Bethlehem: Palestine’s unrivalled museum hotspot for both quality and variety

From 

Museums of Bethlehem

There is more to the “house of meats” than Christmas. Bethlehem has become Palestine’s unrivalled museum hotspot for both quality and variety. Here we present you with some reasons to visit during the other eleven months of the year.

The Environmental Education Center (EEC)

The EEC’s natural museum is unique in Palestine and includes over 2,500 samples of various fossilised and stuffed animals, some of which were stuffed as far back as 1902. The museum includes various types of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish that were uniquely stuffed to attract viewers and generate a sense of curiosity and love for knowledge. The samples at the museum are a scientific tool to study, categorise, and compare various species. The museum also protects our natural heritage and preserves a number of samples of extinct and endangered animal species. It is a marvellous and exceptional destination for students, researchers, and the interested public; it also encourages locals and internationals to take advantage of ecotourism to Palestine.

Fun Fact: The EEC incorporates a “ringing station” where ornithologists monitor the local bird population by means of radar.

For further information, contact Simon Awad at eec@p-ol.com.

Baituna al-Talhami Museum

Bethlehem’s Baituna al-Talhami Museum or the Bethlehem Folklore Museum is one of the most original museums in Palestine. The establishment consists of two houses of typical Palestinian architecture, which include a renovated kitchen, a diwan, a bedroom, and an upper floor or illeyeh. The contents of the museum include a collection of traditional Palestinian household items displayed in an old house. A restored room was added, and it is one of the few authentic old houses left in Bethlehem. It includes an intensive collection of photographs, furniture, and works of art that show life in Bethlehem from 1900 to 1932.

Fun Fact: Originally established by the Arab Women’s Union in 1948, the museum also functioned as a shelter for refugees; it provides services for them to this day.

For further information, contact the museum at bawu9@yahoo.com.

International Nativity Museum

In the basement of the nineteenth-century Salesian Convent in the heart of Bethlehem, within easy walking distance of the Nativity Church, lies the International Nativity Museum. It hosts one of the richest and most valuable collections of cribs in the Holy Land: over 200 artistic nativity representations donated by 52 countries of the world as a universal tribute to Bethlehem and its history. The experience, derived from the unique atmosphere and the charming collection, is culturally enriching, enchanting, and guaranteed to surprise.

Fun Fact: The museum was founded under the direction of Dr. Alfredo Troisi, a big music fan who went on to create the Giovanni Zenatello International Prize for Opera.

For further information, contact Elisa Nucci at nativitymuseum@salesianbethlehem.com.

Artas Folklore Center

The folklore centre provides a window into the “most studied village in Palestine.” Artas has been the focus of archaeological study for centuries, and this historical building serves to highlight the village’s cultural and ecological blessings. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Artas Valley, the Artas Spring, and the shrine of Hortus Conclusus and its enchanting gardens, the centre serves to maintain these treasures and raise public awareness in order to engender pride in them. The centre also has a programme to protect threatened buildings and hosts an in-house folklore troupe that delivers traditional performances.

Fun Fact: The centre has hosted the renowned Artas Lettuce Festival for the past 17 years.

For further information, contact Abeer Jaber at _y_jaber@yahoo.com.

Posted on July 30, 2011, in What to See. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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