One of Jerusalem’s quainter areas is in and around Emek Refaim Street, where a group of German Templar’s – not to be confused with the Knights Templar – founded a colony in 1873. The Templar’s were a breakaway Protestant sect that encouraged believers to go to the Holy Land ahead of the impending Messianic redemption. They built their homes according to the dictates of the day’s German style, mostly one- or two-story farmhouses with shuttered windows and tiled roofs. In 1878, the Templar community established a cemetery where they buried community members and leaders.
The cemetery also includes a monument to 47 Templar soldiers killed in World War I. During World War II, the colony was dismantled and its members – German nationals who weren’t shy about their Nazi sympathies – were evacuated. Today the German Colony, and especially its main street, Emek Refaim, is one of hippest, trendiest spots in Jerusalem, with many boutiques and cafes. If you stop by and want to pay a visit to the Templar Cemetery, make sure to coordinate in advance.