1902 Encyclopedia > Architecture > Jewish Architecture: House of the Forest of Lebanon

(Part 21)

Jewish Architecture (cont.)

House of the Forest of Lebanon

We read in the First Book of Kings (vii. 2, 8) that the Solomon built "the house of the forest of Lebanon", "his house where he dwelt", and "a house for Pharaoh's daughter". Some have supposed these to have been three distinct palaces, but Canina considers them as all connected, and as three parts of one large structure.

The house of the forest of Lebanon -- so called, in all probability, from the cedar of which it was constructed -- is described as being 100 cubits long, 50 wide, and 30 high (180 feet by 90 by 54). Its horizontal area was thus very nearly equal to that Westminster Hall. It had four rows of cedar columns, fifteen in each, or forty-five in all, with cedar architraves, and covered with cedar. This Canina restores as an Egyptian hall, lighted, as described by Vitruvius, with portico in front, of 50 cubits by 30. The great hall, he supposes, led on one side to the palace occupied by the king, in which was the hall of judgment and the throne, and on the other side, to the queen’s palace and the women’s apartments, or, as it has been called in later times, the harem. The porticoes and hall seem to have been of cedar, but the houses were "of costly stones" (1 Kings vii.9).

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