After nine months of work and a cost of 20 million shekel, the longest suspension bridge in Israel connecting Mount Zion in Jerusalem to the Valley of Hinnom will be officially opened on Sunday.
The 202-meter (663-foot)-long bridge, which will be accessible to walkers every day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., is anticipated to rank among the top tourist destinations in the city.
Visitors will be able to see the Old City’s natural southern valley from the bridge.
Moshe Lion, the mayor of Jerusalem, announced that the city has invested millions in the creation of tourism attractions and extended an invitation to Israelis and foreign tourists to visit the bridge.
The valley was primarily utilized as a waste dump before the 1967 Six-Day War and was considered a no-man’s land.
For the past 20 years, there have been initiatives to clean it up and make hiking trails through it. The valley is home to priceless archeological relics from many historical eras, including old graveyards and a spring.
One of the relics discovered included a stone that archaeologists think was being mined for the Holy Temple but was abandoned for an unidentified reason.
The Hebrew Bible first refers to the Valley of Hinnom as a section of the boundary between the tribes of Yehudah and Benjamin (Joshua 15:8). It was the location of the Tophet during the late First Temple period, when some of the kings of Judah slaughtered their children by fire (Jeremiah 7:31), after which Yirmiyahu cursed it (Jeremiah 19:2–6).
Gehinnom, a more harsh name than Sheol, the more neutral phrase for the place where the dead are said to reside, came to be used in later Jewish rabbinic literature to refer to divine punishment.
Both are translated as “hell” in the King James Version of the Bible.