Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bridge to the Mughrabi Gate

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For the sake of Louis la Vache's Sunday Bridges, I am going to call this weird contraption a bridge.

As a result of the combined effect of an earthquake and heavy snow in 2004, the original earthen ramp collapsed. A new wood and metal "temporary" bridge was put up in 2007.
Enlarge the above photo and you will see both the old and the new, side by side.
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The ramp leads from the Western Wall Plaza up to the Mughrabi Gate.
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This gate is the only opening through which tourists and non-Muslims are allowed by the Muslim Wakf to enter the Temple Mount.
Muslims enter through ten other gates.
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Their gold Dome of the Rock is on the left of the above photo.
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On the right of the Temple Mount is the Al Aksa mosque.
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Just to the left of the ramp is the section of the Western Wall where women are allowed to pray.
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There was an induction ceremony for soldiers the night of this photo, hence all the flags and people.
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This photo from Wikipedia shows the Mughrabi (aka Morocco) Gate from the inside.
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I learn from the BiblePlaces.com blog that Jerusalem District Archaeologist Yochanan Zeligman recently addressed a letter to Israel Antiquities Authority Director-General Shuka Dorfman,
in which he told of several incidents of stones fallling from the Mughrabi Gate and warned that “a danger exists to the crowd in the women’s section of the Western Wall Plaza, as well to those who walk on the temporary bridge, should stones fall from above.”
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That is not good news.
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More:
Good before and after photos of the ramp's collapse
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And also this, the story as written by a rabbi, but his comprehensive photos let us better understand the situation around the problem of the old ramp, the present one, and a possible future bridge.
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6 comments:

Kay said...

This is great! Have you considered being a tour guide, Dina?

VP said...

I see 'temporary' has the same meaning there and here. The contraption is really ugly and disfigures a wonderful place. Where is Calatrava when you really need him?
In the 1990s I was free to enter Temple Mount through almost any gate I liked, and almost never errived there from the ramp.

Luna Miranda said...

i hope they would fix the gate before anything tragic happens. this temporary ramp mars this historic place but i'm sure it will be beautiful again when the construction is done.

JM said...

It's an amazing structure and your shots are fantastic, Dina!

Francisca said...

I'm glad you posted the 2nd and 3rd photos, Dina, because I couldn't make hide nor hair out of the first one. But I agree with VP... hmmmm... Very interesting post, though, and a fine addition to the Sunday Bridges.

Dina said...

Kay, having seen what a guide goes through with big groups, my answer is NO!

Shalom all. There were years that non-Muslims were not allowed to enter at all.
Plans were drawn up for a new bridge but this produced a public outcry from the Palestinians and the world that what we really wanted to do was to undermine the mosques on top and to make them collapse. So, nothing is being done meanwhile. sigh . . .