Climbing the partitions at Jerusalem’s Tower of David

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The Phasael Tower, an ancient column built by Herod, is now used to hold a 50 meter zip line that hangs about 40 meters above the ground in the tower of the David Museum in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The Phasael zipline, known as Omega in Hebrew, is the first of seven stops in Towers in the Air, this summer’s rope adventure at the Tower of David, with visitors floating through the museum rooms.

Opened in August and during the Jewish holiday season in September, the high ropes course was conceived by Tamar Berliner, deputy director of the museum.

Berliner produced a lot of stunts and unusual ideas for the museum. This comes with ongoing renovations that are restricting access to most of the museum’s permanent exhibits.

“People are looking for attractions and experiences in Israel this summer. You have the feeling that you deserve something amazing, ”said Berliner.

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Two other stops are a jump from a wall to the floor, about five or six meters lower, and a shorter zip line that feels like a playground slide compared to the first ride in the air.

Walk over a suspension bridge in the rope course of the Tower of David Museum, opened in August 2021 (Jessica Steinberg / Times of Israel)

“I stand there and watch children who are so brave that they just jump off the wall,” said Berliner.

When the participants reached the jump and the final zipline, they took a harrowing walk over two suspension bridges, one made of narrow wooden boards, that hang over the citadel’s 40-meter-high moat.

It’s not intended for those afraid of heights, but most of the participants were ready for the challenge on a weekday afternoon, queuing to cross the suspension bridges and zip up the zip lines.

The high ropes course is open from 9 years, children up to 12 years must be accompanied by an adult. Only 50 people can enter every hour, and visitors must reserve a day and time before entering the museum – in closed shoes – for the NIS 100 per person adventure. Participants are equipped with helmets and full climbing gear.

Tunneling on a zip line in the high ropes course Tower of David Museum, opened in August 2021 (Jessica Steinberg / Times of Israel)

The Berliner had “done a lot of research,” she said before she found the right company to build a rope park within the old crusader walls.

“I think I’ve met everyone in Israel who does that,” she said. “I needed someone whose style was like this – like in ‘Sure, an Omega? Why not?'”

The museum has set up other adventurous challenges in the past, including abseiling and a slackline, but not for the general public.

“This has been my dream for many years,” said Berliner. “And now they do.”

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