When you think of Jerusalem, you automatically think of archaic and ancient buildings and no one can blame you, honestly.
Jerusalem, located on a plateau in the Judean Mountains, is one of the holiest places in the world and is also one of the oldest cities, with its oldest section dating back to 4th millennium BCE.
Visitors who take a pilgrimage to this ancient city do so to marvel at religious buildings such as the Dome of the Rock, Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Via Dolorosa.
But if you venture out of the usual pilgrimage route, you’ll discover that just like any other city, Jerusalem is embracing the modern world.
Right outside the Jaffa Gate of the Old City, stands Alrov Mamilla Mall or simply Mamilla Mall.
Mamilla Mall is the only open-air shopping center in Jerusalem and it caters to the more affluent consumers.
The mall ia actually a 2,000 feet pedestrian promenade lined up by 140 stores, restaurants and cafes.
he shopping district is part of a $400 million mixed-use development in Jerusalem by Alrov properties and Lodgings.
It extends from the periphery of the Jaffa Gate to the Mammilla Hotel, across Waldorf Astoria and very close to the King David Hotel.
The mall successfully opened in 2007 but it faced a lot of resistance from environmentalist preservationists and religious groups.
Is is therefore not a suprise that the mall’s designer Moshe Safdie incorporated the original structures around in building a modern establishment in one of the oldest cities of the world.
Housing the complex are original structures of the Convent of St. Vincent de Paul. the Stern House and the Clark House.
A Visit to Mamilla Mall
I visited Mamilla Mall during my visit to Jerusalem and the establishment is indeed a welcome departure from the old structures of the Old City.
The restaurants and cafes cater mostly to pilgrims who retire exhausted after a day’s worth of tour around the many holy spots in Jerusalem.
I had an awesome waffle and chocolate (kosher of course) at this patisserie called Candyland.
The trendy shops selling shoes, scarves, however, cater to the younger and more sttlish crowds who like to hang out in the promenade area with their partners and friends.
Some of the shops you can find here are Gap, Versace, Tommy Hilfiger, MAC, The Body Shop, Adidas, Nike, Nautica, and Ralph Lauren among others. Local clothing stores are also present in Mamilla Mall.
The view is especially nice at night when brilliant lights illuminate the entire complex.
Street musicians also add character to the place,
In fact, the entire shopping place gives a new perspective to Jerusalem.
It gives a face to the modern people of Jerusalem, who like their counterparts in Tel Aviv are becoming more stylish and fashion forward.
So if you ever visit Jerusalem, try to visit Mamilla Mall and see a whole new side of the city. It’s a great way to see its people embracing the modern world.
Sunday through Thursday: 10am to 10:30pm
Friday: 9:30am to 3pm
Saturday: One hour after Sabbath ends to 11pm