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The Holy Land Experience: Temple of the Great King

 

Temple of the Great King and Plaza of the Nations

Rating: * * *
Type: Historical re-creation
Time: Continuous viewing
Short Take: A fitting setting for the shows

The Temple of the Great King is a one-third scale re-creation of Herod's Temple, which stood on Jerusalem's Mount Moriah in the first century A.D. What we see is actually just the Temple's facade and a courtyard in front of it surrounded by 30 Corinthian columns with golden capitals.

Supposedly, this is all archaeologically accurate. Be that as it may, the Plaza of Nations, as this space is called, is a dazzling centerpiece for The Holy Land Experience. Add a high priest in white robes and bulbous turban, blowing a shofar to summon the faithful, and a uniformed Roman solider striding purposefully about and you have a nice, if pared down, evocation of ancient Jerusalem.

Some of the live performances take place here, using the semicircular steps to the Temple as a stage. Seating is provided by folding chairs arranged in a semicircle facing the Temple. The signature show performed here is "We Shall Behold Him," a glitzy gospel pageant visualizing Jesus's triumphant return, accompanied by sequin-wearing angels, that immediately follows the Passion presentation. It is also used for the day-ending "Miracle Moment" prayer session.

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