Courtyard neighborhood

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Beit David courtyard neighborhood in Jerusalem
Map of Mea Shearim, a courtyard neighborhood in Jerusalem

Courtyard neighborhoods are Jewish neighborhoods built in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.[1] The inward-facing and defensible traditional urban housing of the Near East, ordinarily occupied by an extended family, was adapted in these cases to serve a close-knit but genealogically unrelated community.

Description[edit]

Courtyard neighborhoods were built around a large courtyard. A surrounding wall protected against hostile outsiders. Most of the houses were close together, with one gap that was easy to defend. The courtyard typically holds a neighborhood cistern. Such neighborhoods reflected the residents' communal organization.

Typically, the apartments surrounding the courtyard were small (usually a studio apartment for each family), pushing many household tasks into the courtyard. In Jerusalem each family had one laundry day every two weeks. Hand-washing the clothing consumed many hours. That day the housewife cooked only for her household.

Neighborhoods[edit]

The Jerusalem neighborhood now known as Lev Ha'Ir (Nachlaot) consists of 23 historical courtyard neighborhoods.

In Tel Aviv the classic example is the neighborhood of Neve Tzedek.

Coordinates: 32°3′40.55″N 34°45′56.13″E / 32.0612639°N 34.7655917°E / 32.0612639; 34.7655917

References[edit]

  1. ^ "10 דברים על שכונת חצר" (in Hebrew). Globes. Retrieved March 31, 2013.