Jerusalem: The Holy Sites: Cultural Transformation and Continuity

Gil Peled

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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Cultural continuity is one of the key aspects of sustainable cities and settlements. Jerusalem is a city whose continuity relies primarily on the preservation of its holy sites and the cultures around it. However, every century brings new requirements and lifestyles which have an impact on the physical organization of the sites. The main question is how transformation processes of the Holy Sites can be guided in order to meet the requirements of today while preserving the essence of the holy sites for tomorrow. Jerusalem is cradle and sanctuary to the three major faiths. Throughout a turbulent 3000 year history, major sites of veneration have emerged from numerous transitions and transformations of sacred buildings and spaces in the city. This process has created a unique phenomenon of religious and cultural continuity often transcending politics and planning. These sites are now facing social and environmental challenges such as mounting pressures by mass tourism and pilgrimage, increased cultural and ethnic diversity, ageing structures and more. To ensure their continuity and to safeguard them for future generations, further understanding of these issues is vital. Focusing on the Holy Sites within the Old City, the paper and presentation will identify, in brief, their physical and virtual transformations, and the processes which generated them. It will then outline proposals for ensuring their cultural continuity and sustainable enhancement in the future. * Based on a PhD research thesis being carried out under the supervision and guidance of Associate Prof. Dr. Elma Durmisevic, University of Twente, The Netherlands.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference proceedings of CIB W115 Green Design Conference, 27-29 September, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
EditorsElma Durmisevic, Adnan Pasic
Place of PublicationSarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
PublisherInternational Council for Building Research Studies and Documentation (CIB), Working Commission W115
ISBN (Print)978-90-365-3451-2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sep 2012
EventCIB W115 Green Design Conference 2012 - Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Duration: 27 Sep 201229 Sep 2012


ConferenceCIB W115 Green Design Conference 2012
CountryBosnia and Herzegovina


  • Jerusalem
  • Holy sites
  • Cultural continuity
  • Tangible
  • Intangible
  • Heritage
  • Transformation
  • Sustainability
  • Future

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