As a tourist destination, there is no doubt that Jerusalem misses out on having a beach, but now the city has its own sea attraction – the new Israel Aquarium.
Opening in late 2017, the Gottesman Family Israel Aquarium in Jerusalem is Israel’s first public aquarium, excepting the underwater coral reef observatory in Eilat. It is located next to the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, designed by the same architect – Lenny Raviv – and built at a cost of 100 million shekels.
The museum’s designers have overcome the many challenges involved in building an aquarium inland by dedicating almost half of its main building to the life-support systems required to maintain the health of all of the fish on display. These systems manufacture salt water and ensure that the water quality is correct to sustain the marine life in the tanks. Solar panels on the building’s green roof generate green energy for the needs of the aquarium.
The focus of the aquarium is marine education, research and conservation. It showcases the conservation of Israel’s marine habitats, with galleries dedicated to each of Israel’s four seas: the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, Lake Kinneret and the Dead Sea. There are exhibits about the problem of overfishing and the dangers caused to marine creatures by plastic bags and other garbage, to encourage people to be more careful about what they throw away on the beach.
The displays are stunning as well as informative. You can walk through the shark tank, meet the lobsters and feed the manta rays in the Mediterranean gallery. The Red Sea gallery includes eight tanks devoted to different types of jellyfish, and a real coral colony that was rescued from the sea.
There is no doubt that the new aquarium will become one of the hottest tickets in Israel for residents and visitors alike, so we recommend advance online booking if you want to get up close and personal with Israel’s magical marine menagerie!
Talk to Shatour about organizing your visit to the Israel Aquarium in Jerusalem and other popular sites. We are happy to advise on customizing and organizing your visit to Israel. Contact us today.