Conrad Schick

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Conrad Schick

Conrad Schick (1822–1901) was a German architect, archaeologist and Protestant missionary who settled in Jerusalem in the mid-nineteenth century.[1]

Biography[edit]

Tabor House, Jerusalem

Conrad Schick was born in Bitz, Württemberg, Germany. At the age of 24, after completing his studies in Basel, he settled in Palestine in October 1846.[2] The St. Chrischona Pilgrim Mission at Bettingen sent him out as missionary.[3]

When Schick died in Jerusalem in 1901, he was mourned by Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. He was buried in the Protestant cemetery on Mount Zion.[1]

Architecture and archaeology[edit]

German Hospital on Straus Street, today Bikur Holim Hospital, designed by Conrad Schick

The house that Schick built for his family, Tabor House, or Beit Tavor, on Jerusalem's Street of the Prophets, is still standing.[4] The name of the house is based on a verse from Psalms (89:12): "The north and the south, Thou has created them; Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in Thy name." The facade is decorated with carvings of palm leaves and the Greek letters Alpha and Omega, symbolizing the beginning and the end.[5] The house was bought in 1951 by Swedish Protestants, and now houses the Swedish Theological Institute for religious instruction and Land of Israel studies.[5]

Schick was chosen to design Mea Shearim, one of the first neighborhoods in Jerusalem built outside the walls of the Old City.[6]

In 1887, Schick designed the Unity of the Brethren lepers' hospital Jesus Hilfe, since 1885 led by his son-in-law Dr. Adalbert Einsler (1848–1919), a landmark building (today's Hansen Government Hospital for Lepers) that can still be seen today near the Jerusalem Theater in Talbiya.[7] Other buildings designed by Schick are St. Paul's Anglican Chapel and the German Deaconesses Hospital (today the eastern wing of Bikur Holim Hospital), both on Street of the Prophets.[8]

Schick is also remembered for his fifty years of archaeological investigations of Jerusalem and its surroundings. He worked for many years for the Palestine Exploration Fund, publishing frequently in the Fund's journal.[9] In 1872, Schick was permitted to conduct research on the Temple Mount, which was generally off limits to foreigners. Consequently he built models of the Temple Mount (see below).[10]

Biblical models[edit]

Schick's model of Temple Mount, Schmidt School, Jerusalem, with portrait of Schick in the background

Schick constructed a notable series of models of the Muslim buildings of the Haram al-Sharif on the Temple Mount, and some somewhat outdated replicas of the Jewish Temple based on the information available in his time.

Two wooden models of the Temple Mount he built were exhibited in the Turkish pavilion at the Vienna World Exposition of 1873. Haim Goren of Tel-Hai Academic College says that one of the models, measuring 4 by 3 meters, did not find a buyer after the end of the World Fair. It was housed at the Chrischona mission near Basel, Switzerland for 138 years. It was recently purchased by Christ Church in the Old City of Jerusalem.,[7][11] King Charles I of Württemberg bought the other and subsequently raised Schick to the rank of Royal Württembergian Hofbaurat (Privy Construction Councillor) for his excellent work.,[10][12]

His replica of the biblical Tabernacle was visited in Jerusalem by several crowned heads of state, toured the United Kingdom, and was exhibited at the 1873 Vienna World Fair.[12]

Schick built a replica of the Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock for the Ottoman Sultan. His final model, in four sections, each representing the Temple Mount as it appeared in a particular era, was exhibited at the St. Louis World's Fair of 1904.[12]

Two models of the Temple Mount created by Schick are located in the basement of the Schmidt School for Girls on Nablus Road, just outside of the Old City of Jerusalem near the Damascus Gate. One model shows the Temple Mount as it was in the 1870s, based on his research. The other is a somewhat fanciful model of the Jewish Temple.

Commemoration[edit]

The Conrad Schick Library in Christ Church, Jerusalem in the Old City of Jerusalem is named for him.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b British mission to the Jews in nineteenth-century Palestine, by Yaron Perry, Routledge, 2003, p. 110.
  2. ^ Remembering Conrad Schick
  3. ^ August Strobel, Deine Mauern stehen vor mir allezeit: Bauten und Denkmäler der deutschen Siedlungs- und Forschungsgeschichte im Heiligen Land, Gießen: Brunnen, 1998, (= Biblische Archäologie und Zeitgeschichte; vol. 7), p. 65. ISBN 3-7655-9807-0
  4. ^ Rehov Hanevi'im - Around the houses, Jerusalem Post
  5. ^ a b Jerusalem architecture
  6. ^ Peeking through the highrises: famed Jerusalem street's old architectural glories, Haaretz
  7. ^ a b Life of Conrad Schick
  8. ^ Christian architecture in Jerusalem
  9. ^ Measuring Jerusalem: the Palestine Exploration Fund and British interests in the Holy Land, John James Moscrop, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2000, p. 101
  10. ^ a b August Strobel, Conrad Schick: ein Leben für Jerusalem; Zeugnisse über einen erkannten Auftrag, Fürth: Flacius-Verlag, 1988, p. 44. ISBN 3-924022-18-6
  11. ^ Tiny model of Temple Mount returns to Jerusalem, Haaretz
  12. ^ a b c Simon Goldhill, The Temple of Jerusalem, Harvard University Press, p. 129
  13. ^ Rare books library

External links[edit]