Paulus-Haus

For over a hundred years we offer travelers a hospitable place to visit Jerusalem and its holy sites. Our house, with its serene atmosphere in a lavish historic setting, is itself a part of Jerusalem's history. Located directly at the Damascus Gate of the Old City, with its colorful oriental life, you can reach the memorial sites of the three major world religions in a few minutes on foot.

For more than 160 years, the German Association from the Holy Land (DVHL) has been committed to the people in the Middle East - always against the background of interreligious dialogue and commitment to peace policy. With experience and expertise, we have a unique presence in the Middle East. We get involved where people need concrete help and work with them to create a better future. In the relations between Judaism, Christianity and Islam, we stand for understanding, reconciliation and peace.

Our Team

Dr. Ralf Rothenbusch

Director

Beside my work at Paulus-Haus, I am adjunct professor for Old Testament at the University of Freiburg/Germany. Please let me know if you would like a small lecture, an impulse or a talk on Bible topics or on the cultural and religious history of Jerusalem for your group.

Grace Kudsieh

Deputy Director

Grace has been a reliable support of Paulus-Haus for many years, many guests know her from previous visits and you are in good hands with her with all questions and concerns in the house.

Reception and Administration

Reem Mitri, Sami Manneh und Nazih Araman

welcome our guests at the reception and on the phone. Reem competently answers all your questions about availability of rooms and bookings.

Kitchen and Dining Room

Hani Michail (picture), Cozet Fachouse and Faraj Nasrallah

take care of your physical well-being in the kitchen and dining room.

Maintenance and Housekeeping

Sami Bitar (picture), Nadia Batshon, Nadia Khayo, Reema Kudsieh and Olivia Zou'roub

ensure the cleanliness of the house and that everything works.

Volunteers

Justin Diekmann

supports our team as annual volunteer 2022/2023.

Sustainability and Solidarity

Ein Ressourcen schonendes und die Umwelt schützendes Verhalten und Wirtschaften im Paulus-Haus ist uns wichtig. Unsere Lebensmittel kaufen wir bei lokalen Produzenten. Einen Teil unseres Energiebedarfs decken wir mit der eigenen Solaranlage, die noch weiter ausgebaut wird. Sonne gibt es in Jerusalem mehr als genug … Mülltrennung steht hier nach wie vor am Anfang – wo es uns möglich ist, setzen wir das um.

In our shop next to the reception you will find handicrafts made of olive wood, fabric, ceramics felt and more. They come mostly from institutions and initiatives, primarily from the West Bank, and their sale benefits their social work. An example are the beautiful products from Lifegate, a facility for people with disabilities in Bethlehem. All profits that are made with the shop go 100% into our social fund, from which needy people in the area around Paulus-Haus are supported.

Since 1908

Paulus-Haus was founded as a guest house by the German Association of the Holy Land, which still runs it today. Since the beginning of the 20th century, it has shared the checkered history of Jerusalem and the region.

Ottoman Period

The German imperial couple traveled to Jerusalem in 1898 for the inauguration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer and to strengthen the relationship with the Ottoman Empire. Other German projects in the Holy City were encouraged, in addition to Protestant ones, deliberately also Catholic ones: the Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion and Paulus-Haus.

St. Paul's Hospice

Between 1904 and 1908, the Cologne diocesan master builder Heinrich Renard built the originally much larger St. Paul's Hospice in the north of the old town as a representative guest house for Catholic pilgrims. It got its name because of the neighboring Basilica of St. Stephen, whose martyrdom is biblically connected with Paul.

World War I and the British Mandate

With the outbreak of the First World War, pilgrimages to the Holy Land were no longer possible and German soldiers allied with the Ottoman troops and a military hospital were housed in the St. Paul's Hospice. From the capture of Jerusalem by General Allenby in 1917 until the end of the Mandate in 1948, the British military administration resided in the house.

Jordanian Period

After 1948, the Schmidt School, whose old school building (in today's Hillelstraße) was now in the Israeli part of Jerusalem, was moved to the Paulus House, which many people in East Jerusalem therefore only know as the "Schmidt School". The girls' grammar school, which has existed since 1886, is named after the Lazarist Father Wilhelm Schmidt, who also initiated the Paulus-Haus.

After 1967

In the 1960s, a new building for the school was built behind the Paulus house. Since the late 1970s, the Paulus-Haus has served its original purpose as a guest house for the German Association of the Holy Land.

Ottoman Period

The German imperial couple traveled to Jerusalem in 1898 for the inauguration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer and to strengthen the relationship with the Ottoman Empire. Other German projects in the Holy City were encouraged, in addition to Protestant ones, deliberately also Catholic ones: the Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion and Paulus-Haus.

St. Paul's Hospice

Between 1904 and 1908, the Cologne diocesan master builder Heinrich Renard built the originally much larger St. Paul's Hospice in the north of the old town as a representative guest house for Catholic pilgrims. It got its name because of the neighboring Basilica of St. Stephen, whose martyrdom is biblically connected with Paul.

World War I and the British Mandate

With the outbreak of the First World War, pilgrimages to the Holy Land were no longer possible and German soldiers allied with the Ottoman troops and a military hospital were housed in the St. Paul's Hospice. From the capture of Jerusalem by General Allenby in 1917 until the end of the Mandate in 1948, the British military administration resided in the house.

Jordanian Period

After 1948, the Schmidt School, whose old school building (in today's Hillelstraße) was now in the Israeli part of Jerusalem, was moved to the Paulus House, which many people in East Jerusalem therefore only know as the "Schmidt School". The girls' grammar school, which has existed since 1886, is named after the Lazarist Father Wilhelm Schmidt, who also initiated the Paulus-Haus.

After 1967

In the 1960s, a new building for the school was built behind the Paulus house. Since the late 1970s, the Paulus-Haus has served its original purpose as a guest house for the German Association of the Holy Land.

Two unique models, designed and made by the German missionary Conrad Schick (around 1885), tell the story of the Temple Mount and the Haram-ash-Sharif in Jerusalem. The exhibition provides information about the work of C. Schick in the second half of the 19th century as an architect, urban planner, archaeologist, cartographer and author of important contributions to the development of the city of Jerusalem. / The collection of Prelate Erich Läufer consists of numerous archaeological finds, including everyday ceramics and coins from the time of Old and New Testaments, making everyday biblical culture vivid. / Impressive finds from Tell el-Oreme/Tel Kinrot, the ancient Kinneret on the Sea of Galilee, allow an insight into the world of the early Iron Age, in which Israel emerged. / Part of the exhibition presents the eventful history of the German Association of the Holy Land since 1855. Numerous historical photographs, documents and exhibits provide an insight into the development of the association and its institutions in the Holy Land.

How to get to us

Paulus-Haus is on Nablus Road, directly across from the Damascus Gate.

Wenn Sie uns mit Google Maps oder Waze suchen, geben Sie bitte “Schmidt College” ein.

  • From Ben Gurion Airport the easiest and fastest way is to take from Terminal 3 the train to Yizhaq Navon Station (directly at Jerusalems Central Bus Station).
  • Take the Lighttrain towards Mount Herzl to Damascus Gate Station.
  • From here, it is a 5 minutes walk parallel to the Old City Walls, past the bus parking area to your left, to Nablus Road (opposite Damascus Gate/at the traffic light) and turn left. The first door on the right is the entrance to Paulus-Haus.

Alternatively, you can take a Nesher taxi from the airport and let take you to the “Jerusalem Hotel”, East-Jerusalem. You follow Nablus Road towards Damascus Gate. The last door on the left is the entrance to Paulus-Haus.

If you come to us with your car or rental car, you must register the license plate number of the vehicle with us as soon as you know it. The entrance to Nablus Road is blocked by bollards that lower when the camera recognizes the number plate.

Access is only possible from the east. If you are coming from West Jerusalem, go past the Damascus Gate to the next roundabout and from there in the opposite direction to the entrance of Nablus Road, which turns right opposite the Damascus Gate (before the traffic lights).

The entrance to our compound is the first gate on the right. Please ring at the gate so we can open it for you. If you need help entering, please get in touch.

For over a hundred years we offer travelers a hospitable place to visit Jerusalem and its holy sites. Our house, with its serene atmosphere in a lavish historic setting, is itself a part of Jerusalem's history. Located directly at the Damascus Gate of the Old City, with its colorful oriental life, you can reach the memorial sites of the three major world religions in a few minutes on foot.

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