1955 Steimatsky Pictorial Map of Jerusalem

Jerusalem Old and New. - Main View

1955 Steimatsky Pictorial Map of Jerusalem


Jerusalem under the Armistice.


Jerusalem Old and New.
  1955 (dated)     26.5 x 24.5 in (67.31 x 62.23 cm)     1 : 9250


This is a 1955 Steimatzky pictorial map of Jerusalem. The map depicts the city from the Beth Hakerem neighborhood to the Mount of Olives and the Hill of Evil Counsel and from Mt. Scopus to the Meqor Hayim and Beth Mazmil neighborhoods. When this map was issued, the 1949 Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan was still in effect (the borders would remain the same until after the 1967 Six-Day War) and is here illustrated by a red line.
Jerusalem's Pre-1967 Borders, also known as 'The Green Line'
The 'Green Line' agreement was never meant to signify permanent international borders, only a temporary demarcation line between Israel and Jordan following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The 'Green Line' even extended through Jerusalem, dividing the city into East Jerusalem, which was part of the Kingdom of Jordan, and West Jerusalem, the capital of the newly created State of Israel. When the ceasefire was finally declared, an Israeli and Jordanian commander met in an abandoned house to outline the boundaries of the ceasefire in Jerusalem. The Israeli commander used a green wax pencil to outline Israeli-controlled positions, while the Jordanian commander used a red pencil to outline positions under Jordanian control, with the area between the two lines becoming a No Man's Land. Neither commander believed that this informally arrived at agreement represented anything more than a temporary ceasefire line, meaning that little notice was given to inaccuracies and errors included in their work due to the thickness of the pencils, deviations in the drawings, or segments of discontinuous lines.

Later, however, during the meetings in Rhodes to hammer out the 1949 Armistice Agreements, the map between these two commanders was found to be the only official document indicating the line dividing Jerusalem that was agreed upon by both parties. Thus, the informality and the inaccuracies went from being a ceasefire agreement between two commanders on the ground to a binding international border. This meant that neighborhoods, streets, and even houses became contentious international disputes between the two states, as the line drawn on this map was rough at best. The border quickly became fortified, with military positions and fortifications springing up all along the wall. Landmines were deployed in the No Man's Land. Included in this agreement was an Israeli-controlled area on Mt. Scopus, encircled here by the same red line that bisects the city. A bi-weekly convoy to the Israeli enclave on Mt. Scopus crossed the border between the two states through the Mandelbaum Gate, which labeled here.
A Closer Look at the Map
A charming and highly detailed map, locations throughout are labeled. Numerous buildings are illustrated in profile and labeled, including the walls and gates of the Old City, the Dome of the Rock, and the Wailing Wall. Important religious sites, such as the Tomb of the Virgin and the Tomb of Zacharias, stand next to modern sites, including the National Library, a police training school, a public pool, and a Barclays bank branch. Neighborhoods throughout the city are labeled. Two sites are ghosted into the Israeli portion of the city: one illustrates the Tenth Roman Legion camp, while the other traces the projected site for Hebrew University.
Publication History and Census
This map was drawn by Shlomo Ben David and published by Steimatzky in 1955. This map is well represented in institutional collections.


Steimatzky (1920 – present) is the oldest and largest bookstore chain in Israel. Founded by Tzvi Steimatzky in 1920, the first store was opened in Tel Aviv at 6 Hertzel Street. Steimatzky's half-brother Yechezkel Steimatzky opened the second store on Jaffa Road in Jerusalem in 1925. Yechezkel, a Russian-born immigrant from Germany, originally went to the British Mandate of Palestine for the opening of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, but decided to stay after he saw the potential for success in opening a foreign language bookstore whose clients would be a growing population of immigrants along with British Army soldiers serving under the British Mandate. He found that the bookstore was so successful that he opened another store in Haifa the following year. By 1927, the Steimatzky brand had expanded outside the British Mandate, when a store opened in Beirut. During World War II, a Steimatzky store opened in Baghdad next to the British Army base, and branches in Cairo, Alexandria, and Damascus soon followed. After the outbreak of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the expansion throughout the Middle East came to an end. In 1948 another store opened in Tel Aviv on Allenby Street. Eri Steimatzky, Yechezkel's son, joined the company and became its general manager in 1963. By 2010, Steimatzky operated over 160 stores throughout Israel, dominating the market in Israel. By September 2017, however, the gap between Steimatzky and its closest competitor, Tzomet Sfarim, was closing; Steimatzky had reduced their number of branches to 140 compared to Tzomet Sfarim's 96 stores. More by this mapmaker...


Very good. Exhibits light wear along original fold lines. Exhibits small areas of infill at fold intersections. Text on verso.


OCLC 1010334532.