(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The Western Wall Heritage Foundation is launching a new virtual reality experience in the Western Wall complex which provides a virtual tour of the ancient Second Temple, giving visitors an insight into the workings of the center of Jewish life 2,000 years ago.
The tour is conducted via virtual reality headsets that “will suck them into an ancient and vibrant world which comes to life before their eyes,” the foundation says.
The virtual reality tour, created by ArchTour, tailors visitors’ experiences to the interest they express in various objects, features and people who they see and focus on during the tour.
“The experience takes visitors to a journey backward in time to the era of the Second Temple, and allows them to stand in the middle of events, to meet central personalities such as the Kohanim and pilgrims, and to see all the central points of the Temple Mount, from the impressive Robinson’s Arch at the southwestern section of the site via the Royal Colonnade, the courtyards of the Temple and, the crowning glory, the sanctuary of the Second Temple in its full glory,” says the foundation.
The creation of the attraction involved comprehensive research carried out by historians, archeologists, and rabbis, in which every individual element of the Temple structure was recreated in the detail over thousands of research hours.
The in-depth research allowed even minute details to be uncovered, including the type of marble and floor tiles used in the Second Temple, as well as other building materials.
The virtual reality tour takes 15 minutes and costs NIS 20.
The Second Temple, which sat atop the Temple Mount, is believed to have been originally completed in the late sixth century BCE, but was renovated by King Herod the Great in the late first century BCE.