Independence Park is a large green area in the center of Jerusalem, bounded by King George Street to the West, Agron Street to the south, Hillel Street to the north and the old Mamilla Cemetery to the east. During the time of the British Mandate, the Park was an open area that served as a barrier between the Jewish city center and the upscale Arab neighborhoods to the south. After Jerusalem was partitioned in the 1948 War of Independence, the nascent Israeli government decided that the area would become a green area; thus Independence Park was established in 1959.
During the daylight hours, the Park mostly serves the many people who work in the center of town and like to have their lunches outside. Families from around the area come to hang out, picnic and kick a ball around, and young people can often be spotted leisurely sipping beers in the shade of the large pine trees. But like its namesake park in Tel-Aviv, after night falls, under a thick blanket of darkness, Independence Park becomes a rendezvous spot for members of Jerusalem’s gay community. It is this function that has made the Park a convergence point for many LGBT events, including the annual gay pride parade. Other events held at Independence Park include the yearly Student’s Day celebrations when thousands turn out to enjoy live music performances.