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Jerusalem Limestone

Countertops fabricated with Haifa General's Antique Jerusalem Limestone provide a unique, trendsetting look to today's stylish kitchens and baths. A beautiful, versatile stone in tones of taupe, grey, gold and cream, Jerusalem Limestone is the perfect complement to a modern Mediterranean aesthetic.

What is Jerusalem Stone?

Jerusalem stone is limestone quarried from the hills surrounding Jerusalem. It is the same material that was used to build the ancient city of Jerusalem. It is easy to work with, highly dense and has a very low water absorption rate, making it favorable building material from ancient times to the present. During British Mandate rule of Jerusalem (1917 - 1948) Governor Sir Ronald Storrs enforced the use of Jerusalem stone in all types of construction in order to preserve the unique character of the city. It is a practice that continues to the present day.

According to the Jewish tradition, the Divine Presence has never left the stones of the Western Wall. Here at the Wall, the essential experience is both deep and mysterious. Dormant feelings often surface, without our knowing how and why: identifying with our nation, identifying with our heritage and sensing the essence of life. Jerusalem Stone (also known as Meleke) is a type of white massif limestone underlying much of central Israel. A type of dolomitic limestone, meleke has been extensively quarried for centuries and has been used in many of the region's most celebrated structures, including the famous Western Wall. "Jerusalem stone," as it is sometimes known, is extracted from quarries in the Jerusalem and Bethlehem areas. Meleke is a white, coarsely crystalline, thickly bedded limestone from the Upper Turonian Stage of the Bina (Baana) Formation of Late Cretaceous age (about 90 million years old) The color of the aged stone has a typical golden hue, but may range in tone from pinkish to off-white.

Jerusalem Stone may retain its white color for many years or it may be insolated to a light golden yellow. When quarried it is soft and quite workable, but upon exposure it hardens and develops a clear surface. This surface will take a high polish. Meleke withstands natural erosion very well and provides a high-quality building stone, as well as commercial marble. (The name "meleke" is said to have been coined and used by the Arab masons in Jerusalem.)