Armenian Jerusalem
The Armenians of Jerusalem enjoy the distinction of having established the city's first printing press.      Copy was set by hand, a cumbersome and time-consuming task, which remained practice until quite recently when hot metal (Linotype) was introduced.      When Archbishop Torkom Manoogian ascended to the throne of St James, he revamped the process, and the printing press was speedily computerized and converted into a state-of-the-art enerprise. and its location moved outside the convent.      The facility has been a proficient producer, catering not only to the needs of the Patriarchate, in particular publication of its official gazette, SION, but also providing local writers with an affordable avenue for expression.      A copy of the first book printed here, in 1833, is on show at the Gulbenkian library.     Originally, the building had been a caravanserai where caravan leaders parked their camels, as evidenced by the curious metal rings nailed to the wall at the entrance. The huge manual printing machine is also on display, as are the leads of cold of lead type.      The building has now been converted into an exhibit of rare Armenian books, including the first book (an almanac) ever printed in Armenian  (in Venice, in 1512), and the first printed Armenian bible (the work was done in Amsterdam, in 1666).    

First issue of gazette