Located in the heart of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, the Burnt House is the archeological remains of a home probably belonging to one of the kohanim (priests) working in the Beit HaMikdash HaSheni (Second Temple) just before it was destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 CE.

From the artifacts that were found at the site (including an iron spear, stone mortar and pestle) and the conditions of the site itself, a 25-minute historical-fictional narrative was constructed and produced into a film which is projected onto a semi-transparent screen above the archeological excavations. The film is in Hebrew, with English translation available through headsets at no extra change. Various audio-visual effects are achieved by altering the lighting so that the images are projected on or through the screen (difficult to describe -- similar to the Hagana Museum in Tel Aviv).

The film features the wealthy priestly family who dwelt in the house, and relates how they fail to unify in the face of the approaching Roman seige. The father (a kohen) wants to remain; the mother thinks of leaving, the older son joins the Jewish zealots why try to incite the Jews to rebel against the Romans, etc. Visitors follow their last days as the seige of Jerusalem and its ultimately disasterous end with the destruction of the Second Temple and the second exile.

The film is well-done and although some may complain that it is a bit kitchy or corny, it does help put the significance of the site into historical focus.

Another plus to the site is it is all indoors and underground, which makes it a cool respite from the mid-day sun for those visiting in warmer months.

The film is a little intense toward the end, so families with small children should be prepared to whisk their little ones away should it become a little too much.