>> It's one of the most bitterly fought over cities in the world, Jerusalem. Still contested by Israelis and Palestinians, tourists are now being offered a unique glimpse of its past.>> I'm Reuters' Rina Tarash, in Jerusalem's Old City, home to some of the world's most sacred sites. Holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians and a flashpoint of the Israeli Palestinian conflict.
Visitors here can now go back in time through a virtual reality tour of the city as it was two millenia ago. The experience includes what the Israeli organizers label as a first of its kind interactive visit to the second Jewish temple which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
>> The tour has been organized by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, an Israeli governmental body. They say this 360 degree experience combines cutting edge technology with archaeological and religious research.>> The visitor takes the glasses, put them on, go back 2,000 years to the Temple Herod. Understand why was a temple, what happened at the temple, who came to the temple, what did they do at the temple?
He really feels like he's experiencing 2,000 years ago. And then he comes back to the courtyard of today and can understand the connection between the Western Wall, the courtyard of today and the temple 2,000 years ago.>> The project, however, is not without controversy. The Palestinian Governor of Jerusalem says these issues are used to manipulate the narrative of Jerusalem and turn tourists against the Palestinian cause.
Muslims, who refer to the site as the Noble Sanctuary, regard it as their third holiest place, and due to political sensitivities, Jews aren't allowed to pray there. This complicated political reality, forgotten for a moment, once the goggles go on.