herodian period to feed one of the six pools around the Temple Mount—the Pool of the Towers. It functioned via aqueducts.
Mamilla pool in Jerusalem, Israel (1854)
During the Ottaman Period, Mamilla consisted mostly of olive trees and pathways which, after many years, became what is now known as
Jaffa Road. One of the first buildings to be built was the Hospice Saint Vincent de Paul. Mamilla included some of the first neighborhoods built outside of the Old City walls to relieve the overcrowding.
Theodor Herzl's visit with a delegation of Zionist leaders (1898)
The British demolished some construction outside of the city walls including the clock tower on the Old City walls before leaving in 1947. This seedy neighborhood became a highly contentious area that was heavily fired upon from the Old City until 1967, when it was conquered by Israel during the war.
Mamilla Neighborhood during the British period (1917-1947)
British demolition of the buildings along the Old City walls (1944)
In 1986 a massive construction project was planned which finally got underway in 2007, to finish rehabilitating the neighborhood. An upscale pedestrian mall, public parking and a hotel were built on the open land between the new and old cities of Jerusalem.
Mamilla Mall Constrction (2007)
(Picture taken with permission from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mamilla_construction.jpg )
Today, Mamilla includes an upscale shopping area that is a great place to walk through and enjoy the new architecture, before starting your visit in the Old City.
Mamilla Mall (2009)