The Herzl Museum gives visitors insight into the life and activities of Theodor Herzl, the founder of the modern Zionist movement.
It was opened in honor of 100 years since Herzl’s passing. It was created by World Zionist Organization, which founded by Herzl at the first Zionist Congress in 1897.
The museum details his life and many contributions to the Zionist cause.
It also provides a glimpse into Herzl’s analysis of the Jewish condition, a portrayal of his ambitions, vision, disappointments and achievements, and the challenge of his legacy.
One of the museum’s underlying principles is creating a bridge between past and present.
When the museum opened in 1960, centered around a reconstruction of Herzl’s Vienna drawing room.
However, in 2005, the museum was re-imagined as an interactive museum and provides tours of Mount Herzl, Israel’s national cemetery.
The museum includes four audiovisual 4D film exhibit.
The museum is split into four exhibition spaces, three of them showing different eras of Herzl’s life.
From the beginning of his life in Vienna and the Dreyfus trial, through the Zionist Congresses in Basel, until his early death at the age of 44.
The highlight of the tour is the fourth room where visitors are given a view of the accomplishments of the Jewish state, despite the many difficulties and hardships.
Here the museum compares Herzl’s vision for Israel as outlined in his book The Old New Land to Israel’s achievements in practice.
It also raises the question of whether Herzl’s famous quote, “If you will it, it is no dream,” has come to fruition or is still in the midst of coming true.
One year before his death, in 1903, Herzl expressed his desire to be buried in Eretz Israel: “I wish to be buried in a metal coffin next to my father, and to remain there until the Jewish people will transfer my remains to Eretz Israel.”
While Herzl did not live to see his vision become reality as the State of Israel was founded some 50 years after his death, he is buried next door to the museum in Israel’s national military cemetery.
See the Herzl Museum website for information on hours and ticket prices.