Friday, April 22, 2011

The White Tower of Ramla



The small town of Ramla (Ramleh) in central Israel, is known for its colorful market, the grave of a british soldier with the name of ... Harry Potter , archeological sites, and the White Tower - identified as World Heritage site by UNESCO.

I was at my cousin Racheli's place which is about fifteen minutes drive from Ramleh. She offered to take me to the White Tower.
It was morning, fine weather, empty roads, scarcely a soul outside, as people were still sleeping after the long ceremony of Seder Night (first night of the jewish Passover). The parking lot near the tower and the adjacent muslim cemetery, was empty too. Complete silence. disturbed only by our steps and voices. There was no one there we could ask specific questions about the historical place. All we could do was to contemplate it.

the White Tower

The White Tower ( a square Gothic structure also known as the Ramla Tower) was built in the 13th century on the ruins of an earlier tower. It is six-stories high with a spiral staircase of 119 steps. Like with any high tower, its top offers great views of the surrounding area.
The tower is significant both to muslims and to christians. It used to serve as a minaret of the White Mosque (the remains of which are surrounding the exterior of the tower), and as a strategic military lookout.



lovely tall tree among graves



pavement bordering the tower area


We started our tour with the White Tower in Ramla, and ended it with a visit to some nice rural settlements (moshavim) located near the neighboring city of Rechovot (center of Science). About Rechovot - in a future post, I hope.


48 comments:

  1. That tower definitely has an atmosphere about it, which could be sensed even from a photo. Definitely a place to spend 'quiet time' in.

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  2. What an interesting history to a very unique building. Your photos are wonderful as usual. I just adore the pattern of the pavement bordering the tower area...very creative.

    I look forward to hearin' about your visit to Rechovot! :o)

    God bless ya sweetie and have an amazin' Easter weekend!!!

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  3. Interesting. I thought when I saw it that it might have been built in connection with a mosque...the stone pavement is beautiful!

    I also will enjoy reading about Rechovot.

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  4. The tower doesn't literally lean, does it? In that 1st picture it looks distinctly Pisa-esque..!

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  5. Kim & Stuff...

    Indeed they are. The same stones ,but in blue, are also part of the pavement in the area of the tower.

    Vera,

    I couldn"t agree more. There's definitely a special atmosphere about the place.

    Nezzy,

    Well, this tower is considered by UNESCO one of the wonders of the world.
    I'm glad you like my photos. God bless you too!

    Dimple,

    The mosque was destroyed in an earthquake. As for the pavement, it's very attractive, indeed.

    Gledwood,

    I think you're right. In the picture, it looks like it leans. But, no - in reality ,the tower is upright.

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  6. I look forward reading your posts - always interesting and informative. You take me to places I will never see in person, and I thank you for that. The accompanying pictures always make me feel like I am there. You have a good sense of what what others will find fascinating. Thanks for this wonderful field trip.

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  7. HI Duta- FINALLy taking time to take time and read your exceptionally intelligent and insightful postings over the past month(s). Love them all, and the sense of personal conversation with the reader that you impart. Thank you! Still!

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  8. How interesting! The architecture of the tower is unique, it seems to get smaller the taller it gets. And the pavement is neat. Can you imagine how long it took to place those brick in that design? Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
    until next time... nel

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  9. I always enjoy your posts Duta and this tower and it's history is as interesting as all your posts.
    Have a wonderful weekend,Carolyn.

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  10. Duta, I love when you post photos of places I will never see. These are wonderful, my imagination flew backward all those years and in my mind's eye I envisioned the grandeur of the site. Great post!

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  11. Bica,

    I do hope that you'll see all those places that you think you'll never see them in person.
    Your kind words about my posts - made my day. Thank you.

    Susan,

    Susan, I'm overwhelmed by your warm words. Thank you so much for reading and loving my posts.

    Nel,

    Your spirit of observation is something, Nel.
    I think you're right about the tower's architecture and the pavement design.

    matron,

    I feel flattered by your words , Carolyn. The tower and its history are ,indeed, an interesting chapter.

    C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson,

    I also try to envision "the grandeur of the site", it's role in the community's life, and it's not that simple.
    Thanks, Connie, for your always kind words.

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  12. Dear Dutta,
    What a fascinating tower, especially since everything was so quiet. The voices from the past would speak silently while visitors contemplate such a gorgeous building. I love the pictures. One thing that amazes me is the double use of buildings for religious and military purposes. An interesting mix.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I always appreciate your comments. I have finally decided to publish my collection of 50-word stories. You and other readers have definitely encouraged me... I'm quite excited about this next step. :-)

    Doris

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  13. Very interesting Duta! Those pavers make me think of a quilt. ;0)

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  14. I can't wait to read about the rural settlements!
    Until then..Sarbatori fericite!

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  15. Hold my hand: a social worker's blog,

    In ancient times the double use of towers (for both religious and strategic purposes)was quite common.

    Excellent idea, Doris, to publish your wonderful 50-word stories. How exciting, indeed! Good Luck!

    Jennifer D,

    It's hardly surprising (pavers, quilt) given the fact that you've got a very creative mind.

    Vert Ange,

    Thanks for the visit and for wishing me Happy Holidays.

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  16. Duta,

    I enjoy your stories, and indeed the architecture is splended. I'm learning so much and have not left my desk, all thanks to your lovely blog.

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  17. Hi DUTA, I never quite know what to expect when I visit your page, you are full of surprises and unusual interesting things of which this is one. However I am left wondering if this site was significant to the Muslims first and to the Christians for the wrong reasons. The paving is amazing and I can imagine from the amount that we don't see here that there has been an incredible amount of work gone into it. From experience it's great to visit a tourist place when it is quiet as the photographs are so much easier. In such a varied religious hotspot, I struggle to guess where your bias lies, so anyway, I'll leave by wishing you a Happy Easter.

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  18. Magnificent stone tower! Such a nice place.
    Happy Passover.
    A blessed week ahead.

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  19. Angelina,

    The architecture, indeed - it's amazing what the human mind comes up with ,even in ancient times.

    J on tour@jayspaze,

    The number 40 seems to have some relevance here. To the muslims it's the tower of the 40 companions of the prophet Muhammad; to the christians it's the tower of the 40 martyrs (soldiers slained for being christians).I'm afraid I don't know more than that.

    I totally agree with you about the paving and about the advantage of a quiet atmosphere when visiting a touristic site.

    Regina,

    Yes, "magnificient stone tower" indeed, and the place surrounding it has been turned into a nice touristic spot.

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  20. Duta, Another wonderful and interesting post! I just adore your blog...the pictures and history are captivating. I hope you had a wonderful Passover celebration!

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  21. I so enjoyed this post, Duta.
    The Tower is incredible!
    Great pics.

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  22. Lisa Petrarca,

    Your kind words make me blush. Yes, I had a lovely Passover celebration. Thank you.

    Margie,

    I wish I could write some of it in poem form as you do, but I lack the talent. Anyway, I'm glad you like it as it is.

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  23. I am always amazed to see anything that old still standing. How unique. Did you go up the 119 steps? I bet the view is really outstanding from that vantage point. The tall tree looks like a cedar tree. Peace

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  24. That is so interesting. The tower is so old it is hard to even imagine it is still standing. Do they let people climb to the top? It sounds like a very interesting day.

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  25. Un placer pasar por tu casa,
    si te gusta la poesía te invito a mi blog.
    que tengas una feliz semana.

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  26. Lady Di Tמ,

    Yes, I'm also amazed by such an ancient piece of architecture "still standing". No, I didn't go up the 119 steps , but it's not hard to imagine the views from its top. I'm a "graduate" of climbing some quite tall towers, such as the Pisa in Italy, for instance.

    As for the tree, when it comes to plants, flowers, trees - you're an expert. So thanks for naming it.

    Sue(Someone's Mom),

    Of course, they let people climb to the top - when it's open. The tower is a popular touristic site, and walking up to the top is a great attraction.

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  27. Wow, you got many comments on this post! The tower is an interesting blend of Gothic and Roman style, which is the right time of it being built!It reminded me on how in the past they depended a lot more on towers as a lookout, since there were no planes yet!

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  28. What wonderful places you visit! :)

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  29. Duta, Again a very interesting post. I love the photo of the tree amongst the graves. I'm glad you had a good visit with your cousin.

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  30. Dave King,

    Thank you. I usually like people in the pictures, but there were no visitors on that morning.

    Cindy,

    I like to visit places that mean something to people, history, architecture - and the white Tower is such a place.

    Alicia,

    I just 'féll in love' with that tree; in reality it's even lovelier than in the picture.
    As or my cousin, I always feel good in her presence.

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  31. Emille,

    Congrats on your new blog!

    Indeed, towers in those ancient times served mainly as a lookout that helped protect the people of the particular area from its enemies.

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  32. So beautiful place and Tower!!!
    Very interesting place !!!
    Law is under the protection of UNESCO!
    Many greetings

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  33. magda,

    Yes, imagine that - considered world heritage by UNESCO! It makes one feel thrilled when visiting this place.

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  34. Interesting! Again a beutiful place .. another of your "places with character" ;)

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  35. robert,

    Thank you. I'm glad you consider the White Tower of Ramla a place with character. Your opinion means a lot to me.

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  36. Another intriguing place full of history and mystery! You were fortunate to have the opportunity to visit on a quiet day with no traffic or distraction.

    If only all people of moral conscience could share such sites without conflict or expectation of such!

    I haven't posted in a month, Duta, until yesterday. I see you have slowed down with blogging, too. We need to tend to other things from time to time, or just refresh, right?

    I hope all is well in your world.

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  37. Impressive and charming structure although is a classical style!

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  38. Lynda Lehmann,

    We were indeed fortunate to visit the site on a quiet day.
    I'm rather busy lately, you know, with things in the real world, so as you've noticed, I had to slow down.

    Phivos Nicolaides,

    I like the word 'çharming'. The structure has indeed a lot of charm.

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  39. The Tame Lion,

    Thank you. The jokes on your blog are also fantastic. I've enjoyed reading them.

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  40. Hi Duta, I have not stopped by in a while and I just love to see what you have to say. I have not been blogging as much because I have not felt well and I have been busy. But I miss seeing you. Love the pictures; thanks for sharing. With everything that is going on I hope all is well with you.

    Take Care, Love & Light, CindyLew

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  41. Cindy Lew's Studio,

    Thank you for your warm words. I hope you're well now. I've also slowed it down with blogging as I am very busy with things in the real, everyday world.

    Love and Light to you too!

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  42. Very interesting! I like how the tower looks

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  43. Ola,

    Welcome to my blog, and thanks for the comment!

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  44. Fantastic photo and caption. Bravo!

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  45. Book,

    Welcome to my blog, and thank you for your very kind words.

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