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Shivat Tsiyon 44 Haifa


Client: Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Location: Haifa, Israel


The front face of Shibat Zion 44 is a postcard with the inscription Ospizio Terra Santa Caifa, source and year unknown. Photo courtesy of Dr. Ron Fox

The historic compound of Shivat Zion 44 includes a two-story stone building that was erected in the late nineteenth century, surrounded by a spacious front orchard, a backyard, and a stone wall delimiting the building from the north, east (along Shivat Zion St.) and south (along a public stairwell).


The documentation file was commissioned in February 2022 by the Custodia di Terra Santa, which is in charge of the properties of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land. The purpose of the file is to fill in gaps in the existing documentation as is customary in the documentation of the historical structure, and to provide a basis for development plans that the Custodia wishes to promote on the site.

In many information sources the site is identified as the home of the mayor Ibrahim Al Khalil, an identification that was tested in this work and found to be unfounded. The building was occupied until 2000/2001 and since then it has been empty and exposed to vandalism. Many of its unique architectural details (doors and windows, flooring, ceilings, tiles, the tripora) were stolen or destroyed during the twenty years that have passed since it was abandoned.

The documentation is intended to fill in the gaps in the two previous files. It does not include a systematic review of the physical characteristics of the building, since to a large extent in these matters the current file relies on the findings of the previous files. For this reason, the three dossiers should be seen as complementary documents.


The building in 2022. Photo taken by Ruth Liberty-Shalev

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