Hundreds of horsemen from Australia and New Zealand were brought by ANZAC to Israel to during WW1. The ANZAC Memorial Centre in Be’er Sheva tells the story of these soldiers in an engaging and moving way.
The ANZAC Memorial Centre in Be’er Sheva was built in cooperation with the governments of Australia and Israel, the Be’er Sheva municipality, the JNF, JNF Australia and the CWGC. The Centre is located near the cemetery for combatants of the First World War in Be’er Sheva. The Centre was dedicated as part of the 100th anniversary of the occupation of Beersheba by the ANZAC forces on October 31, 2017 in the presence of the Prime Minister of Israel and the Prime Minister of Australia.
The ANZAC Memorial Centre is a unique place in Israel that tells the story of the soldiers of the ANZAC soldiers and the conquest of Be’er Sheva in an experiential manner.
The ANZAC Memorial Centre in Be’er Sheva is an educational facility committed to promoting and instilling the values of heritage, patriotism, identity and the promulgation of knowledge, all embodied by the ANZAC spirit and their stories.
The ANZAC Museum was designed as a system of spaces that give the visitor an experience of venturing from the outside in and back again. The story of the journey and the war is transmitted through a set of narratives and spaces, from the journey to the Land of Israel to the battles in Gaza and the conquest of Be’er Sheva in 1917. At the end of the visit, the visitors find themselves looking out at the cemetery – the result of the war.
The balcony of the museum affords a view on the cemetery, where the gravestones of the ANZAC and British soldiers slain in the battle for Be’er Sheva a hundred years ago rise up in monumental stillness.
The building is cast of exposed white concrete, reminiscent, on the one hand, of desert stone, and on the other hand, of the fortifications associated with the landscape of war. The shape of the building was designed to resemble the heads of charging horses, so characteristic of this particular battle.
It is not the purpose of the building to glorify the event of war, but to memorialize the story of its victims and the heavy price of the fighting, while enabling visitors to look out onto the city of Be’er Sheva as it is today, teeming with life and displaying the wondrous development it has undergone in the years since that battle.