Mideast's Largest Crusader-Era Hospital Unveiled
The Jerusalem site is the largest hospital of that era ever found in the region.
Located in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and owned by the Muslim Waqf (an Islamic endowment of property held in trust for charitable or religious purposes), the 11th-century structure spans more than 150,000 square feet and is characterized by massive pillars and ribbed vaults, with ceilings as high as 20 feet.
The Grand Bazaar Company of East Jerusalem initiated the excavation and research in cooperation with the Antiquities Authority. It plans to turn the structure into a restaurant and visitor center, expected to open to the public in the next year.
On Monday, the Antiquities Authority unveiled a main hall, which is similar in appearance to the Knights' Hall in Acre, in northern Israel, and is estimated