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City Center

Jerusalem‘s City Center is where you’ll find just about everything you need and is the most lively part of the city.

The core of City Center is the triangle created by King George Street, Ben Yehuda Street, and Yafo Street.

However, other noteworthy streets such as Agrippas, Shlomtzion Hamalka, and Bezalel extend out of the center.

King George

King George Street was dedicated in honor in 1924 of the seventh anniversary of the British conquest of Jerusalem under General Allenby.

In 1950–1966, the Knesset met at Beit Froumine on King George Street until it moved to a permanent building in Givat Ram.

Today the street is lined with shops and street food eataries.

Ben Yehuda

Ben Yehuda was named for Eliezer Ben‑Yehuda who was the driving force behind the revival of the Hebrew language in the modern era.

The street was one of Jerusalem’s main streets long before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, today is closed to automobile traffic.

It is lined with shops and some eateries, many of which of the businesses cater to tourists like souvenir and Judaica shops.

In August, street performers and street musicians fill Ben Yehuda making for a wonderfully fun experience.

Yafo

Yafo street is named so because it was the road that led from the Old City to Old Jaffa.

Traffic originally consisted of camels and mules, and the route was eventually improved enough to allow for horse-drawn carriages.

In the 19th century early neighborhoods like the Russian Compound, Nahalat Shiva, and Mahane Yehuda developed around it, as well as Shaare Zedek hospital.

During the period of the British Mandate, the street was further developed with the establishment of many central institutions.

These included the city hall and the city’s central post office, which are still there today.

Later, Yaffo was limited to public transit (buses and taxis) in an attempt to divert traffic congestion from the area.

Then, it was closed off as a street only permitting foot traffic and in 2011, the Jerusalem Light Rail began running along it.

If you follow this street you can reach from the Jerusalem Central Bus Station to the Old City, passing Machane Yehuda Mark, cafes, restaurants, and shops along the way.

Agrippas

Agrippas Street is one of the oldest, but busiest byways in Jerusalem.

But until the late 19th century, it was just a tiny until one night in 1875, Jews got together, worked until dawn, and turned it into a public thoroughfare.

It was named as BILA – an acronym for the Hebrew phrase “overnight” or “been laiyla.”

Then, it was changed was as changed to Agrippas in honor of King Agrippas II.

It is possible that the name was chosen because 2,000 years ago or so, King Agrippas II paved the city’s streets with marble.

In many ways this road, or at least a section of it, is an extension of Mahane Yehuda.

On the side that connects to the market, it is still very much still the market.

On the other side of the street is mostly restaurants and street food joints.

Shlomzion Hamalka

Shlomtzion was one of only two women to rule over Judea and the last ruler of ancient Judea to die as the ruler of an independent kingdom.

According to the Talmud, Shlomzion was the sister of Shimon ben Shetah.

Her reign is considered a peak period in the Hasmonean period and there was peace and economic prosperity in the country.

Shlomtzion Hamalka is lined with restaurants of very variety and price point.

Bezalel

Bezalel Street was named after the Bezalel Art School which was located there, which was in turned named as a tribute to Bezalel Ben Uri.

Bezalel Ben Uri the biblical artist responsible for teaching the craftsmen how to build the Mishkan and it’s tools.

The street is a residential street sprinkled with chic restaurants and is home to an art supply store.

On Friday morning it hosts an artist street fair where the artists sell the crafts and artwork they created.

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