|The Kotel in the 1860s. Note how narrow and confined|
the alleyway was. (Palestine Exploration Fund)
It was taken by Frank Mason Good in the 1860s, around the same time he photographed the panorama view of Jerusalem in the title picture above.
Note the small and narrow confines of the Jewish prayer area. In the course of hundreds of years, efforts to purchase the surrounding areas were denied. Attempts to place benches or screens led to anti-Jewish riots, and the blowing of the shofar at the end of Yom Kippur was prohibited. Between 1949 and 1967 Jews were not permitted to pray at the site.
Only after the 1967 War Jews returned to the Old City of Jerusalem and the area enlarged.
|The 110-year-old Kotel photo, hand colored|
and re-photographed in color, probably
in the 1950s
|The Kotel circa 1900|
Most of the pictures were taken by the American Colony Photo Department and its successor company run by Eric and Edith Matson. They returned to the United States in the 1940s with their 22,000 photos and negatives. They apparently republished hand-colored versions of several of the American Colony's classic photographs, such as this picture of women and a Yemenite man at the Western Wall (left and right).
|"Jews wailing place" (circa 1860s)|
|"Devout Jewish women at the |
Wailing Wall" (circa 1900)