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Agnon House

The Agnon House is a National Heritage Site, dedicated to the work of the writer S.Y. Agnon.

Agnon was Israel’s first Nobel laureate and is one of the most celebrated authors of the Hebrew language.

S.Y. Agnon was born Shmuel Yosef Czaczkes, arrived to Jaffa Port 1908. Once in Israel he adopted the pen name Shai Agnon.

His literature deal with the conflict between traditional Jewish life and language and the modern world.

His writings were influenced by millennia of Jewish writing, from the Bible through the rabbinic codes to Hasidic storytelling. He saw his literary works as their modern retelling.

Agnon made his home in Jerusalem and saw himself as a Jerusalemite.

In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech he said “As a result of the historic catastrophe in which Titus of Rome destroyed Jerusalem and Israel was exiled from its land, I was born in one of the cities of the Exile. But always I regarded myself as one who was born in Jerusalem.”

Agnon and his wife Esther built this house in 1931, and he lived here until his death in 1970.

The house is not covered with Jerusalem stone, because at that time Talpiyot was far and detached from the rest of Jerusalem. Therefore the Mandatory law requiring stone cladding did not apply to it. 

After the deaths of Agnon and his wife Esther, the house was purchased by the Jerusalem Municipality and operated as a school of literature and culture. 

In 2009 was turned into a museum and became opened to the public.

The house is now a literary museum and a venue for tours, lectures, performances, workshops, and of course and literary events.

Visitors are welcome to see the writer’s home – to get to know his and his family’s life, to get a taste of his enormous body of work, to capture a glimpse of his study and to appreciate his unique contribution to contemporary Hebrew culture.

The study on the second floor, where many of his best-known and most beloved works were written, including A Simple StoryA Guest for the NightOnly Yesterday and Shira, contains his enormous library of Biblical, Rabbinic and modern literature.

At the end of the tour, one can rest in the lavish garden or dive into a book in one of the quiet halls.

At the museum shop, one may purchase Agnon’s writings in Hebrew or in translation, a wide selection of scholarly works and souvenirs.

Check out the Agnon House website for visiting hours.

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