Last Sunday, as dusk fell and the last rays of the sun glowed on the ancient walls of the Tower of David, we were honored to host the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Patrick and Lina Drahi Foundation Entrance Pavilion. Minister for Jerusalem and Heritage and Minister for Housing and Construction, Ze’ev Elkin, Mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Leon, Patrick and Lina Drahi as well as the chair of the Foundation, Angelina Drahi, were in attendance to celebrate the historic event as, for the first time in history, a modern building will arise between the ancient citadel and the city walls of Jerusalem. With the generous help of the Drahi Foundation, the new entrance pavilion will be a major component of the museum’s strategic plan to change the visitor flow to the museum by constructing a new entrance on the western flank, with direct access for the millions of visitors who arrive at the Jaffa Gate.

Opening at the end of 2022, visitors will be able to enter the museum, learn and enjoy the history and archaeology of the city, and exit through the original Ottoman Gate directly into the streets of the Old City, after having had the perfect introduction to Jerusalem. The building itself is a piece of modern architecture, partially submerged into the ground so as not to compete with the ancient walls. It respects and blends into the sensitive archaeological landscape while containing visitor services, a café, shaded meeting areas and the only contemporary gallery in the Old City of Jerusalem, located in the lower level of the building. We are proud and respectful of this opportunity to add another layer to the history of this immortal city.

Photo L to R: Patrick Drahi, Angelina Drahi, Minister Elkin, Mayor Lion, TOD Director Eilat Lieber