Nabi Samuel National Park is located in one of the most fascinating historical sites in Israel.
The park holds ruins from the third century BC, from the Second Temple, the Roman era, the Arab period, the Crusades and the Ottoman Empire. There are also more recent remains: evidence of the Jordanian army, the Israeli War of Independence and the Six Day War.
It is considered to be the burial place of the prophet Samuel according to Jewish tradition and of Nabi Samuel according to Muslim belief. The park also consists of an old cemetery for the Jordanian Legion and a cemetery for the nearby village.
The park is located on a hilltop overlooking biblical Givon and modern Givat Zeev on one side and the city of Jerusalem on the other.
It is run by the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority (NPA) with sensitivity and wisdom, so that the religious and national tension it could arouse on a daily basis is defused.
Hundreds of thousands of tourists of all religions and from all over the world visit the park every year.
Due to its historical importance and its impressive geographic location, NPA initiated a project of restoration and Illumination of the fort of Nabi Samuel.
The first stage of the restoration project - The Illumination of the Fort and Steeple – has recently been completed.
After several forays to view the site and meeting with project architect Roni Margolin and representatives of the NPA, we formulated a concept for illuminating the structure.
It was decided to highlight key elements in the compound:
• The walls of the fort
• The steeple
• The niches, the windows and the openings in the walls of the building
• The cluster of Jerusalem-pine trees associated with the place.
After several trials, the lighting design was approved. LED-based lighting fixtures were designed to be sunken in the floor in order to illuminate the walls and trees.
Spot lighting fixtures with a narrow beam using metal bulbs of 150 watts illuminate the building.
Smaller 12 watt LED spotlights highlight the window openings and niches.
The steeple is lit from the bottom up, therefore the muezzin's balcony casts a shadow on its upper part. In order to eliminate the shadow, we installed linear LED lighting fixtures on the balcony itself which complete the lighting.
Since this is a historical site, all the installations, excavations and infrastructure were supervised by the Israel Antiquities Authority. The work has taken about a year to complete.
The site is currently illuminated at night and, due to its prominent location, is visible from a great distance, even from the Chords Bridge at the entrance to Jerusalem.