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  • Writer's pictureMark Vogel

The Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem: A Luxurious and Historical Shopping Boulevard in Israel

Jerusalem, Israel


Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem, Israel
Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem, Israel

Over the years, my visits to the Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem, Israel, have offered a unique blend of luxury shopping and historical immersion. This upscale, open-air mall, also known as Alrov Mamilla Avenue, is located near the Jaffa Gate, adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem. The mall's development was a complex journey, marked by bureaucratic disputes and delays. The project, originally initiated in the 1960s, faced several challenges before its eventual completion and opening in stages between 2007 and 2008.


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“Mamilla Mall offers a unique shopping and dining experience, set against the backdrop of Jerusalem's rich history. Whether you're looking for luxury shopping, fine dining, or simply a pleasant stroll through a beautifully designed space, Mamilla Mall is a must-visit destination in Jerusalem.”

Designed by Israeli architect Moshe Safdie, the Mamilla Mall harmoniously blends into its historic surroundings. Safdie's design incorporates masonry-block construction and a predominance of arches, reminiscent of the historic Mamilla neighborhood. Notably, the mall integrates facades from 19th-century buildings on the original Mamilla Street, preserving a tangible connection to the area's past.

 

This 2,000-foot pedestrian promenade is lined with over 140 stores, restaurants, cafes, and offers office space on its upper floors. The mall's retail landscape includes luxury fashion houses like Gucci and Prada.


Café Rimon at Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem, Israel
Café Rimon at Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem, Israel

Among the myriad dining options, I have particularly enjoyed visits to Café Rimon. This Café offers a mix of local and international cuisines. Unlike the Café Rimon near Ben Yehuda Street, which offers both meat and dairy menus, the Mamilla Mall location specializes in dairy dishes only. Their menu includes a variety of options such as salads, pastas, blintzes, soups, sandwiches, fish, and a wide selection of desserts.

 

If you’re looking for a more upscale Italian Restaurant at Mamilla Mall, Luciana provides a delightful Italian culinary experience. The restaurant's interior features arches, red stone walls, and Carrara marble flooring, creating an atmosphere that is both historic and contemporary. The menu at Luciana is known for its wide range of fresh flavors, offering inspiring entrees to house desserts. The restaurant also places a strong emphasis on its confectionery, with a dessert showcase that greets guests at the entrance. The desserts are regularly updated, reflecting the creativity of their confectioners who have undergone various courses in Israel and abroad.


Luciana Italian Restaurant at Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem, Israel
Luciana Italian Restaurant at Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem, Israel

Luciana also offers scenic views of the Old City from its balcony, adding to the dining experience. The restaurant's atmosphere, combined with its menu and location, make it a popular choice among visitors and locals alike. However, it's advisable to make reservations in advance due to its popularity, especially during peak hours or special occasions.

 

Adjacent to the Mamilla Mall is the Mamilla Hotel, a symbol of luxury that merges historical significance with contemporary elegance. The hotel's design, also by Moshe Safdie, features a blend of old and new, integrating parts of the original neighborhood structures with modern architectural elements. The hotel's interior, designed by Italian architect Pierro Lissoni, offers a novel experience with high-tech features and a mix of contemporary and traditional styles. The Mamilla Hotel is not just a place to stay but a journey through Jerusalem's layered history.


Mamilla Hotel near Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem, Israel
Mamilla Hotel near Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem, Israel

Mamilla Mall Facts and Features

 

1. Historical Integration: The mall is not just a shopping destination but also a site of historical significance. Several historic buildings were integrated into the mall's design, including Clark House, the Convent of St. Vincent de Paul, and the Stern House. The Stern House is notable for having hosted Theodor Herzl, a key figure in the establishment of the State of Israel. This house was dismantled and reconstructed in the mall, preserving its historical value.

 

2. Cultural and Entertainment Aspects: The Mamilla Mall is also a hub for cultural and entertainment activities. It regularly features street entertainers and performers, ranging from musicians to various artists. Additionally, art and sculptures are displayed throughout the mall, with the exhibits changing periodically. The mall also hosts annual events like the Old City Music Festival and the Old City Light Festival, adding to its cultural significance.


The Stern House, which hosted Theodor Herzl, a key figure in the establishment of the State of Israel, was dismantled and reconstructed in the mall, preserving its historical value.
The Stern House, which hosted Theodor Herzl, a key figure in the establishment of the State of Israel, was dismantled and reconstructed in the mall, preserving its historical value.

3. Architectural Design: Moshe Safdie's architectural vision for Mamilla Mall was to blend the new structure seamlessly with the historic surroundings. The use of masonry blocks and arches, as well as the integration of facades from historic buildings, was a deliberate choice to maintain the historic character of the area.

 

4. Luxury Apartments and Hotel: Above the shops and restaurants, the mall features spectacular luxury apartments, some of which are among the most expensive in Jerusalem. The adjacent Mamilla Hotel, which opened in 2009, is a luxury boutique hotel that combines contemporary design with historical elements, reflecting the unique character of Jerusalem.

 

5. Strategic Location: The mall's strategic location near the Jaffa Gate of the Old City makes it not only a shopping and dining destination but also a gateway to one of the most historically significant areas of Jerusalem. Its proximity to major hotels and the city center adds to its appeal as a tourist destination.


Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem, Israel.
Mamilla Mall in Jerusalem, Israel.

6. Diverse Shopping and Dining Options: With over 140 stores, the Mamilla Mall offers a wide range of shopping options, from luxury fashion brands to more accessible retail stores. The dining options are equally diverse, catering to a variety of tastes and preferences, from fine dining to casual eateries.

 

Visitor's Guide to Mamilla Mall, Jerusalem

 

Mamilla Mall is easily accessible from the city center and offers ample underground parking. Its proximity to major hotels and historic sites like the Old City makes it a convenient destination for tourists.

 

Tips for Visitors:


- Plan your visit: Check the opening hours and make restaurant reservations in advance, especially during peak times.

- Explore the historic aspects: Take a moment to appreciate the historic buildings integrated into the mall.

- Enjoy the ambiance: The mall's architectural design and street performances add to the overall experience.

 

Restaurants and Fast Food


Mamilla Mall is home to a diverse range of restaurants and cafés:

 

1. Café Rimon: Known for its dairy menu, offering a variety of salads, pastas, soups, sandwiches, and desserts.

2. Luciana: An Italian restaurant serving a range of Italian dishes, with a focus on fresh flavors and impressive desserts.

3. New Deli: A kosher "Subway style" fast-food meat chain at Mamilla Mall has multiple locations across Israel, including Ben Yehuda and Jaffa Streets in Jerusalem.

4. Rooftop: Located on the top floor of the Mamilla Hotel, this restaurant offers a fine dining experience with stunning views of the Old City.

5. Happy Fish: A Mediterranean fish restaurant known for its fresh seafood dishes.

6. Kedma: This restaurant serves a mix of traditional Israeli and Middle Eastern cuisine.

7. Aroma Espresso Bar: A popular Israeli coffee chain offering coffee, light meals, and pastries.

8. Burger Market: A casual dining spot for burger enthusiasts, featuring a variety of burger options.

9. Angelica: A fine dining establishment known for its meat dishes and elegant atmosphere.

10. Chloelys: A high-end restaurant offering a fusion of French and Mediterranean cuisine.

11. Adom: Located just outside the mall, Adom is known for its diverse menu featuring Mediterranean and European dishes.

 

Mamilla Mall offers a unique shopping and dining experience, set against the backdrop of Jerusalem's rich history. Whether you're looking for luxury shopping, fine dining, or simply a pleasant stroll through a beautifully designed space, Mamilla Mall is a must-visit destination in Jerusalem.


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