The Jerusalem Bird Observatory
At the City center in Jerusalem, just beneath the Parliamentary House, also called the Knesset, there you'll find the Jerusalem Bird Observatory. The site was opened to the public for the first time, 20 years ago; and later in January 2010, a tourist center, the first of its kind in Isreal, also built on this landmark site was commissioned. The visitors' center, also a sit spot for bird watchers to enjoy a piece of nature, was built to enrich the overall experience of tourists who visit the site. In addition to the observatory and visitor center located at this monument, there is a research center too. This facility is undoubtedly an amazing getaway from the hubble-bubble of Jerusalem.
History of the Observatory
Who said you have to be a bird-watcher to enjoy the ambiance of the Observatory? There are other fascinating things about the site. First, its situation is in a prime location. Set on a hill and sharing boundaries with the Isreal Parliament and the Supreme Court, the view of the city from here is nothing short of magnificent.
Also, the visitors center is Israel's first living building. It was built with recycled materials and designed to blend with the natural habitat, to complement rather than disrupt the biodiversity at the site. If you are observant, you'll notice the cavities in the stone walls, deliberately left open for animals and birds to build shelters. There's also a family of rare porcupines inhabiting the area behind the AC duct.
Visiting the Observatory
Israel occupies a strategic position along the main rift-valley migration route, hence flocks of birds flying in their thousands are a common sight during the winter and summer as they migrate to south and north respectively. Therefore, whether you're a birder or not, or just a nature-lover, there's a beauty of nature in Jerusalem ready to be explored.