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Old City
At Jerusalem's heart is The Old City, which is surrounded by a wall and divided into four quarters: The Jewish, Armenian, Christian, and Muslim. Inside the walls are the important holy sites of the three major religions... Show more
The Western Wall ( Ha-Kotel Ha-Ma'aravi ) is part of a big renovation project initiated by King Herod. In the year 37 BCE, Herod was appointed king in Jerusalem and he soon initiated a huge...
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renovation project for the Temple He hired many workers who toiled to make the Temple more magnificent and to widen the area of the Temple Mount by flattening the mountain peak and building four support walls around it. The Western Wall is the western support wall built during this widening of the Temple Mount Plaza. The Second Temple was destroyed in the year 70 CE. Despite the destruction that took place, all four Temple Mount support walls remained standing. Throughout the generations since the Temple's destruction, the Western Wall was the remnant closest to the site of the Temple's Holy of Holies that was accessible to Jews. Therefore, it became a place of prayer and yearning for Jews around the world. When Jews expressed their longing for Jerusalem through song, Judaica, jewelry, and prayer, the image of Jerusalem was conveyed via the image of the Western Wall. The Old City of Jerusalem, and the Western Wall within it, was not in Jewish hands from the War of Independence in 1948 until the Six Day War in 1967.
The Western Wall Tunnels - In the nineteenth century, the most distinguished Jerusalem scholars were already trying to determine the precise measurements of the Western Wall and...
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describe the methods used in its construction However, their information was incomplete, mainly because they were unable to discover the wall's entire length. Nevertheless, British researchers Charles Wilson, in 1864 and Charles Warren, in 1867-1870, uncovered the northern extension of the Western Wall Prayer Plaza. The shafts that Charles Warren dug through Wilson's Arch can still be seen today. Immediately after the Six Day War, the Ministry of Religious Affairs began the project of exposing the entire length of the Western Wall. It was a difficult operation, which involved digging beneath residential neighborhoods that had been constructed on ancient structures from the Second Temple period and were built up against the Western Wall. Some residents used underground spaces as water holes or for sewage collection. The excavations required close supervision by experts in the fields of structural engineering, securing subterranean tunnels, archeology, and of course, Jewish Law.
The Davidson Center - The newly constructed Ethan and Marla Davidson Exhibition and Virtual Reconstruction Center is situated at the entrance to the Jerusalem Archaeological...
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Park, one of the largest, most significant archaeological sites in the country. It is some 100 meters south of the Temple Mount complex, in the recently excavated and restored underground storage complex belonging to a seventh century CE Umayyad Palace. The new center offers the visitor an in-depth archaeological and historical introduction to the Jerusalem Archaeological Park by means of an exhibition of archaeological objects, augmented by visual, textual and audio information. One of the highlights of this modern facility is a real-time virtual reality reconstruction of the Herodian Temple Mount as it stood prior to its destruction by Roman troops in the year 70 CE. Real-time technology allows users to interact with the computer environment, enjoying freedom of movement as in the physical world.
The Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem incorporates many holy and historical sites, and is an outstanding starting point for any tour of Jerusalem, from family tours through to...
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guided study tours. In the Jewish Quarter, between the alleyways of the Old City, you will find sites that are both well known and new, restaurants, and other surprises that will turn your outing into something special. The Western Wall, the City of David, the Temple Institute, the Herodian Quarter, the Courtyard of the Old Yishuv, The Hurva Synagogue and other interesting sites are all easily accessible in the Jewish Quarter, and will make you tour of Jerusalem colorful and easy to plan. "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee" (Psalms 122).
David's Citadel ( The Tower of David ) is an ancient citadel located near the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. The citadel was built to strengthen a strategically weak...
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point in the Old City's defenses, the citadel that stands today was constructed during the 2nd century BCE and subsequently destroyed and rebuilt by, in succession, the Christian, Muslim, Mamluk, and Ottoman conquerors of Jerusalem. It contains important archaeological finds dating back 2,700 years, and is a popular venue for benefit events, craft shows, concerts, and sound-and-light performances.

The name "Tower of David" is due to Byzantine Christians who believed the site to be the palace of King David.
City of David - The story of the City of David began over 3,000 years ago, when King David left the city of Hebron for a small hilltop city known as Jerusalem, establishing it as the unified...
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capital of the tribes of Israel. Years later, David's son, King Solomon, built the First Temple next to the City of David on top of Mount Moriah, the site of the binding of Isaac, and with it, this hilltop became one of the most important sites in the world. Today, the story of the City of David continues. Deep underground, the City of David is revealing some of the most exciting archeological finds of the ancient world. While above ground, the city is a vibrant center of activity with a visitor's center that welcomes visitors for an exciting tour to the site where much of the Bible was written.


The Dome of the Rock is the oldest Islamic monument that stands today and certainly one of the most beautiful. It also boasts the oldest surviving mihrab (niche indicating the direction...
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of Mecca) in the world. The sacred rock over which the Dome of the Rock is built was considered holy before the arrival of Islam. Jews believed, and still believe, the rock to be the very place where Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac (an event which Muslims place in Mecca). In addition, the Dome of the Rock (or the adjacent Dome of the Chain) is believed by many to stand directly over the site of the Holy of Holies of both Solomon's Temple and Herod's Temple. The Dome of the Rock was built by the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik from 688 to 691 AD. It was not intended to be a mosque, but a shrine for pilgrims. According to tradition, the Dome of the Rock was built to commemorate Muhammad's ascension into heaven after his night journey to Jerusalem (Qur'an 17). But there seems to have been more to it than this, since the Dome of the Ascension was later built nearby.
The Christian quarter was built around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which is the heart of the quarter. Around the church there are other churches and monasteries. In general the...
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quarter contains few houses, which are mostly concentrated in the southern-eastern part of the quarter near Jericho Gate. It contains mostly religious tourists and educational buildings, such as the Lutheran school and St. Pierre school. Christian buildings stand on much of the quarter. Besides the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which occupies most of the land, the Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox, the Franciscan monastery, San Salvatore and the Latin Patriarchate take up large areas as well. The quarter also contains souvenir shops, coffee houses, restaurants and hotels. The shops are mostly concentrated in the market street, David Street, and along the Christian Road. Some of the hotels (such as the Casa Nova hotel and the Greek Catholic hotel) were built by the churches as places for visitors to stay. Others are private hotels. The quarter also contains some small museums (such as the museum of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate). In the southwest part of the quarter there is a pool called Hezkiyahu's Pool that was used to store rain water for the area.
Church of the Holy Sepulcher Originally built by the mother of Emperor Constantine in 330 A.D., the Church of the Holy Sepulcher commemorates the hill of crucifixion and the tomb...
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of Christ's burial. On grounds of tradition alone, this church is the best candidate for the location of these events. The Garden Tomb was not identified as such until the 19th century. The original Byzantine church was destroyed by the Persians in 614 A.D. Rebuilt shortly thereafter, the Egyptian caliph al-Hakim destroyed the church in 1009 and had the tomb hacked down to bedrock. The Crusaders rebuilt the church and much of what is standing today is from that time period. The ladder in the upper right window has been there since at least 1860, a testimony to rivalries between the church's factions. Inside the church is a rocky outcropping which is the traditional place where the cross was placed. Archaeological excavations have demonstrated that this site was outside the city but close to one of its gates and thus would have been a good location for a crucifixion. Today this chapel is controlled by the Greek Orthodox Church.
Via Dolorosa - The Via Dolorosa(Latin for Way of Grief or Way of Suffering) is a street, in two parts, within the Old City of Jerusalem, held to be Jesus' final path, which according to Christian...
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tradition led from the courthouse to Golgotha Hill, where he was crucified and buried. The current route has been established since the 18th century, replacing various earlier versions.
It is today marked by nine Stations of the Cross; there have been fourteen stations since the late 15th century, with the remaining five stations being inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The route starts in the Muslim Quarter, at Lions' Gate, and passes the 14 stations of the cross, ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Many Christian pilgrims come to Jerusalem every year to follow Jesus' footsteps along the route.
Mount Zion and Dormition Abbey - Southwest of the Old City is Mt. Zion, where the Dormition Abbey was built on the site Christian tradition believes Mary spent her last...
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night. The abbey was built about 100 years ago and in the basement there is a statue of the sleeping Mary. Beside the abbey is the Room of the Last Supper, where Jesus ate his last meal. This complex was constructed by Kaiser Wilhelm II beginning in 1900. The church was built in response to a request to have a German Catholic church in the city following the Kaiser's support for the construction of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in 1898.
The modern Mt. Zion is a misnomer applied by Byzantine pilgrims who thought that the larger, flatter Western Hill must be the original City of David. Archaeological evidence has shown that this hill was only incorporated within the city's fortifications in the 8th century B.C. but the name has stuck. The Hinnom Valley borders this hill on its western and southern sides.
Mount of Olives is the hill on the eastern side of Kidron Valley which facing the Old City of Jerusalem. Its name came from the olive trees that once grew on its hillside from ancient...
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times. According to Jewish tradition, the Messiah will appear here and bring the dead back to life. Therefore, the hillside became the most holiest cemetery, and the hillside is covered by thousands of grave stones. In Mount of Olives there are also many other important Christian sites, and several churches:



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