The Lady and The Unicorn

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The Ralli Museum in Caesarea complies with all the clichés about “the treasure that lies right under our own nose”  located in the the most beautiful area of Israel “Hof Carmel”, with a large entrance sign proclaiming that “the Purpose of art is Enjoyment” and free entry and parking for the benefit of the audience.

The two museums are based on 700 square meters in the heart of a landscaped sculpture garden opposite the sleepy commercial center of the Caesarea neighborhood. With beautiful palm trees surrounding and huge free parking plus free entrance. Both Museums are dedicated to art originating in South America and the art of expelling Jews from Spain and Portugal and the Salonika Jewish community.

The Foundation establishes 5 museums around the world: in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in Santiago de Chile,   in Marbella, Spain. and 2 in Caesarea in Israel, the museums surrounding area in Israel includes a memorial site for Spanish Jewry, an oblique for the memorial of Italian Jews during the Holocaust and a sculpture garden to honor those who establish Israel. All Ralli Museums are supported by the Foundation only and provide free entry to their visitors.

The first museum building has several levels, the first floor containing one of the most important Latin American contemporary art collections in the world. An internal level of Hellenistic art, a collection of ancient coins and cross sections of ancient Caesarea during the Roman period, the children were very fascinated by this part trying to pretend how the places they are familiar with used to look in ancient times.

On the top floor, a collection of sculptures by the artist Salvador Dali, I travel the world around my favorite art, Took a plane to Barcelona and another two hours’ train drive to Figueres. to see the collection of sculptures and jewelry of my favorite painter, And I never had the slightest idea that all those treasures that I loved so much are only 15 minutes’ drive from my home.

My older boy pretended to be too cool for a museum, and things that mommy loves are not cool enough. So, I called him secretly at the statue of the unicorn to ask him what is the drop at the end of the Unicorn horn is made of? I asked him not to tell his young sister that the drop is blood as he is the only one big enough to know that, I got his attention for sure

I know that I could tell facts of Art history, but I’m just like the kids, can remember stories, and the fact that Dali has a really funny mustache and his house is full of huge eggs looks like enormous empathy Dumpty on the edge of the wall in Spain and the luxurious private car that he planted in the center of the house above the place where he buried his wife In the yard, those are fascinating tales that are much easier to remember and tell like a richly detailed telenovela story.

The second Building museum is called “The Memory of Spain” The Grand Court is inspired by the Palacio de Alhambra in Granada, Spain, the fountain at the entrance is called after Christopher Columbus, and marble statues of the most prominent Jews of Spain are located in the entrance. On the lower floor, there are huge paintings of the expulsion of Spain, Nostradamus Columbus Don Quixote and the Catholic kings Isabel and Fernando are beautifully displayed.

On the upper floors are temporary exhibitions, I have been privileged to see the Pissarro family painting generations. The current exhibition is an organization that supports Israeli artists that I hope to see soon, as it was still under construction when I arrived.

the museum location is Google Map is here 

Museum visiting hours:
Sunday and Wednesday – closed
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday – 10:30 – 17:00
Friday – 10:30 – 15:00
Holiday eves – 10:30 – 12:30

In January and February the museums will be open only on:
Friday 10: 30 – 15:00
Saturday 10:30 – 17:00

This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)

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About Author

Inbar Shahak is a textile designer by profession, graduating from the Shenkar University of Fashion in Israel, where she majored in weaving, knitting & printing. After working in the garment industry for Calvin Klein, the urge to create handmade textiles art drove her to establish her own succesfull brand of textile jewelry. Inbar’s jewelry is inspired by delicate tracery patterns and her greatest passion is combineing ancient textile-making traditions with new modern techniques. Inbar’s collections are all drawn by hand and printed over metal at her atelier in Kibbutz Maagan Michael. She regularly collaborates with fashion designers around the world, making bold and theatrical costume jewelry design made for Runway fashion projects and fashion shoot productions. “Inbar Shahak” Studio has been widely displayed in galleries, elite jewelry shops, and fashion designer shops and in exhibitions around the world, including the Premiere Classe in Paris, the IJL Show in London, The Atelie and the Moda show in NY and the Norton art Museum in Florida.

21 Comments

  1. what a neat museum! One of my favorite things to do when traveling is visit as many museums as possible. I love learning about other countries and cultures. I would love to visit here. Adding it to my list!

  2. I love museums like this where you don’t feel so claustrophobic and can absorb the art work in your own pace and time without feeling rushed. Hope i will be able to visit here one day. Thank you for sharing.

  3. A detailed piece and it is great to know the commonality between the museums, the history presented in abstraction through art. The information provided in the end is valuable & encourages to visit & experience in first person!

  4. I have a fascination with surrealism so I am pleased that the museum has a section dedicated to Salvador Dali, who in my opinion was one of the greatest artists of all time. His ability to transcend ‘real life’ and create a ‘fantasy world’ that was both connected and disconnected to our reality, is what I like to call a ‘soapbox into the future’. It is almost like he predicted the rise of reality television through his fantastic paintings don’t you think?

  5. I have to confess, I am not a museum fan. But the way you have described it is so fascinating. It is such a great museum connecting the anecdotes of Spain with Israel. Thanks for introducing me to this museum.

  6. This looks like a wonderful museum to visit and would love to travel to Israel one day. I love to visit museums when I’m travelling to learn about different cultures.

    Ami xxx

  7. Great that they have free entry and free parking – I’ve often found that when visiting museums in other countries, they charge a lot of money for entrance. This always surprises me, as the museums in the UK are all free x

  8. I thankfully have a very museum – friendly husband who likes to find the best venues to go after! I love to visit museums and if they are free all the better!

  9. Oh wow, there are some lovely pieces here. And I love how you cleverly got your son interested in looking at pieces – engaging kids with the wider world is so important!

  10. I loved reading this and seeing how spacious and well laid out this museum is with so many beautiful spaces and art installations. I must confess I often skip museums in cities where I don’t think it will add to my experience but this seems like it would be a fantastic experience.

  11. Blair villanueva on

    It would be nice to visit Israel, since it is visa free for us Filipinos. But I decided not to visit in the near future for safety reason.
    I would definitely missed these gorgeous places.

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