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5 Oct, 2008 16:25

Russia’s Holy Land property returned

After years of negotiation a 19th-century inn situated in Jerusalem and built for Russian pilgrims is being returned to Russian ownership.

Sergievo Podvorie (Sergiy’s Courtyard) is a two-storey building in central Jerusalem built by the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Association and was used by those visiting the Holy Land.
In 1967 after the USSR cut relations with Israel, some of the buildings were sold off. In return, Russia received oranges for the value of the two-storey house.

In 2005 Israel agreed in principle to return the land once businesses had been relocated.

The history of Sergiy’s Courtyard dates back to 1860 when the Russian royal family bought a piece of land in Jerusalem. Later, the Trinity Cathedral, a hospital and other institutions were built there. Unlike other Russian property in Israel, the two-storey building that contained the inn wasn’t sold during Nikita Khrushchev’s leadership and has been under Israel’s guardianship.

Israel hangs on to Russia’s Holy Land property