Managed by the French, the tomb of Queen Helena of Adiabene in Jerusalem is now open to all
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The Old City of Jerusalem and its walls are one of the most significant Unesco World Heritage Sites. The streets of the city are steeped in culture; therefore, it would be sacrilegious to deprive anyone of the beauty of the city. Keeping this in mind the Old City is being made wheelchair accessible and changes are being made in order to make it easier to navigate by differently abled visitors.
The Old City accessibility project is an initiative to enable differently abled visitors to navigate the alleys of the city better. In order to improve accessibility, 4 kilometres of streets in the Muslim, Armenian and Christian quarters have been adapted and about 2 kilometres of handrails have been installed alongside staircases. With over 10 million tourists visiting the Old City annually, it remains the most visited place in Israel. The aim behind introducing this project is to ease congestion in the streets and enable wheelchair bound visitors to access the attractions with ease. Facilities introduced include fixed roads, renovation of public services and adding direction and explanatory signs to the main sites and spatial maps among other things.
Read | 24 hours in Jerusalem
In addition to this, provisions have also been made to aid visually impaired visitors so that they can experience the culture and heritage of the Old City. An app has been introduced by the Center for the Blind in Israel, which contains special guided audio tours for the Old City. Moreover, The Tower of David Museum provides a descriptive audio accompaniment to visually impaired visitors, which describes each scene of their flagship night show. The museum also has special tours where visually impaired tourists can have a hands-on experience by touching the different exhibits from different time periods in the city’s history.
Funded by the Jerusalem and Heritage Ministry, Jerusalem Development Authority together with the Ministry of Tourism and other partners, this initiative aims at increasing tourist footfall in Jerusalem and making access easier for differently abled tourists.
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