Print on albumen paper, 23 cm x 28 cm, Private Collection
Since King David conquered Jerusalem in -997, the Jews had great affection for Mount Moriah (Mount Temple) where primordial biblical events took place: according to Talmud, it was there that God took the clay to shape Adam, it was at its summit that Abraham recognized the Oneness of God, it was on this mount that King Solomon built the first Temple to deposit the Ark of the Covenant, etc. Once the second Temple was destroyed in 70, the Jews were sentenced to exile and dispersal. The Jews constantly evoke the glory of the past at the foot of the last vestige of the Temple: The Western Wall, the Kotel. In front of this wall, they express their deep faith and pain to God. That’s why it’s also called the Wailing Wall.
Félix BONFILS (1831-1885) is a French photographer. He was one of the first commercial photographers to produce large-scale images of the Middle East in the late 19th and the early 20th century. In 1867, he moved to Beirut to photograph views of the entire Middle East for travelers.