Music Festival at the home of the Ark of the Covenant in Kiryat Yearim

Kiryat Yearim is one of the most evocative Biblical sites in Israel and never more than during the Abu-Gosh Festival. Then, twice a year, at Succot and Shavuot, this Arab village in the Judean hills, where the Ark of the Covenant rested for 20 years (1Sam. 7:2) becomes the backdrop for Israel’s most important vocal music event.

A representation of the Ark of the Covenant as described in Exodus 25.10-22. The Ark was a box made of shittim wood and overlaid with gold. It had a golden covering lid, called the mercy seat, out of which two cherubim were crafted. The two tablets of stone on which God had written the Ten Commandments were placed inside the Ark. The Ark was carried by two poles which were placed in rings fixed to the side of the Ark. © Leen Ritmeyer

The 12th century Crusader church at the heart of the village and the church of Notre Dame de l’Arche de L’Alliance (Our Lady of the Ark of the Covenant) at the top of the hill are the main venues because of their remarkable acoustics.

A video showcasing the site and the event can be viewed here.

The programme of the upcoming 40th festival is here. This is a previous blog post on the festival.

This painting hangs on the walls of the Church of Our Lady of the Ark of the Covenant at Kiriath Yearim in Israel. The Ark is in the centre of the painting with David playing on the harp to its left (2 Samuel 6). The High Priest with a censer of incense bows in reverence on the right. The memorial Name of God, Yahweh, is written between the two cherubim. © Ritmeyer Archaeological Design

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