If you are in the famous Machane Yehuda Market, or indeed in the bustling center of Jerusalem a short detour into the Nachlaot neighborhood is rewarding both for its pretty alleyways and squares, and for its relative tranquility after the noise and bustle of the market and the city center.
In the 19th century as night fell it was unsafe to be outside or even unguarded against bandits, robbers or animals. Therefore houses were either built within a walled town or built wall to wall around an inner courtyard with one entrance that could be locked at night.
With overcrowding of the walled old city of Jerusalem, new neighborhoods sprung up outside the walls but were built as small closed neighborhoods around a central courtyard. Nachlaot, which literally means “Homesteads” is a group of 23 such courtyards’ founded towards the end of the 19th century. Each of these courtyards had its own distinctive identity depending on the country of origin of its inhabitants or its particular religious customs. The Syrian community opened the still active Ades Synagogue in 1901. The Kurdish Jews founded the Zichron Yoseph “Homestead”, The Muncasz Chassidic sect founded “Batei Muncasz” and so on.
The district became quite run down but in the last few years has become a very attractive neighborhood with skyrocketing house prices.