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 Israel Travel Blog >> June 23 >> Highlights and Tips
Calatrava Bridge Opening - Celebratin in Jerusalem
This week Jerusalem will celebrate the unveiling of the new Calatrava bridge welcoming visitors to the city at it's north-western entrance (the main doorway to Jerusalem, from the Airport and Tel Aviv). Unveiling is maybe a poor choice of words, since the process of building the bridge took a while, time spent by the citizens of Israel's Capitol to get used to the new and very impressive resident, as well as for a growing controversy over its too-modern-nature and the disharmony of the white steel bridge and it's Jerusalem stone surrounding.

The Calatrava Bridge in Jerusalem

A huge architectural project like this is doomed to draw some fire and local criticism should be herd and discussed, and it was, in Israeli media as well as in international magazines. Jerusalem is a symbol and many around the world hold it holly and sacred, this is probably why some have a very conservative view when it comes to new development in the city. The stunning bridge by world famous architect, sculptor and structural engineer, Santiago Calatrava, is everything but conservative (especially when compared with its architectural neighbors). Calatrava has cited biblical inspiration for his design, specifically Psalm 150:3, which reads: “Praise Him with a blast of the trumpet; praise Him with the lyre and harp!” but not everyone was convinced. Still, the bridge is absolutely stunning, and this guide to Israel writer is a huge fan of Calatrava bridges around the world, and as such believes that we are lucky to have this striking architectural wonder in Israel and that it will inspire millions of people every year as they enter Jerusalem from the west.
calatrava bridge at nightUnlike the many Calatrava bridges set over waterways, this one passes over a river of vehicular traffic. It will connect two perpendicular sections of a light-rail line, one on Jaffa Road and the other on Herzl Boulevard, and a walkway will help pedestrians negotiate the massive intersection.
The Jerusalem light train, the same one that this bridge was built for, is far from its first ride, but the bridge opening will be celebrated this week, on June 25 (8 pm) with lots of pyrotechnics, fireworks, multimedia and light shows. If you are up for a little noise you may find this Independence Day type of celebration enjoyable, it's called "Halleluiah" the inauguration of the strings bridge.
Take a look at the photos; this just may become Israel's new tourist magnet.

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