The Israel Museum Jerusalem, with its extensive collection of sculptures, books, ancient and modern art, antiquities and of course the Dead Sea Scrolls, is the largest most comprehensive of museums of Israel. There is even a children’s section with hands-on exhibits. Additionally, the museum boasts the largest display of authentic Israeli art in the world with Impressionist and Post-impressionist collections and a few period rooms. I would also recommend the archaeology section featuring an extensive collection of tools and weapons evidencing 30,000 years of human habitation on Earth. Every Monday and Thursday, guided tours in English are offered.
Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum Jerusalem
Top Exhibit: The Shrine of the Book which contains the Dead Scrolls, originally hidden in the caves of the Qumran for the past 2000 plus years. The scrolls contain fragments of every biblical text except the Book of Esther. The building itself was designed to resemble the covers of the pots where the scrolls were originally discovered. The buildings white dome and black walls symbolize the struggle between the sons of light and dark. At first glance, it looks like a giant white Hershey’s kiss.
Other Top Jerusalem museums:
- Yad Vashem – Recently reopened in 2005, Yad Vashem, literally meaning a “memorial and a name”, is the largest of Israel’s Holocaust museum.
- Bible Lands Museum – this museum contains ancient pottery, figurines, and jewelry from every geographic location mentioned in the Bible.
- Ticho House – Featuring drawings and watercolors by artist Anna Ticho who lived there with her husband, Dr. Avraham Ticho, who opened the first eye clinic in Jerusalem in 1912. The museum also boasts other exhibitions, a library of books about Jerusalem, art and literature, and a fantastic restaurant featuring an all you can eat wine, cheese, and salad buffet.
- Tower of David Museum- located in the ancient Citadel of the Old City near the Jaffa Gate, the historic main entrance to the city. This museum explores the ancient and fascinating history of Jerusalem starting from the second millennium BCE and ending with the modern Jerusalem you see today. The museum’s facade, The Citadel is a fascinating archaeological site, and provides some of the best panoramic views across the Old City and Modern City available, and comes to life at night with the Tower of David Night Spectacular.
It is a fact that Israel boasts the most museums per capita in the world. That is why I have selected only my top picks for the most interesting and worthwhile museums from Jerusalem museums to Tel Aviv and Haifa and points in between, to share with you.
Enjoy your museum visit