virtual tour betania

Accesible Palestine: a virtual visit to the tomb of Lazarus in Bethany

Andrea Padova23 April 2018

The presentation of Virtual Reality glasses to Lazarus’ tomb is the first step of the “Accesible Palestine” initiative, an innovative form of social tourism promoted by ATS pro Terra Sancta and Mosaic Center, together with the Municipality of Betania.

The 3D glasses guarantee the virtual visit of sites for pilgrims and tourists with physical disabilities to which, given the difficult structural conditions of some places, access is impossible.
“Finally something new and innovative right here in Bethany and that involves us in the first person” reports Hossein Mahmoud Hani, owner of one of the souvenirs shops which has been entrusted with the management of the support.

The kit, developed by a team of film makers and Palestinian guides coordinated by Sebastian Plötzinger, (new manager for the tourism promotion of ATS pro Terra Sancta), includes glasses for viewing in Virtual Reality and a phone exclusively dedicated to the reproduction of the film to be inserted into the appliance and can be requested directly by visitors at the same price as a normal visit.

The initiative has attracted a lot of curiosity in the public present, so much so that once the official ceremony ended, many people got in line to try out this new experience. The city mayor, Issam Faroun, said he was happy and available for future collaborations with ATS pro Terra Sancta and the Mosaic Center to better preserve, enhance and promote the great hidden heritage of his city, such as the second edition of the city festival sponsored by the two NGOs.

“This initiative is the first of its kind in all of Palestine, – said Osama Hamdan, director of the Mosaic Center, which for years along with ATS pro Terra Sancta has been working on the Bethany site that revolves around the Tomb of Lazarus. And we are very happy to be able to promote a civil, not just technical, gesture towards the many visitors, pilgrims and tourists who come from all over the world to appreciate the cultural, religious and historical heritage of this land “.

In light of this inauguration, of the important excavation and restoration works that have affected the area in the last 2 years, of new tourist routes, information panels, the number of tourists for Betania will be able to grow so as to improve recovery and social development. local economy.
ATS pro Terra Sancta and Mosaic Center will monitor the development and continuation of this initiative entrusted entirely to local institutions, in the hope of being able to exploit this technology to ensure access to other places and holy places of Palestine and, at the same time, take a further important step forward in the tourism promotion of the Holy Land. In fact, one of the objectives of ATS pro Terra Sancta is to preserve the Holy Places, and for this reason we wanted to guarantee access to the holy places, such as the Tomb of Lazarus to all the people who desire it without any distinction or limitation, and at the same time promoting these areas also abroad.

Find out more on our activities in Bethany!