Jerusalem “tombs of the kings” – the burial place of Queen Helena Adiabeni, was opened to the public for the first time in a decade.
About it writes Daily Mail.
France, which owned the landmark since the late 19th century, closed the access to it as part of a major restoration costing 1.1 million US Dollars in 2009.
“Tomb of kings” is again open for visitors. Access to the inner burial chambers will continue to be prohibited, but the public can buy tickets to visit the inner courtyard and the entrance to the tomb.
Despite the reopening, tensions between the French authorities and Israeli nationalists and ultra-Orthodox Jews who challenge the ownership of the landmark.
“Tombs of the kings” is certainly one of the most elaborate decorated tombs, all built in mannerism period in Jerusalem,” said archaeologist Orit Peleg-Barkat of the Hebrew University.
The underground burial complex that dates to the first century BC, has always been a popular tourist attraction.
It is referred to in the writings of the Roman-Jewish historian Titus Flavius Joseph, about 200 years after its construction, and in the second century ad Greek geographer Pausanias called it the second-largest tomb in the world.
The entrance to the tiered burial chamber is carried out through the ornate entrance, which was supported by two giant columns, fragments of which were found in the 19th century.