Jerusalem has been home to Armenians ever since the mass conversion of Armenia to Christianity in the beginning of the 4th century CE, and the community continues to reside in its own small quarter of the Old City, sequestered in a gated residential compound and apparently still haunted by the specter of the Turkish genocide of Armenians nearly 100 years ago. Posters detailing the progression of the genocide are plastered on walls throughout the quarter.
Most of the quarter may be closed to tourists, but the Armenian Tavern on Armenian Patriarchate Road provides an opportunity for the rest of Jerusalem's population to learn about the Armenian way of life; the Tavern is as much of as museum as it is a restaurant, a cavern brimming with traditional Armenian décor and crafts, including the famous Armenian hand-painted tile. The food itself is a hearty variation on Mediterranean fare, including lachmanjun (Armenian-style meat pizzas), basturma (dried spiced meat), and Armenian variations on shishlik, kebab and Jerusalem mixed grill.
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