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The Metropolitan Jerusalem Master Plan

The Metropolitan Jerusalem Master Plan



he city of Jerusalem and

its surroundings are full of

archeological remains. The

archeological finds uncovered throughout

the city date from the pre-Biblical area

through Biblical times, the Second Temple

Period, the Hellenistic Period, the centuries

of Roman rule, governance by the

Byzantine Empire, the warring Caliphates

and Crusaders, the Mameluke period,

and the Ottoman Empire. There are also

many buildings of deep modern historical

significance including many constructed

during the first years of Zionism, during

the British Mandate, and after the

establishment of the State of Israel.

Some of the archeological sites in

Jerusalem are well-known, the most

famous in the environs of the Old City

and just outside its walls. They include

ancient settlements, facilities, roads,

cemeteries and more. Some of them have

been excavated or are being excavated and

placed on display for visitors to enjoy as

archeological sites while others remain

active holy sites for the different religions.

The Temple Mount, the Western Wall,

Mount Zion, and the Church of the Holy

Sepulture are all examples of numerous

age-old sites that remain places of prayer

and pilgrimage today.

The upkeep and preservation of holy

sites is ensured by both law and by power

of tradition and as a result of their

daily use. These are attractive sites both

because of their historical significance

and their use in the present day. Most

of them are not at risk. They likewise do

not require concerted efforts in order

to attract visitors other than improving

access, developing educational materials

etc. to make them a bit more accessible,

familiar and interesting.

On the other hand, there are small

sites, some of which are not on their

own impressive currently and which

are of less interest to the general

population and laypeople. They could

however be transformed through proper

development, either by the municipality,

private enterprise or by neighborhood

organizations, thus contributing to the

quality of life and education in the

neighborhood. A good example of such

a site, the development of which began

to attract crowds, is Ein Yael. Sites

such as this are to be found all over

the metropolitan Jerusalem area. Since

these sites are protected by law, they

can be neither destroyed nor developed

without authorization of the Antiquities

Authority, and only then, after conducting

a dig, documentation, and publication.

This means that archeological sites –

especially those in Jerusalem – present, on

the one hand, potential for development

of the city, yet, on the other hand, may

actually hinder development.

Proper development

of sites can make

them attractive,

thus contributing

to the quality of life

and education in the

neighborhood. A good

example of a minor

site, the development

of which would

become attractive

to and popular with

visitors, is Ein Yael.

Jerusalem Rebuilt

An example of a neglected

ancient site turned

unique tourist attraction

and historical site. A

grape stomp at the

reconstructed Ein Yael

wine press.

The ancient streets

outside the Old City

walls could become, with

proper development,

tourism and sightseeing

attractions which would

mesh well with the master

development plan for city.

Cafés on Nahalat

HaShiv’ah, 2007.

Jerusalem Rebuilt