The historic Sultan's Pool in Israel's capital of Jerusalem is set for a NIS 100 million rehabilitation and reconstruction project, the Jerusalem Foundation and the Jerusalem Municipality announced on Tuesday.
The ancient complex, which is located on the west side of Mount Zion, will be transformed along with the adjacent Artists' Colony concert area into an active, free-to-access park that will be open 365 days a year.
In addition, the work done at the site will include the renovation of the ancient pool and the construction of another ecological swimming pool and a nearby commercial area. The reconstruction will also preserve the historic damn and aqueduct present at the site, while the amphitheater will be moved to the north of Sultan's Pool and seating increased to 7,000.
The reconstruction will further seek to address complaints of inaccessibility and logistical issues on the site. Entryways to the renovated historic site will be redesigned while public services in the site, such as ticketing booths and restrooms, will be rebuilt and lighting in the site and nearby streets will be repaired.
A project of historical significance
The project is one of "historical significance," Jerusalem Foundation president Shai Doron said.
"This is an ambitious project a long time in the making...It is consistent with the values the Jerusalem Foundation adheres to: Community empowerment, a creative culture and future leadership," he added.
Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion further stressed the significance of the Israeli capital's "flagship project."
"Over the past few years, the site has become one of the most popular venues for concerts in Israel," the mayor said. "But its maintenance and inaccessibility remained an issue.
"Following the completion of the renovation, Sultan's Pool will become an active, lively area that will host many international concerts," Lion vowed. "We have something to look forward to."
Sultan's Pool, originally built sometime during the Second Temple period, was reconstructed in the 16th century during Ottoman rule. It served as part of Jerusalem's water supply network.