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Crusader Hospital Will Open to Tourists

Wednesday, August 07, 2013


JERUSALEM, ISRAEL—An eleventh-century structure in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem will be opened to the public next year as a restaurant and visitor center following a 13-year excavation. Its massive pillars and ribbed vaults served as a hospital treating patients with Muslim medical knowledge during the Crusader period. According to Renee Forestany and Amit Re’em of the Israel Antiquities Authority, the hospital, operated by the Knights Hospitaller, was capable of serving 2,000 patients of all religions at a time, and it also housed orphans. “We’ve learned about the hospital from contemporary historical documents, most of which are written in Latin. These mention a sophisticated hospital that is as large and as organized as a modern hospital,” they said.