Jerusalem has been called many things – the Holy City, the City of Gold, the holiest city in Judaism, the third holiest in Islam, the birthplace of Christianity, the flint that sparks one of the world's hottest conflicts – but, to Jerusalemite's knowledge, nobody has ever called Jerusalem "a city with a surprisingly large supply of grotesque sculptures-cum-children's playgrounds designed by a French modernist artist with no discernable connection to the city."
This is a shame, because although it's a little too long to go on the front of tourist brochures, it's at least as accurate an appellation as any of those other ones. The most famous of these bizarre playground sculptures is unquestionably The Golem, located in Kiryat Yovel's Rabinovich Park. It's an enormous black, white and red...protuberance...that looks roughly akin to a melted Holstein. It was built in 1971 by French modern artist Niki de Saint Phalle (who also contributed the sculpture garden/playground to the Biblical Zoo), but the population of Jerusalem rejected the sculpture's given name (despite it already being Hebrew) and came up with something more descriptive: "Hamifletzet" (the monster).
It is a universally recognized city landmark, and several generations of Jerusalem children have amused themselves by sliding down the three tongue-shaped slides that erupt out of the Mifletzet's mouth. If you want to visit, just tell the cab driver "Mifletzet" and he'll know where to take you.
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The Jerusalem Tourism Map:Print
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