Shrine of the Book

The Shrine of the Book (Hebrew:היכל הספר ) is a special building that was opened to the public in 1965 and became an international architectural landmark.

It is part of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The Shrine of the Book is the home of exceptional archaeological find: the Dead Sea Scrolls, possibly the most important archaeological discovery ever made in Israel. The first seven Dead Sea Scrolls, also known as Qumran Scrolls, were found by Bedouin of the Ta’amra tribe near Khirbet Qumran.

The Shrine was funded by the family of David Samuel Gottesman, the Hungarian philanthropist who had purchased the Dead Sea Scrolls as a gift to the State of Israel.

The Shrine of the Book was built as a repository for the first seven scrolls discovered at Qumran in 1947. In this symbolic building, the dome covers a structure that is two thirds below the ground and is reflected in a pool of water that surrounds it.

The white dome symbolizes the lids of the jars in which the first scrolls were found; the contrast between the white dome and the black wall alongside it alludes to the tension evident in the scrolls between the spiritual world of the “Sons of Light” and the “Sons of Darkness”.

The Israel Museum

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