The Dung Gate, one of Jerusalem’s Old City gates, received a NIS 40 million (~10.5 million USD) renovation, according to a Wednesday joint statement from the Tourism Ministry, the Jerusalem Affairs and Jewish Traditions Ministry, and the Jerusalem Municipality.
The Dung Gate complex was upgraded up to the Western Wall entrance and various infrastructural and aesthetic improvements were made in order to make the space more accommodating for the public.
The renovations were funded by the Tourism Ministry and the Jerusalem Affairs and Jewish Traditions Ministry along with the Jerusalem Municipality.
On Wednesday, an inaugural ceremony took place by the renovated gate.
"We have invested in upgrading the Old City to provide a better experience for visitors to the area. The tourist experience is our top priority,” one of the government officials present, Tourism Minister Haim Katz of the Likud party, said. “The Ministry constantly works to improve infrastructure at tourism centers. These days, we are preparing for the needs across the country, aiming to improve the visit quality for both Israeli residents and foreign guests."
Upgrades made to the Dung Gate complex
During the renovations upgrades and replacements were made to the underground infrastructure. Additionally, work was done to deepen bus bays to aid in passenger disembarkation, new stations were established, streets were repaved, and lighting was installed.
Additionally, street furniture was put in and landscaping work was done.
Furthermore, the Western Wall entrance at the complex received upgrades, including upgrades to security stations leading to the Western Wall complex and upgrades to the entrance to Goren Square.
"At a time when hundreds of thousands are about to come and pray by the remains of our Holy Temple, the Western Wall, we are pleased to announce to the general public the completion of the renovation project at the entrance to the Wall,” Jerusalem Affairs and Jewish Tradition Minister, Meir Porush of the United Torah Judaism party said. “This was achieved with significant financial investment from the Jerusalem Affairs and Jewish Traditions Ministry, together with the Ministry of Tourism and the Jerusalem Municipality. We call on all of Israel to come and pray, comfortably and efficiently, both during the Days of Awe and the Sukkot festival, and to enjoy easier access to the holy place of the Jewish people. The main thing is that the prayers will be accepted before the Almighty."
The renovation project finally reached its fruition after roughly 9 months of planning and labor. The construction itself was completed by the Jerusalem Development Authority and Moriah, a municipal company.
"The infrastructure upgrade revolution taking place in the city does not bypass the Old City,” said Jerusalem Mayor, Moshe Lion, “The completion of the upgrade work at the Dung Gate area is significant for Jerusalem, for pilgrims, and for tourists coming to the city. The historic complex, located near the Western Wall, has received extensive upgrading, including the replacement of infrastructure, improvement of the public space, and improved accessibility. The upgrade in the area will greatly contribute to the experience of pilgrims and tourists and make the place more attractive. We are pleased with the cooperation with the Jerusalem Affairs and Jewish Traditions Ministry, the Ministry of Tourism, which led to the completion of this important project."
The renovations were completed shortly before the commencement of the Jewish High Holidays, when as the Western Wall Heritage Foundation Announced, tens of thousands of Jewish worshippers are expected to flock to the Old City for Slihot (penitential prayers).