Notre Dame de France Hospice

sights / Architecture

Notre Dame de France Hospice information

Jerusalem , Israel
3 Paratroopers Rd
+972 2 627 9111
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Who knows what the Roman Catholic Assumpionist Fathers had in mind when they set about building the Notre Dame de France Hospice in 1884. Whether it’s the predominant use of stone or the result of a paranoiac defensiveness that comes from having so many different creeds and sects vying for influence in one place, much of the city’s religious architecture has a distinct bastion-like appearance. This reaches an apotheosis in the Notre Dame, a hostelry for French pilgrims that takes the form of a vast, imposing fortress that even manages to dominate the Old City walls. Its arresting imagery is further reinforced by a 5m-high statue of Mary, flanked by two crenulated turrets, standing up on the roofline. It’s fitting that between 1948 and 1967, when Jerusalem was divided, the south wing of the Notre Dame was used as an Israel Defence Forces (IDF) bunker and frontier post.