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Ita Heinze-Greenberg

(b Berlin, March 3, 1877; d Jerusalem, Oct 25, 1930).

German architect, teacher and writer, active in Palestine . He studied architecture (1895–1901) at the Technische Hochschule, Charlottenburg, Berlin, spending one summer term at the Technische Hochschule, Munich. His student works revealed exceptional skill as a draughtsman and he won the Schinkel Medal (1906) for his design (unexecuted) of an architectural museum. In the following year he became Königlicher Regierungsbaumeister for the Prussian state, where his early work included various houses and shops and the restoration of a residential block (1908), Kaiserin–Augusta Street, all in Berlin. He also assisted the architect Ernst Ihne in the construction of the neo-Baroque Preussische Staatsbibliothek (1908–13), Berlin. In 1909 he was sent to Haifa, Palestine (now Israel), by the Jüdisches Institut für Technische Erziehung to take over the architectural design and building of the Technion, which was carried out in stages (1912–24). Sited on the slopes of Mount Carmel, near Haifa, the main building is symmetrical with an emphasis on the central entrance. Middle Eastern elements, such as the dome, the flat roof with pointed crenellations and the arcaded passages, together with symbolic Jewish forms such as the Star of David, in the sparse decoration, testify to Baerwald’s intention to create an architecture that was a synthesis of Middle-Eastern culture and Western technique. The whole complex was built in locally quarried sandstone and limestone, reflecting the architect’s preference for stone....

Article

Ron Fuchs

(b Mogilev, Russia [now Belarus’], Oct 6, 1877; d Tel Aviv, July 18, 1952).

Israeli architect of Russian birth. He graduated at the Art Academy, St Petersburg, in 1911, and practised in St Petersburg until 1921, when he settled in Palestine. After two years as chief architect of the Public Works Office of the Histadruth (the General Federation of Jewish Labour in Eretz-Israel), he set up in private practice in Tel Aviv. In his early buildings Berlin developed a highly personal vocabulary of simplified classicist ornament adapted to the simple materials and craftsmanship then available in the city. A notable example is the power station (1925), Jaffa. His most original contribution, however, was his unique use of silicate bricks, the chief building material in Tel Aviv at the period and an early product of its burgeoning industry. Leaving the brick unplastered, he created playful abstract patterns, faintly reminiscent of Expressionism and Art Deco. Examples include Berlin’s own house (1929), 59 Balfour Street, and the Moghrabi Theatre (...

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Rachel Hachlili

Synagogue in Hefzibah, Israel, notable for its 6th-century ad mosaic pavements. It was first excavated in 1929 by E. L. Sukenik and N. Avigad. It consisted of a courtyard, a vestibule and a main hall (27.7×14.2 m). The north façade of the hall had three entrances; on the floor adjacent to these, mosaic depictions of a lion and a bull flank two inscriptions. One, in Greek, commemorates the craftsman who laid the mosaics; the other, in Aramaic, places the date of the synagogue’s construction in the reign of Justinus (probably Justinus II, reg ad 565–78). The main hall was divided into a nave and two aisles by two rows of plastered stone pillars. The south wall of the nave ended in an apse, orientated towards Jerusalem, which housed the Ark of the Scrolls and possibly also two menorahs (ritual candlesticks). Benches were built along the east, west and south walls; a door in the western aisle led into a side room....

Article

Masada  

Rachel Hachlili

[Heb. Mezadah]

Fortress on a flat-topped rock on the eastern side of the Judean Desert in Israel; to the east, the rock terminates in a sheer cliff 400 m above the Dead Sea. According to the Jewish Roman historian Josephus Flavius (ad 37–after 93), whose account of Masada is the only extant one, it was built (probably c. 37–31 bc) by Herod the Great. During the period of the Jewish War (ad 66–73), it was garrisoned by the Jewish Zealots, who made their last stand there against the Romans. Three years after the capture of Jerusalem, the defenders of Masada, having held the fortress during a three-year siege, destroyed themselves when it was about to fall.

Masada was encircled by a dolomite stone wall with casemates: the space between the two walls was partitioned into 70 compartments. Each of the four gates consisted of a room with an inner and an outer entrance and benches along the walls. Rising from small casemates, the 30 towers were built at unequal distances, according to the rock’s topography. An elaborate water-supply system consisted of numerous cisterns linked by channels; there were also several pools, some probably associated with ritual bathing....

Article

Michael Eissenhauer

(b Oels, Silesia, June 18, 1831; d Hannover, Sept 6, 1880).

German architect. He enrolled at the Polytechnische Schule in Hannover in 1849. His career was furthered especially by Conrad Wilhelm Hase; after completing his studies in 1853 he worked in Hase’s practice where he was able to design and supervise his first independent architectural projects. He was influenced by Hase in his preference for medieval styles of building, especially Gothic. In 1856 he went to Paris where he spent some time working for Viollet-le-Duc’s office. Oppler returned to Hannover c. 1859 and started his own architectural practice there. In his short working life he produced a substantial body of work comprising c. 100 individual design projects, most of which were realized, innumerable interiors including furniture and household equipment, and finally seven annual issues of the periodical Kunst im Gewerbe, which was virtually based on his own designs and articles. His clients were businessmen, representatives of the upper-middle classes and members of the nobility. He built large-scale houses, villas and business premises for them, as well as imposing blocks of flats in Hannover, Bonn, Baden-Baden, Nuremberg and elsewhere. Oppler carried out extensive exterior and interior alterations at the Marienburg (...

Article

Sopron  

Barbra Ruckriegel Egerváry

[formerly Lat. Scarbantia; Ger. Ödenburg]

City in north-west Hungary at the foot of the Lövér Hills. It is capital of Győr-Sopron county and was built on the site of the Roman Scarbantia, originally a Celtic settlement. Roman remains to be found in the area include a Mithraeum near Sopron-Rákos, and the possible remains of an amphitheatre, discovered in 1925. A medieval wall, of which sections still remain, ringed the town in the shape of a horseshoe. St Michael, one of the oldest churches, was built during the 14th century and completed in the later 15th. In the form of a basilica, it has three aisles and a narrow transept. Its Late Gothic towered façade is decorated with richly carved figures and ornamental work, as is its long chancel and square-ended side chancel. Gothic sedilia line the entire length of the chancel. The sacristy has reticulated vaulting and a tessellated, enamelled tiled floor from the late 15th century, the only one of its kind in Hungary....