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Hermit House, Herzliya *

Caveman Cafe, also known as Hermit House, in Herzliya, Israel. This bizarre residence of the Caveman (his real name is Nissim Cachlon) is carved out of the sand dunes in defiance of zoning regulations and common sense, decorated with anything and everything he can get his hands on. Photo: (WT-en) Jpatokal מוויקימסע האנגלית

Hermit House is an earthen residence situated on the limestone cliff under Apollonia National Park overlooking the Mediterranean near the Sidna Ali Mosque in Herzliya, 15 kilometres North of modern Tel Aviv.

Sidna Ali Mosque Aerial View Photo: Amos Meron This photo was taken as part of WikiAir in Israel, in cooperation with The Israeli Association of General Aviation.

The Hermit House is an example of vernacular architecture. Vernacular architecture is architecture characterised by the use of local materials and knowledge, usually without the supervision of professional architects. 

Its owner, designer, and creator, Nissim Kahlon, has been building the structure solely by hand since the late 1970s, tunneling deep into the cliff side and using natural sea materials.

Hermit House, Herzliya Silas10961 at English Wikipedia

The part fortress, part castle, part work of art structure includes dozens of chambers, both decrepit and beautiful, covered in highly elaborate tile mosaics made of recycled materials such as blue glass from broken  beer bottles, plates, and other debris washed ashore. Local city authorities and residents have so far been unable to oust the non-code-compliant resident. Rising sea levels, caused in part by the city’s construction of a jetty, now pose a threat to Cachlon’s work of several decades. Hermit House’s exterior is publicly visible and requests for interior tours are occasionally honored by its owner.

Hermit House on Nof Yam beach, Herzliya, Israel. en.wikipedia לוויקישיתוףעל ידי FastilyClone באמצעות MTC!.

Nissim Mahlon

In 1970 Nissim Kahlon decided to leave city life behind and begin a new life living on the beach. Kahlon first began building little straw beach huts, then wooden cabanas. Next, working with the intent to build something more substantial, he added mortar and stone until he had created a full-scale Stegosaurus-shaped home. He focused on excavating a maze of tunnels and rooms from the limestone cliffs, using only the simplest of hammers, picks, and shovels. He decorated many rooms with mosaics created from objects and recycled materials,  mostly treasures thrown up from the sea – stones, coral, tires, bottles, and glass.

Hermit House en.wikipedia לוויקישיתוףעל ידי FastilyClone באמצעות MTC!

Apollonian Story

A film about his life and work, Apollonian Story, was completed in 2014 by filmmakers Ilan Moscovitch and Dan Bronfield on Vimeo.

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