Valley of the Cross Park
Valley of the Cross Park is located in the Valley of the Cross, (also known as the Vale of Rechavia,) so named because Christian tradition holds that the cross on which Jesus was crucified was made from a tree that grew in this valley. The park maintains the area's natural feel by providing simple walking and biking paths through largely untouched olive trees, wild flowers and other vegatation and serving as a backdrop for the Greek Orthodox Monastery of the Holy Cross, a hulking, 300-room monastery, much of which was built in 1038. The park also provides a connection to the adjacent Sacher Park and unique views of the Israel Museum, which looms above. The park includes a stone olive press dating from the 2nd Century BCEand The Struggle, a stone sculpture by Jerusalem artist Shmu'el Bar-Even (1909-1980). Bar-Even descibed the work as follows: "The day after the liberation of the Old City , I came to Jerusalem…tremendous emotions were storming within me…I chiseled this stone because of a spontaneous drive, without preparation, without drawing studies, straight into the stone. A dialogue between me and that which is hidden in the stone takes place, and thereby the symbols are created: two struggling figures, one hand digging its nails into the wall, a tank turret breaches the wall, the head of a wild bull reserved, according to legend, for the huge feast which will take place with the coming of the Messiah."