Tower of David becomes accessible for people with disabilities

While changes at the Tower of David site are challenging, two new elevators have been built to increase accessibility.

 UNRAVELING ENIGMAS at the Tower of David. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
UNRAVELING ENIGMAS at the Tower of David.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The Tower of David Jerusalem Museum's citadel and exhibition rooms on its upper levels have become accessible to all for the first time after a five-year process, the museum announced on Monday.

The Tower of David management, in consultation with the Israel Antiquities Authority and project accessibility and preservation consultants, weighed different accessibility solutions presented by the architecture firm, Kimmel Eshkolot.

“Every inch, every centimeter of the Citadel contains archaeology; and it is forbidden to damage it or move it due to its historical, scientific and archaeological value. The issue of accessibility, therefore, is very challenging,” said Dr. Amit Re’em, Jerusalem Regional Archaeologist, Israel Antiquities Authority.

“With serious, resourceful thinking, the team succeeded in creating new paths for tourists and visitors, including for people with disabilities. Now, and only now, is it possible to reach different levels of the citadel, touch the stones and get excited. This is a very big achievement. For us at the Israel Antiquities Authority, and in general for lovers of Jerusalem, this is a very important development.”

 Western elevator, Tower of David. (credit: RICKY RACHMAN) Western elevator, Tower of David. (credit: RICKY RACHMAN)

How will people with disabilities be able to access the museum?

The different levels of the Citadel have become accessible through two elevators - one near the western entrance, bringing visitors to the main exhibition level of the Museum, and the second on the eastern side to allow access to the galleries on the Citadel’s upper floor.

The accessibility project is part of the renewal of the Tower of David Museum, a $50 million plan that is being led by the Clore Israel Foundation together with the support of the Mayor Mr. Moshe Lion and the Municipality of the City of Jerusalem, the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage, the Israel Ministry of Tourism, the Patrick and Lina Drahi Foundation, The American Friends of Museums in Israel and Keren HaYesod.

Eilat Lieber, director and chief curator of the Tower of David Museum praised the announcement, saying “Knowing that everyone can now easily explore the upper levels of the citadel and its gallery rooms (when the museum reopens) is truly quite an accomplishment.”