Saturday, July 19, 2008

Backyard of the Schneller (Syrian) orphanage

These dilapidated houses are part of the Schneller orphanage compound.
The Schneller Syrian Orphanage was founded in 1860 by Father Johannes Ludwig Schneller, who came to Jerusalem from Germany as a Protestant missionary. At first, the institution took in children orphaned by the Druze massacre of Christians in Lebanon and Syria. In time, the compound grew and was walled in, and after the Second World War it became a closed army camp.

From another source:
The Syriac Orphanage in Jerusalem, also well-known as "Schneller-School", was founded by the protestant missionary Johann Ludwig Schneller. It is located in a huge building surrounded by a vast wall, which is situated on a hill in the north-west part of the historic center of Jerusalem, a distance of about 3 km to the Jaffa-Gate. It was declared open in 1860, at first as a shelter for Lebanese orphans who were victims of the prosecution of the Christian population that took place at this time, then for all Christian orphans and later on for children who survived the genocide of the Armenian people. Besides this duty in the Syriac Orphanage native teachers were also trained, who wished to join the missionary schools in Palestine. The institution was not only equipped with bedrooms and other facilities as classrooms, but also training workshops, e.g. a bakery, printer's and bookbinder's shop, a carpenter's workshop with a turnery, a tailor's and a potter's shop, a brickyard, a locksmith's and a shoemaker's workshop, as well as a church, a shop, a canteen, a home and workshop for the blind, a girl's building with a workshop, a playground, a vineyard, an apiary, stables, and a garden where vegetables and flowers were grown. In addition the institution also owned numerous houses and farms in the vicinity, and a agricultural training workshop near Ramleh. The Syriac Orphanage was closed down in 1940 by the British occupying power. In 1948 it was captured by Israeli forces. The archway bears up to these days the inscription "Syriac Orphanage" in both German and Arabic.

No comments: