Monday, January 17, 2011

The Ecce Homo

Rarely does one's hotel or residence merit its own Wikipedia Article, but that appears to be the case with where we are staying. It's very hard to describe the convent; like many buildings in Jerusalem, it's not built usually because of the unusual circumstances of its site, most notably the Roman arch that falls from the street into the sactuary.

The Ecce Homo has two halves on either side of one of the Old City's famous alleyways, with much more on the Western half. There are two floors of classrooms and other spaces, topped by a large terrace (on the "second floor," since Jerusalem sensibly calls the floor on the ground the "ground floor" and the floor above the "first floor.") However, the second floor has its own set of rooms connected by an outdoor hallway that's next to the terrace; the roof above these rooms is also accessible, meaning that the third floor roof is alos available. To complicate things further, one can climb up or down a few set of steps from the 3rd floor roof to reach two additional terraces.

The roof is also broken up by the dome of the chapel, and by the gap where the alleyway is (there is a small bridge on the terrace that crosses it in one stop, and the first floor connects across as well in a different spot). Still following me? It's doubtful, but I guess the overall point is that the building is complicated, beautiful, and peaceful, with a wonderful breakfast to boot, which I will now return to. :)

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