|Were these "Ashkenazi Jews" really actors?|
The picture named "Ashkenazi Jews" (1876) was taken in the Mediterranean Hotel courtyard located on Hagai St. in the Muslim quarter of the Old City.
The keys holder is seen in back on the right hand side and show the place for 22 keys. The "Ashkenazi Jews" in the photo are actors dressed up as such, and in another picture taken in the same location they are dressed as Christian characters from Jerusalem.
The hotel is described in Charles Warren book "Underground Jerusalem" and housed the P.E.F expedition in 1867 as well as the famous writer Samuel Clements (Mark Twain) on his tour in 1867 well documented in the travel book "Innocents Abroad."
The location of the hotel was found several years ago By Yoni Shapira, and in collaboration with archeologist Dr. Shimon Gibson and Dr. Rupert Chapman the story will be published by the P.E.F. later this year in a book called "Tourists, Travelers and Hotels in Nineteenth-Century Jerusalem."
Thank you, Yoni. Indeed, some of the photograph's subjects don't quite look "kosher."
We present below two photographs from the Library of Congress collection with references to the Mediterranean Hotel, taken in the same time period as the "Ashkenazi Jews."
We hope they help you in your research.
|Interior of Jaffa Gate from near Hotel Mediterranean|
(Felix Bonfils, photographer, between 1870 and 1880)
Note the narrow Jaffa Gate some 20 years before the Turks
reconstructed the entrance
|"Pool of Hezekiah, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and Hospice|
of the Knights of St. John, from the Mediterranean Hotel"
(P. Bergheim, photographer, between 1860 and 1880)