Source: Times of Israel
A Jerusalem museum is breathing life into the ancient city with a new virtual reality tour that allows visitors to experience how archaeologists believe Jerusalem looked 2,000 years ago. The Tower of David Museum, which is housed in the Old City’s ancient stronghold, plans to launch the high-tech guided tour this month ahead of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
The virtual reality guide, “Step into History,” offers visitors a chance to “walk in the streets of Jerusalem and enjoy the present and take a look back to the past,” said Tower of David Museum director Eilat Lieber.
Working with archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority, Lithodomos VR created 360-degree simulations of how Jerusalem’s citadel, palaces, streets and ancient Jewish Temple are believed to have appeared during its heyday under King Herod in the first century BCE and during the life of Jesus.
Accompanied by a guide, visitors will be able explore nine vantage points in the city, starting at the citadel — an Ottoman-era fortress built atop remnants of several earlier bastions — then meandering through the Old City’s Jewish Quarter down toward the remains of the Second Jewish Temple. In order to keep from crashing into modern Jerusalem, visitors carry the goggles between sites, then put them on once they are stationary.
At each point, a narrator explains the historical significance of the structures they can see in the goggles: the columned marketplace of the Cardo, the heart of the ancient city; the soaring towers of Herod’s citadel; the opulent pools of his pleasure palace; and the Temple. The VR tour around the Old City takes approximately two hours, the museum said.