Ruth's Blog

Jerusalem as the Center of the World

This sculpture – Jerusalem as the Center of the World – is one of my favorite places in Jerusalem. I have many favorite places in the city and I don’t even try to rank them. As my mother says about her children and grandchildren: “They are all wonderful in different ways”.

I love the sculpture for its elegance. I love it for the crisp blue sky and the Old City encapsulated in the globe. You can go into it and out of it. Any photograph taken with it looks great. And I love its timeless message.

A closer look reveals that the globe is placed over the Bunting Map which depicts the world with Jerusalem (of course) as its center. The map is also known as The Clover Map, since Europe, Asia and Africa are placed as three clover leaves surrounding the city. The map is by Heinrich Bunting (1545-1606), a German Protestant pastor, theologist and cartographer. The original map can be seen online and at the Eran Laor Cartographic Collection at the National Library of Israel:

Jerusalem as the Center of the World

The sculpture is by the British sculpture David Breuer-Weil . Breuer-Weil placed another mesmerizing globed sculpture outside the Jerusalem hospital Shaarei Tzedek.

The piece is named Soul and rather than mirroring the old city of Jerusalem, it reflects the people of the city on their way to and from receiving health care. The plaque at the foot of the sculpture reads: “Whoever sustains one life, it is as if he sustained the whole world” (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5).

“Jerusalem as the Center of the World” is located at Teddy Park near Jaffa Gate. The gate and the walls of the Old City were built in the 1500s. The Clover Map is from 1581. Cartography has changed a lot since then, but I find that the sentiment of the map is still valid – Jerusalem is the Center of the World.

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