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Learn More About Jerusalem Stone

Jun 20, 2008
Jerusalem stone is very popular for construction of large buildings. Since the founding of Jerusalem, it has become extensively used in modern buildings throughout the world. Most of it is mined in the area surrounding Jerusalem and Bethlehem. This highly sought after stone has a long and storied history in the Middle East and has been an essential element in the building of many historical buildings in the region.

Jerusalem stone refers primarily to a white coarse crystalline limestone, Meleke (kingly or royal). Though there are other sources of rock and stone that fall into this description. Mizzi Hilu (sweet rock) is a cream-colored limestone. Mizzi Ahmar (red rock) is a red colored limestone. Mizzi Yehudi (Jewish rock) is a grey dolomite with a crystalline structure. One other type of Jerusalem stone is a flagstone made of thin layers of limestone.

The primary Jerusalem stone was formed during the Late Cretaceous age. When it is first cut the color is pure white. It will retain this color for many years and then turns to a light golden color. It is used for statues and other stone creations when it is first mined because it is soft and malleable when it is first pulled from the earth. Over time it hardens and is used in many edifices.

Most of the quarries are found in central Israel which has been mined extensively for centuries. Many of the most famous buildings of Israel and other Middle Eastern countries have been built using this white limestone. One of those structures is the Western Wall. Its exquisite beauty aside, Jerusalem stone holds up to natural erosion for centuries which is what makes the demand for it as a building material very high.

In the 1920s, Sir Ronald Storrs, the acting British governor of Jerusalem, formed the Pro-Jerusalem Society for the purpose of restoring the Holy City which was at that point beginning to deteriorate. Part of this plan was to resurface all of the buildings in the city with Meleke, the golden stone. Sir Roland even went so far as to make it a city ordinance that all buildings in the city must conform to.

The result has been a phenomenon known as Jerusalem of Gold which happens at sunset every day when the city's walls and buildings glow with a golden light as the sun hits the Jerusalem Stone.

Jerusalem Stone is now widely used in buildings throughout Europe and the United States. It is also popular and practical for countertops, menorahs, Seder plates and other religious and non-religious creations. This beautiful stone will continue to be used into the future because of its ability to withstand time, its versatility, and exquisite beauty.
About the Author
Nir Dotan is a writer and promoter of Jerusalem Stone is a provider of top quality Jerusalem Stone by Interior Designersand
Kitchen Marble in Los Angeles beautiful Kitchen Granite from around the world.
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