Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

14th Century Grand Hall Excavated in Western Wall Tunnels

600-year-old hall converted into educational centre

By: J.S. Côté

Published: June 3rd, 2014 in News » Israel

After four years of excavation under the supervision of the Israel Antiquities Authority, an ancient grand hall located under Jerusalem’s Western Wall Plaza was inaugurated by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation this past Sunday.

The stone-pillar decorated hall that runs beneath the homes of Palestinians living east and south of the area features highly stylized arches and a window to 14th century aqueducts.

According to the IAA, the side of structure is adorned with a Herodian period staircase, a bathing house from the Mamluk period, and a section of a Roman road.

Both the 600-year-old tunnel site’s excavation and the education center were funded by Gennady Bogolyubov, a Ukrainian-born philanthropist based in London. Along with supporting a number of major British-Jewish causes, Bogolyubov also supports causes in his native Dnepropetrovsk and many Israeli-based charities.

The Western Wall has been in the news more than once in the last week, as a photo of performer Justin Timberlake at the Wall went viral, while Pope Francis slipped a note of hope and prayer into a gap between the Wall’s many stones.

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