Israel Museum – Jerusalem, Israel
A National Showcase for History, Anthropology, Art, and Culture
Even if you had no time at all to pause, an amble through the 20-acre Israel Museum would still give you a sense of the mother lode of Israel’s history and heritage. The complex itself, opened in 1965, is an outstanding example of modern Israeli architecture, and it houses the world’s most complete collection of Judaica, emphasizing the Ashkenazi and Sephardic cultures.
Interiors of centuries-old synagogues from Germany, Italy, and most recently India, have been dismantled and reconstructed here. The Shrine of the Book is the subterranean home of a number of the fascinating Dead Sea Scrolls from the 1st century B.C.; its white onion-shaped dome was contoured to resemble the lids of the earthenware containers that held the scrolls when they were discovered by a shepherd in 1947.
An archaeology wing displays a huge collection of important objects found throughout Israel. The 20-acre Billy Rose Sculpture Garden is the most exciting of the many outdoor exhibits; landscaped by the renowned Japanese American artist Isamu Noguchi, it contains classical and modern sculpture by major and lesser-known Israeli and international artists.