A new-old exhibit in the Israel Museum: A model of Jerusalem in the days of the Second Temple, which stood for years in the courtyard of the Holyland Hotel, was moved recently from its old home to a new one in the Shrine of the Book in the Israel Museum.
An underground tunnel and an overhead passageway will lead visitors from the Shrine of the Book to the hill where the model stands. Also in the new site: A visitor's center screening a film that tells the story of the Qumran cult and the Dead Sea Scrolls, and an exhibit of archeological artifacts, as well as other visual aids, representative of the period.
The model of the second temple was built in the 1960s at the behest of Hans Kroch, then owner of the Holyland Hotel, in honor of his son, Yaakov, who was killed in the War of Independence. Over the years, the model turned into a tourist attraction and, recently, because of renovations to the hotel, it was decided to move it to the Israel Museum.
The model spans 2000 square meters and is a representation, at a 1:50 ratio, of Jerusalem in the year 66 ACE, on the evening of the rebellion against the Romans that led to the destruction of the city and the temple. This period is characterized by the Herodian building style in a city at the peak of its splendor, spread over 1,800 dunam (450 acres).
In order to transfer the model to the museum, it was sawn and dismantled into almost a thousand pieces, and rebuilt "Lego-style". The last piece to be reconstructed was the Holy Temple.
The relocation was also utilized in order to renovate the structure and update it in accordance with studies and archeological discoveries that took place since the model's construction and uncovered new information about the ancient city.
The new site is already open for visitors, but the official ribbon-cutting will take place Wednesday, July 5.
Opening hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays, 4 p.m.-9 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Price: Included in the museum ticket price – NIS 21-42. Free for children on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons in July and during the whole of August.