This is an article about one of the greatest archeologists of the holy land
The holy land attracted so many talented people, today I would like to introduce a great archeologist who discovered a part of the underground tunnels of Jerusalem and many more.
Conrad Schick was a researcher, architect, archaeologist, model builder, he also did the measurements, mapping, construction consulting, and many more…. He was self-taught and had no academic degree. The title of "Doctor" he received at the end of his life was an honorary degree from the University of Tibigan in Germany for all his contributions.
He was born in the village of Bitz in the Württemberg district of Germany in 1822 as a "sandwich boy". He had five older brothers and five younger ones, a very big family comparing to a typical German family. He was a weak child some would say even with a slight disability, and when his friends used to play outside games like football he preferred to read, especially from the Bible and sketch. when he was 14, he finished his studies, and because of his weak body it was clear that farming was not his direction.,
In Corentle he became acquainted with Christian missionaries who operated throughout the world and returned with stories that stirred his imagination. After completing his apprenticeship, he moved to Basel and worked there in a large locksmith shop. But his great ambition was to be a missionary. In Basel, he met Wilhelm Hoffman, who headed the great mission in Basel and asked him to accept him to his institution. For some reason, he did not receive the check but referred it to Spitler who headed the "Pilgrim Mission" on Givat St. Krishna near Basel. Chic was not enthusiastic but joined this mission. One of the first things he was asked to do was build a model of a tabernacle to illustrate to students the Bible story. and the model came out fantastic.
This model was the first in a series of models Conrad Schick built during his lifetime and which brought him much publicity. Among the models he built: the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Mamluk Temple Mount, the Temple Mount in the days of the Second Temple, Jerusalem in the 19th century, the area of the Church of Messiah, and many more. But most of the time was spent there studying religion and building a new institution.
The "Pilgrimage Missionary Society" began its journey in 1833, and in 1840 reached Givat Krishona. The role of the institution was to train missionaries. As part of his general ideas, Spitler, the director of the Mossad, came up with an idea regarding the establishment of a network of 12 "brother houses", ie mission stations that would connect Jerusalem with Abyssinia. At the center of the project was the "Brothers' House" in Jerusalem, to which Spitler sent two missionaries: Schick and Palmer. In order for them to have something to make a living from, they learned chic and palmer before leaving the craft of repairing cuckoo clocks
The idea of the "Brothers' House" was a mission station that would absorb children who would learn religion but also learn crafts from which they would earn a living. Spitler saw in his mission stations light stations, which they would spread around them, thus building strong Christian Christian communities that made a living from their labor.
On October 30, 1846, Conrad Schick and Palmer arrived in Jerusalem. Not far from the Nablus gate, the two rented a building that would serve as the "Brothers' House." So that they could make a living, Spitler sent them disassembled cuckoo clocks, which the two would assemble and sell. But that is not why Chic and Palmer came to Jerusalem. They were facing financial problems, and Spitler did not help them. He later sent two more missionaries to strengthen them, and perhaps even replace them if necessary. Despite great financial difficulties, they were able to open a classroom for children that reached their peak and grew to seven boys.
The boys who arrived were Catholic Arabs and Orthodox. The leaders of these congregations thought that the purpose of the "Brotherhood" was to convert the children to their religion and to impart to them the Protestant religion, so they took care to get the children out of there and did not get sick by force of arm either.
In 1850 Conrad Schick left the Brethren House and moved to the "Industrial House" of the "London Association for the Propagation of Christianity among the Jews". At the head of the British mission at the time was the Danish John Nicholson who proposed to Chic to oversee the vocational education given to the converts. Chic accepted the offer and later also ran the institution. Two more of the "brothers" left the brothers' house in favor of the industrial house and they are Palmer and Baldensperger. The end of the Brothers House was that it became a nucleus for Schneller's orphanage, a very successful institution.
When the burden of earning a living fell on Conrad Schick's shoulders he could devote himself to his various hobbies, and his contribution to Jerusalem was enormous.
Conrad Schick has worked with the British Foundation for the Exploration of the Land of Israel (P.E.F) and also with the German Association for the Study of the Land of Israel (D.P.V) and has published dozens of articles related to the geography, topography, and archeology of Jerusalem and the Land of Israel.
He also served as an architect and was involved in the construction of many houses in Jerusalem, including:
The German Hospital (now part of Bikur Cholim Hospital), the Anglican Hospital, the Ezrat Yeshua Hospital on Agron Street, the Taliban Leper Hospital, the Telita Komi Orphanage, the Ethiopian Church, the Mission School for Girls (Flag House), Which was next to the "Davidka", a nursing home that was at the entrance to the city, a school for Mel (the architect was the Templar Zandel, and Shik only helped) Shaare Zedek Hospital on Jaffa Street (the architect was the Templar Zandel, and Shik only helped), Mea Shearim neighborhood, Beit Tavor, The new gate, renovations on the Temple Mount and more.
Here are buildings whose involvement in Chic's construction is speculative such as:
- Tiferet Israel Synagogue.
- Beit Mahanaim.
- Beit Clark on Haneviim Street.
- The Great Yeshiva in Mea Shearim.
- The Protestant Church on Shivtei Yisrael Street.
- The Museum of Science building.
- Various buildings in the German colony.
- Various houses on the right of Moshe.
- Hungarian houses.
Chic's house - Beit Tavor
Conrad Schick prepared maps of Jerusalem, maps that are used by scholars even today. These maps allow us to learn about the state of Jerusalem and its development during the 19th century.
He did not conduct initiated archeological excavations, but documented and dated finds that were found, such as:
Remains of Jerusalem of the Second Temple in the Jewish Quarter, a burial cave in Abu Tor, tombs north of the Old City, ancient aqueducts, the Herodian Tower near the Jaffa Gate (Tower of David), the Shiloah Pool, the Shiloah address, the tombs of the House of Herod and more….
Among his archaeological-architectural studies, it is worth mentioning the one that deals with the ancient aqueducts and the supply of water to Jerusalem.
Schick died in 1901 when his coffin was followed by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, who thanked him for his tremendous work for Jerusalem.