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The Shrine of the Book
The Shrine of the Book houses the Israel Museum’s center for the display and study of ancient biblical manuscripts, including the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Aleppo Codex. The Shrine is arranged in a manner that traces the development of the Hebrew Bible, with older manuscripts placed in the upper galleries and more recent ones in the lower galleries. Architect Frederick John Kiesler’s unique design of the building is symbolic on multiple levels. Thus it serves as a sanctuary—or ‘shrine’—reflecting the deep spiritual commitment of generations of scribes who labored to copy and preserve these holy books. The white dome of the structure is intended to represent the lids of the manuscript jars in which many of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. The Shrine is build two-thirds above ground and one-third below, surrounded by a reflecting pool. In contrast to the white dome is a nearby wall of black basalt. These elements are intended to represent the spiritual struggle between the forces of light and darkness, good and evil. Access to the shrine is through a corridor that suggests a cave—the caves of Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls lay hidden for nearly 2000 years.
The Old City in Jerusalem is surrounded by the "Old Walls" and can be accessed through one of the seven gates that can be found around the wall. The Old City is divided into 4 different quarters - the Jewish Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Armenian Quarter, and the Muslim Quarter. Withing the Old City of Jerusalem you will find some of the most well-known attractions of the city, including holy sites from all three religions. Attractions you will be able to see on a tour through the Old City include the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Temple Mount, Al Aqsa Mosque, David's Tomb, the Jerusalem Archaelogical Park and the Dome of the Rock - the third holiest place in Muslim religion after Mecca and Madina. You have the possibility to either take a guided tour, a audio tour or just walk by yourself. The Ministry of Tourism operates a Visitor Information Centre in the Old City. It can be found at Safra Square 3, near the Jaffa Gate, and offers maps and leaflets for all those who want to discover the treasures of Jerusalem's Old City by themselves. The opening hours of the Visitor Information Center are Sunday to Thursday form 9am to 4.30 pm and Friday from 9am to 1pm. Parking spaces can be found at Karta (Jaffa Gate), Mount Zion and the Jewish Quarter (Zion Gate) and Givati (Dung Gate). Please note that private cars are not allowed inside the Old City.