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Western Wall Tunnels
Western Wall Tunnels
#About the Tunnels and Show More of the Western Wall

The Westeran Wall Tunnels were found during archeological digs that were done under the Muslim Quarter. This is a maze of underground spaces that allow visitors to see the entire Western Wall. There are almost half a kilometer of the Wester Wall here, under the Creation Rock, which was the basis for the Jewish Temple when it was built.

In the tunnels visitors can see residential areas and public places from centuries ago, including structures from the Second Temple period, Middle Ages, and modern times as well. During a visit here you will discover a water system from the Second Temple period and the Hasmonean period, with a gate and entrance towards the Temple Mount. You can see here the places where people lived their lives. The tunnels start from the Western Wall square, all the way to the other side of the tunnels, inside the Muslim Quarter.

#Finding the Tunnels

The centuries following the destruction of the Temple, the West Wall became a location for payers for the reunification of Jerusalem. After Jerusalem was breached and overtaken by the Israeli government in 1967, archeologist began digging and cleaning the Western Wall, exposing its entire length.

During these digs, the tunnels slowly became apparent, was with its impressive spaces, a sort of a tunnel into the past, it seemed as though the Hasmoneans were coming back alive. Here the real extent of the massive Western Wall were exposed, the support system built by Herod's men and engineers for the Temple Mount compound. There are areas in the wall where some of the individual rocks at the base are a couple meters long, and its hard to imagine how they were moved around.

Apart from antiquities, the tunnels have visual effects such as models and 3D images of the Temple Mount during the various periods, and animated films that show how such impressive buildings were built during the period of the Temple.


The tunnels can only be viewed with reservations.

Entrance to the tunnels is from the vault connecting the Western Wall square and Al-Wad street in the Muslim Quarter.

#A Closer Look at the Western Wall Tunnels:

Hurva Synagogue
Hurva Synagogue
#About the Hurva Synagogue

The Hurva Synagogue in the middle of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem, is a sysnagogue named "Beit Jacob." This synagogue was built in the 18th century. A group of immigrants to Israel built this synagogue, whose leader was Rabbi Yehuda Hachasid. After being built, this group was unable to pay for the place, and the Arabs who lent the money and built the synagogue destroyed the building. Since then it has been referred to as "The ruins of the Ashkenazim."

Since then, the remains stood here for a long time. In the 19th century it was rebuilt but an orthodox group among the students of the Vilna Ga'on, Rabbi Eliahu ben Shlomo Zalman.

When the Jordanian army conquered the Old City in 1948, The Arab League destroyed the synagogue. Actually, the destruction occurred even before, during the fights over the Jewish Quarter, when Jordanian soldiers blew up the synagogue, along with others, and the Arab League destroyed what was left.

Since that time, for many years, the synagogue's ruins remained. After the Six Day War and the conquering of the city by the Israeli Defense Force, the build received the nickname "the ruins," or in Hebrew- Hurva. The remains were untouched until 2010 when it was rebuilt.

#A Closer Look at Dancing at the Hurva Synagogue:

The Knesset
The Knesset
#About Israel's Parliament Building

You are in front of the Knesset building of Israel. The Knesset is the Parliament, the House of Representatives and the House of Representatives of the State of Israel. The Knesset is the legislative branch of Israel, because here the elected members of the Knesset legislate the laws of the state, change existing laws and update laws according to the spirit of time and power.

Members of the Knesset enjoy immunity under the Law of the Knesset, the Knesset square and the Knesset security. The immunity is intended to protect the activity of a Member of Knesset from powerful people who might try to control their steps. This stems from the desire to separate the authorities and prevent government involvement in it. The separation of powers, it must be remembered, is one of the most significant democratic principles.

#About the Knesset Building

The Knesset building was supposed to be built in Givat Ram as early as 1949. At that time it was said that it would be built as part of the government compound, but in 1955 it was decided that it would be built next to the government compound and not inside it. This is how the building was built here, in the place where you see it.

In a competition held for the planning of the complex, the plan was presented by architect Joseph Klarvin. At that time, the state treasury was almost empty and therefore the cost of construction was financed from the 1.25 million euros that Baron James de Rothschild had donated to the State of Israel at the time of his death. A synagogue lamp and the central ceremonies were placed in the doorway of the complex. In the building of the complex are the plenum, the conference rooms, the Chagall lounge for receptions, a library, an archive, an office and an auditorium.

The planning process was extended and included other architects, among the most important in the young State of Israel, among them architects Dov Carmi and his son Ram. Dora Gad designer the interior of the Knesset building.

On October 14, 1958, the cornerstone was laid in the presence of President Yitzhak Ben Zvi. The widow of the donor, Baroness Rothschild, also participated in the moving ceremony.

The building was inaugurated on August 30, 1966, but over the years it turned out that it could not keep pace with the daily needs of the Knesset. Over the years new departments were added to the complex, and other departments expanded. The complex became small and cramped, and in the 1990's even caravans were installed nearby for additional space. At the beginning of the 21st century, construction of new sections of the complex began, a project that ended in 2007. Today's complex reaches a built-up area three times the size of the original one of 1966. During the expansion, the gates of Palombo were relocated until 2007.

#A Closer Look at the Knesset in Jerusalem:

Chords Bridge
Chords Bridge
#The Suspension Bridge in Jerusalem

The Suspension Bridge , designed by Santiago Calatrava and is located at the entrance to the city. The bridge the architect design to look like a harp and biblical Shofar, bilt from 4 different elements. Concrete and steel are used to hold the bridge, and glass and stone are used for paving and covering the walkway.

On this bridge today the light rail passes, and is also used for pedestrians. In recent years this bridge has become to a sort of symbol in the city, which has countless symbols.

#What is the Suspension Bridge?

The Suspension Bridge is a bridge that is suspended by cables. The cables hold the bridge, and this makes the appearance that this bridge is suspended in midair.

Many suspension bridges have been built around the world in the past decades. The master designer of suspension bridges is Santiago Calatrava. Among other things, Calatrava planned the suspension bridge in Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao. He is considered one of the top bridge designers in the world, and some of the most beautiful bridges around the world.

#A Closer Look at the Suspension Bridge in Jerusalem:



The Simot
#About the Best Street and Restaurant for Jerusalem Mixed Grill

Coming to Jerusalem without trying Jerusalem Mixed Grill, is seen by many as a real miss. Around an intersection on Agripas Street, called "The Simot Intersection," are the best Jerusalem mixed grill restaurants.

These are the recommended ones:

Sima - Agripas 82, Jerusalem. Phone number: 02-6233002. The legendary Jerusalem mixed grill spot. Don't be shocked to find a line outside.

Hatzot - Agripas 123, Jerusalem. Different spices and sauces are used here, also delicious. Some say the Jerusalem mixed grill was invented here...

Sami - the former partner of the Sima Restaurant from across the street (this started the nickname of the intersection, the Simot).

#A Closer Look at the Hatzon Restaurant:

Time Elevator
Time Elevator
#About the Jerusalem Attraction, the Time Elevator

The Time Elevator in Jerusalem is a fun attractions, that enables you to go on a simulated journey in a kind of time elevator to the secrets of Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. Using cutting edge technology, the viewers feel as though they are going down to the depths of history and the city, and are becoming part of it.

In the Time Elevator visitors are accompanied by a Jewish man named Shalem, played by the famous Topol. With descend down the elevator with him, to Jerusalem's underground, going to different time periods in the city's history.

During the tours of the different time periods in the city, we meet face to face famous figures from the past, people who have built the city, ruled it, and played important roles in its past. Figures like the King Solomon, the prophet Jeremiah, the kings Zedekiah and Herod, and many others who were important, all a part of this 3,000 year old journey.

This attraction is available in many languages like English, Russian, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, and Mandarin.

Besides the Time Elevator's journey through time, this place also offers different attractions, such as a journey to space, a journey into the human body, and a journey into the wonderful past, present, and future of Jerusalem.

#A Closer Look:


#An Example of the Movies in the Time Elevator:

First Station
First Station
#About Jerusalem's Ottoman Train Station

You are in one of Jerusalem's entertainment centers, the historical train station of the capital. The First Train station is not a modern station. The station today is a popular going out area in the city, and is located in a modern train station.

The building and space here belong to the First Station of the city. The station, also known as the Khan station, is in the Bekaa neighborhood in Jerusalem, between Hebron Way and Beit Lehim Way.

This train station was built in 1892 as the last stop of the Jerusalem-Jaffa line, the first railroad line in Israel. The Turkish did not often build in Jerusalem, and the station was one of the only public building built in the city during their rule.

Except for the halt of operation during the War of Independence, the station operated almost continuously since the Ottoman rule, at the end of the 19th century, up to 1998. Then the section between Na'an and Jerusalem was close, because of the declining technical conditions. This was also the time when the First Station was closed for use.

#About the Jerusalem-Jaffa Line

Already by the mid-19th century Moshe Montefiore came up with the idea to build a railway in Israel. Montefiore , who wants to build up Israel as a modern and industrial country, claimed that one of the main difficulties for this to come true, was the severe shortage for transporting machinery and raw materials to such industries. After a lot of pleading with the Turkish Sultan Al-Hamid II, the Sultan approved the right to build and operated this line only 30 years later. The one who eventually bought this franchise was Joseph Navon, an enthusiastic Jerusalem businessman. Together with his partners, Navon tried gathering investors to build up the tracks. However he failed. The franchise was then sold to a French company, and this company eventually built the Jerusalem-Jaffa line, and built stations along it.

#The First Station's History

In a festive ceremony, participants on September 26, 1892 greeted the first train to arrive from Jaffa to the Jerusalem station. This train went through the new stations that were built in Lod, Ramle, and others along the way, where water was refilled for the engine. With time, technology improved, and this trip only took 3 hours. This train was destined to become a very important and popular tool in Israel for the Turkish, and later for the British Mandate.

This is how the festive ceremony was opened at the First Station, and the era of trains in Palestine. Except for the participation of the important city members, representatives from the Turksh rule were presence, and local Jews and Arabs. Among the crowd was the revivalist of the Hebrew language, Eliezer Ben Yehudam, who gave the machine the word in Hebrew, "Rakevet."

This is how the First Station was born in Jerusalem. At first it included a building with two floors that were build adjacent to another two buildings, each only one floor. There was a mechanism for switching the train's direction, a big shelter, and a water container to fill the locomotive.

The station's architecture was influenced by European elements from the Templars in the 19th century, and the station building is almost exactly the same at the station building in Jaffa. The construction materials used were a little different, in Jerusalem limestone rock was used from the Jerusalem area.

Throughout the years, the British added buildings to this area, like the think concrete layer added to the top of the roof, to protect the public from bombings by Italian planes during the Brtitish mandate.

With the closing of the station and its operations at the end of the 20th century, the complex was abandonded until 2013, when the entertainment complex was built up here.

#A Closer Look at the First Station Today:

Church of the Holy Sepulchre
#About the Church Where Jesus was Buried

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Christian Quarter is a major tourist and religious attraction in the Christian world. Masses of visitors arrive every day.

Christian tradition states that here were the last events of Jesus' life, his crucifixion, his burial, and his resurrection. All of them are described in chapter 19 in the Book of John.

The place was once an open garden outside the city and is called the "hill of the hilltop". Calvary is a skull in Aramaic. Is where they executed and buried Jesus. This hill was located to the west, during the time of Jesus it was outside the wall. At the end of the Second Temple period, after the crucifixion of Jesus, the Golgotha ​​was also surrounded by the third wall and placed inside the walls. The identification of the hill today is uncertain.

When the Roman city of Aelia Capitolina was built in Jerusalem, during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian, the temple was built over Aphrodite's Temple. In the 4th century CE, the mother of Emperor Constantine identified the cross on which Jesus was crucified and the Romans built the Church of Resurrection here.

#The Last Stops at Via Dolorosa

In the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the last five stations are located on the Via Dolorosa. Here, according to tradition, the preparations for the execution, the crucifixion of Jesus and his burial were carried out. Here, too, there will be the resurrection of Jesus, according to tradition, three days after his death.

#Station 10 - Removing Jesus' Clothes

Up the stairs at the entrance to the church, where the Franks Chapel is today. This is the "chapel of clothing" that belongs to the Franciscan order and is adjacent to the front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Here, the Romans stripped Jesus of his clothing and divided them among them, as the New Testament says: "After his crucifixion they divided his clothes in the elephant of Galilee, and sat there to keep his name." (Matthew 27:27, 35) The event connects Jesus and King David, who wrote in the Book of Psalms: "They shall be cast apart for them, and on my garments they will cast down a gourd." The connection of fate between Jesus and David is emphasized in Christianity, for example in Jesus' David. "This tradition is also attributed to traditions such as the one that sees the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, the birthplace of David, or at the Last Supper of Jesus, which was held just above David's grave.

#Station 11 - Jesus Nailed to the Cross

In Golgotha, on the second floor of the church, they nailed Jesus to the cross. Pay attention to the mosaic depicting Jesus Christ nailed to the Cross, with Mary, his mother, and Mary Magdalene at his feet.

#Station 12 - Jesus Died on the Cross

We are still in Golgotha. There is an icon here that shows Christ crucified and at the foot of the icon there is an altar that the Catholics kiss. Here is the rock on which Jesus was crucified. This is the holiest place for Catholicism.

Station # 13 - Bring Jesus down into his mother's arms
This station is also in Golgotha. It is quite small and has a statue of Mary and an altar underneath it. The statue in front of you was donated from Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, in the 18th century. Around him many of the pilgrims place offerings.

#Station 14 - The Tomb of Jesus

The last stop on Jesus' journey is his final stop - his grave. Here Jesus is placed in the tomb, in Rotunda, which is a cylindrical structure with a dome. Here Jesus was buried in the tradition of Jesus and resurrected after three days. The tomb of Jesus belonged to his disciple, Joseph Haramati. He had donated his family's lot to Jesus, whom he had seen as his master. Incidentally, the Protestants recognize the tomb of Jesus in the Garden of the Holy Sepulchre, located in the north of the Old City.

#Here is the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem:


#Ceremony in the Church:


Gerard Behar Centre
Gerard Behar Centre
#About the Building that Made History

You are near the Gerard Behar Center in Jerusalem. Today the center is a cultural center that serves as a center for independent productions in theater, music and dance for artists and performances in Jerusalem.

But the center, once known as the "People's House", touched history when, in the 1960's, the site of the famous trial in the history of Israel - the Eichmann Trial.

The capture of the Nazi official, Hitler's deputy and directly responsible for a significant part of the Holocaust, was a formative event, when his trial was an opportunity for the State of Israel to demonstrate proper treatment for Nazi criminals after World War II. It was clear that the trial would intrigue the entire world media and that there would be a lot of media events that would generate national outbursts of national sentiment.

On the question of the location of the trial, even the first Prime Minister Ben-Gurion was personally involved. Since there was no suitable place in Jerusalem for a trial with hundreds of participants and journalists, Ben-Gurion sent his bureau chief, Teddy Kollek, to find a suitable place for the trial in the city. At the top of Bezalel Street stood the empty and unfinished building of the "People's House", a Jerusalem institution that existed since the beginning of the 19th century, but wandered among various sites in the city. In the 1940's, this permanent structure began to be built for him, but in the 1950's, due to the austerity that prevailed in Israel and the budget deficit, construction was halted. The building has since been empty on its skeleton, a kind of modern ruin.

When Kollek and Ben-Gurion chose this building to hold the trial, contributions were raised by the mayor of Jerusalem at the time, Mordechai Ish-Shalom, and the building was completed in favor of the trial and future uses.

Thus, in 1961 the construction of the "People's House" was completed. Indeed, it served as the venue of one of the most famous sentences in the world, the scene of the trial of the Nazi enemy Eichmann. From here it has become a cultural center and the Jerusalem municipality is full of content of a different kind.

In the 1980's, the building was renovated again by the Jerusalem Foundation. The building was then named after Gerard Becher, the son of the French millionaire who donated the money to renovate the building. His new planner, by the way, was the architect David Reznik, the same architect who in his youth planned the "People's House" and completed its construction in preparation for the famous trial.
Jesus' Second Fall
#7. The Seventh Station in Jesus' Journey

We are at the Trail Gate and the location of the second fall. This is where Jesus, according to faith, fell again. The seventh station here, built of two chapels connected by a staircase.

This station is located on the route of the Cardo Maximus, the main street of Jerusalem in the Roman period, a road that led from the Damascus Gate of today to Zion Gate.

The Franciscan church, now in place, was built by the Franciscans in 1875. They planned to build a school here, but eventually built the church that was later transferred to the Coptic-Catholic community. There is one pillar left in the church from the Roman Cardo that used to be here.

Here, according to Christian tradition, was the "gate of the trial," which was one of the gates of Jerusalem during the Second Temple period from which Jesus was taken from the city to be crucified. The gate, which does not appear in the Bible, is located at the intersection of Via Dolorosa and the olive press, in the heart of the bustling market. It is the Franciscan Christians who bind this place to the gate of law. The researchers speculate that this is a tradition from the 13th century, which was intended to emphasize to the faithful that Jesus was crucified outside the walls, as was common in the crucifixion of Jews among the Romans.

#A Closer Look at the Seventh Station of Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem:

Jesus Meets Mary
#4. Jesus Meets the Mother Mary

On the fourth stop of the Via Dolorosa, Jesus meets his mother Mary. The station is at the Armenian-Catholic church called "Church of Mary of the Anguish," or "Our Lady of Sorrows." This church was built in 1874-1881 on the ruins of an ancient Crusader church.

The station is located in an underground hall connected to the third station. Here, according to tradition, Mary stood and watched Jesus bearing the Cross. Look at the statue of Mary and Jesus meeting. They both understand that this is their last meeting. The pain is visible on their faces.

Next to the statue you can see a Byzantine mosaic floor. Pay attention to the pair of sandals or feet that are visible in it. This mosaic was discovered during the construction of the church. The researchers speculate that this is the hall floor of an ancient bathroom and there is probably no connection between the mosaic and the encounter between Mary and Jesus, a tradition that was created in the 14th century, long after the Byzantine period and not described in the New Testament. Nevertheless, the Christian tradition identifies the mosaic as the sign of the place where Mary stood when she saw her son Jesus walking with difficulty, with the cross on his back, on his last journey, at Via Dolorosa.

The compound, which includes the third and fourth stations, is part of the center of Armenian believers in Jerusalem. This church, where the statioins are located, is built on a Byzantine church, where a section of an ancient mosaic that looks like sandals is preserved.

#A Closer Look at the Fourth Station on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem:

Veronica Christi
#6. Veronica Wipes Jesus' Face

The sixth station is a stone pillar that says in Latin: "Station No. 6 - The righteous Veronica wiped the sweat from the face of Jesus." Tradition sees the house opposite the stone pillar with the inscription, Veronica's house.

Here, in the Via Dolorosa, Veronica, according to belief, helped wipe Jesus' face and revealed the portrait of Jesus in her kerchief.

Veronica was, according to legend, one of the few righteous who helped Jesus in the journey of agony. She handed him a white handkerchief to wipe the blood from his face. When the handkerchief came back to her, she realized that the portrait of his face had been imprinted on it.

This station, which is not mentioned in the New Testament, is located on Via Dolorosa. And is now in the possession of the Melkite, the Greek Catholic Christians. They purchased the place in 1883, after centuries of Christianity not present at this sixth station. It was they who fixed the column with the inscription.

#Why did Veronica Help Jesus?

Christian tradition knows that Veronica suffered for 12 years from blood that burst from her body for no reason. At the time, when she touched the hem of Jesus' clothes, she was healed. During the Crucifixion, she had come to accompany him on his last journey and wanted to ease him. So he took his face and saw the miracle of the portrait of Jesus drowned in her kerchief. Thus the handkerchief became a holy object that could heal the sick and save others.

Christian tradition knows how to tell about the most famous patient who was treated with the help of the handkerchief. It is said that when Tiberius, the Roman emperor in the days of Jesus, heard the story, he summoned Veronica to Rome to see the wonderful handkerchief. After the Emperor himself was cured of a serious illness, when he looked or touched her, the holy handkerchief was given to him by Veronica. According to tradition, it is preserved to this day in the Vatican and is held in St. Peter's Church in Rome.

#Here is the Sixth Stop of Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem:

Matam al Sultan
#The Best Hummus in the Old City

Matam al Sultan el Baghdadi, or "Abu Hassan," is one of the Old City's secrets. This is a small restaurant located on Bab Huta Street, 21, walking distance from the Lion Gate, hummus here is hand grounded, like in the old days, with a pestle and mortar.

Abu Ali, the man who owns the place, knows no other way to make hummus, and this type of hummus is referred to as "Asli Hummus," the real hummus. If you are all full form the hummus, try ordering a salad - the vegetables are cut thinly, and topped with some heavenly tahini, and those who would like meat can have the wonderful kebabs.

The name el Baghdadi comes from Abu Hassan's ancestors, who came to Israel from Iraq 200 years ago.

#How to Get Here?

To get here, walk through the Flower Gate, keep walking past "Uncle Mustache's Falafel," well-known for the specialty shaped falafel. A little after this restaurant turn left and walk down the street, through Antoina Street. On your right you will see Qadasia School, keep walk south, and a little way before the Lion Gate you will see the hummus place on your left, the "Abu Hassan" el Sultan restaurant.


If you are coming as a group, you should reserve ahead of time: 02-6276812.

Opening hours: 8 am - 5 pm.

Address: Bab Huta, 21, Jerusalem.

#A Closer Look at Abu Hassan of Matam al Sultan making his Asli Hummus:

The Crusader Market
#About the Crusader Market

The Crusader Market, located under the Western Wall Yeshiva, is the remains of the market that existed here, that the Crusaders built over remains of the Byzantine Cardo that went through here. Later the vaults you see above became the cellars of buildings built above the remains of the Crusader market. Only in 1967, after the Six-Day War and the renovation of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City, was the ancient Crusader Market restored and became an active place.

The delicacies sold here during the Crusader period are now sold elsewhere. Only a small part of the market that remains today are the small shops that sell ice cream and drinks to thirsty and hot tourists, making their way to the Western Wall.
Mahane Yehuda Market
#About the Market that Lives During the Day and Comes to Life at Night

Mahane Yehuda Market is the largest market in Jerusalem. It mainly sells food and clothing, fresh vegetables and fruit, meat, cheese, spices, pastries and delicacies.

Over the years, the colorful market has been widely publicized as a magnet for politicians and protesters of national politics, as well as being a stronghold of Beitar Jerusalem soccer fans.

Once this market was a daytime market, but the night of Mahaneh Yehuda market has become popular as well. Today's popular falafel stands and popular restaurants are joined by quality chef restaurants, lively bars and cozy cafés. Young people have made it the center of Jerusalem's nightlife and its pleasant atmosphere in the evenings attracts many from around the city and surrounding communities.

#How Was the Market Born?

It seems that the Mahane Yehuda market was born on its own. This happened towards the end of the Ottoman period in Jerusalem. The years were at the end of the 19th century, when many of the Arab villages around Jerusalem, such as Lifta, Deir Yassin and others, began to sell their agricultural produce here, on Jaffa Road, near the Mahaneh Yehuda neighborhood. They took advantage of a large vacant lot belonging to affluent families from Jerusalem, in order to sell their products to the nearby residents of Nachlaot neighborhood and passers-by. The improvised market succeeded immediately, mainly because it saved the Nahlaot residents from shopping in the distant Old City markets.

The market had no infrastructure at all, but gradually the village sellers began to add wooden sheds and stalls, and over time built permanent structures made of tin and wood. The name of the market, which was originally called "Valero Market", after the owner of the lot it was all built on, later became the Mahane Yehuda market, after the adjacent neighborhood.

#A Closer Look at the Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem:

Zion Gate
#About the Gate

Zion Gate, one of Jerusalem's gates, has many names, like "David's Gate," "The Jew's Gate," or the "Jewish Quarter Gate," it is the main entrance into the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The gate was the location of several fights during the War of Independence. If you look around the gate on its external side, you can see the stones of the wall punctuated by bullet holes and mortar shells, which hit the gate during that time. The Palmach fighters even tried to blow it up at one point in order to make it to the Old City, but this attempt failed.

Like the well-known Jaffa Gate, Zion Gate is also a Tafnit Gate, meaning entrance into the gate is only at a 90 degree angle. These types of gates were built to make it harder for enemies attacks to come straight into the city. The idea behind these gates is that anyone coming through has to make a turn while entering the city, slowing down any enemy attack exposing them to the city's protectors.

The name, Zion Gate, comes from the name Mount Zion, which is where the gate leads. This gate already existed on Crusader maps back in the 12th century, only named "Mount Zion Gate." In the British Museum there's a map from the 13th century, only named "Porta Syon."

#A Closer Look at the Gate:

Zedekiah's Cave
#About Zedekiah's Cave

Zedekiah's Cave is the largest cave in Israel and one of the most interesting places in Jerusalem. In the past it was identified as a cave through which Zedekiah, the last of the kings of Judah in the First Temple period, fled from the Chaldeans.

This was in the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem, when Zedekiah, king of Judah, fled to Jericho. Today we know that the gate between the walls, from which Zedekiah fled, is located in the south of the city, but the name "Zedekiah's Cave" stuck to the cave. The water spills that appear at the end of the cave are still referred to as Zedekiah's tears.

There is also a Muslim tradition linking the cave to the place where Korach and his congregation were swallowed up in the ground, as punishment for Korach's attempt to rebel against Moses.

#How did they discover Zedekiah's Cave?

The truly amazing story is how Zedekiah's cave was discovered by a dog. The story begins with the owner of that dog, an American doctor and missionary named Doctor James Berkeley. Berkeley was involved in the 19th century in the study of the Bible in Jerusalem. After him is named the "Berkeley Gate", which is a gate to the Temple Mount, from the Second Temple period. Berkeley discovered this gate at the southern end of what is now the Women's Section at the Western Wall.

But let's go back to our story. In 1854, Dr. Berkeley and his son took their dog for a walk. At one point the dog disappeared and all attempts to find him failed. When the father and son had given up on finding the dog, they suddenly discovered a deep hole. From there they heard the bark of a dog. After the two managed to rescue the poor dog from the depths of the earth, they returned to their homes. But that evening Dr. Berkeley decided to return to the mysterious pit and brought some of his aides. He went down into the depths of the hole and discovered a huge cave in front of him. It was an amazing cave the size and beauty of which Berkeley had studied all night.

This is how the Zedekiah Cave, the largest cave in Jerusalem and in Israel, was discovered. It is considered one of the most spectacular sites in the city and is open to the general public.

#Tour Zedekiah's Cave:


Mount of Olives
#About the Olive Mount

The Mount of Olives is a tall hill, the tallest mountain range in East Jerusalem, it separated the Old City and the Judean desert. It begins at the edge of the Armon Hanatziv ridge, to the south and north it ends at Mount Scopus.

The mountain used to be called the "mountain of happiness," and the "Mount of Destruction" - a name derived from the sacrificing ritual that took place nearby.

The importance of this mountain is mainly religious. This place is very important to Christianity, who see the mountain as a place where Jesus was during his last days in Jerusalem, and since the Middle Ages many churches built here have made this place a Christian center, as well as for Islam, who connect the mountain with the Day of Judgment in the End of Days, as mentioned in the Bible.

Judaism's connection to the mountain come from the days of the Temple, as the place of the Sacrificing Red Heifer ceremony, a ceremony to purify a person's impurity from whatever polluted it. Even after the destruction of the Temple and until the early Middle Ages, when the Romans didn't allow Jews to live in Jerusalem. At the same time Jews were not allowed to visit the Olive Mount, expect on Tisha B'Av, they would come here to look onto the Temple Mount and cry over the destruction of the Temple.

There are many churches at the Olive Mount, among them is the Church of Mary Magdalena, Church of All Nations, also called "Get Sh'manime." Nearby is the Church of Our Heavenly Father, the Russian Church of Ascension to Sky, with its tower, as well as the Church of Augusta Victoria.

#About the Jewish Cemetery on the Olive Mount

As a cemetery for more than 3,000 years, the cemetery has been active since the days of the First Temple, it is the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world, many Jews are buried here all throughout history. Some believe that the Jews who are buried here will be the first to be resurrected when the resurrections happens. This is why many want to be buried here, which also made the burial plots here very expensive.

The Jewish cemetery spread about the southern part of the hill, and towards Nachal Kidron. The place used to be a burial spot for the Cana'anites, thanks to its distance from the city and softness in the ground.

At the bottom of Mount of Olives, there are remains of Jewish gravestones from the first and second Temple periods. Jewish burials were recorded here from the Middle Ages.

During the Jordanian rule over East Jerusalem, since the War of Independence in 1948 and until Jerusalem's release in 1967, the cemetery was desecrated, and a hotel was even built on top of it.

Here are buried, among the others, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who asked to be buried here, instead of the area for the nation's leaders on Mount Herzl. Also Shay Agnon, Rabbi Kook and Eliezer Ben Yehuda are buried here, not far from them, in the Christian section outside the fence, is also buried Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist, documented in the film "Schindler's List" after saving hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust.


Try coming here during the morning hours, during the afternoon the sun can be scorching hot, and makes seeing the view of the Old City and the Temple Mount difficult.

Pay attention - there is no public transportation on the top of the hill

#A Closer Look at Mount Olives:

Western Wall
#About the Holiest Place for the Jewish People

You are facing the holiest place for the Jewish people. This is the Western Wall of the Second Jewish Temple. Known as the "Kotel" in Hebrew, this is the only surviving remnant, after the destruction of the Roman Revolt by Titus, the commander of the Roman Legions, in the year 70 CE.

For hundreds of years, after the destruction of the Temple, the Western Wall was not a prayer place for Jews living in the country. It was only in the 16th century, when the government began prohibiting Jews from ascending to the Temple Mount, that the Western Wall became a place of Jewish prayer and a symbol of yearning for the Temple. At the foot of the Western Wall there was a narrow alleyway where the Jews prayed as close as possible to the site of the Temple.

After the establishment of the State of Israel, when Jerusalem was divided (1948-1967), the Kingdom of Jordan ruled the Western Wall and prohibited Jewish access to the Wall. Many Jews used to go to Mount Zion and pray on King David's tomb, watching from the top of the building toward the Temple Mount and hoping for a day when they could go back and pray at the Western Wall.

At the end of the Six Day War, the worshipers streamed en masse to the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall. Then houses of the Mughrabi neighborhood, which were adjacent to the Western Wall, were demolished and the large prayer plaza adjacent to the Western Wall was built today.

#The Wall's Structure

The Kotel is one of four huge retaining walls built during the first century BCE, in the renovation of Herod's Second Temple. The builders then created Mount Moriah, a huge square with the Temple in its center. The length of the Western Wall was half a kilometer and about 30 meters high. It was built on the bedrock of Jerusalem, with the space between the walls and the mountain filled to create a huge, paved plaza, with an area of ​​144,000 square meters, an area similar to that of 12 soccer fields.

The wall was built of hewn stones, huge in size, each weighing between 2 and 5 tons. Each of the stones of the Western Wall is carved in the manner typical of the construction of Herod's reign, with its slightly protruding stone center, as opposed to the carved stone frame, smoother and more submerged.

If you stand near the wall and look up, you will see that each layer of stones in it retreated in about three centimeters, compared to the layer below. This is a construction technique whose function is to provide stability and strength to the ancient structure, since the construction of the massive structures and retaining walls at the time did not yet use concrete.

Today the Western Wall is used for religious services and gatherings, and many come to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah ceremony, completion of a military tracks, and other celebrations.

#How Did the Western Wall Remain Intact, and Was Not Destroyed?

For many years, the belief among the Jews was that the Western Wall of the Temple had never been destroyed. Already in the first few centuries after the destruction, the generation was amazed at how the fate of the Western Wall improved and it survived, unlike the other three walls.

The religious answer was that it was the wall closest to the resting place of the Divine Presence. The Ark of the Covenant in the First Temple near the Western Wall. This was the case in the First Temple. But in the Second Temple the Ark of the Covenant was no longer in the Temple, so what saved the Wall from destruction?

The claim of the believers is that even if the Holy Ark has disappeared, the Divine Presence never moved from the Western Wall of the Temple and therefore it continued to be preserved from destruction.

But there is another story, a Jewish legend, which explains the preservation of the Western Wall from destruction. According to the story, Titus, the commander of the Roman Legions who conquered Jerusalem, ordered four of the senior commanders under him to destroy the Jewish Temple. Each of them was ordered to demolish the wall of one of the walls of the Temple. The one who was left to destroy the Western Wall tried to carry out the order, but failed. When Titus asked him why he had not been ordered, the frightened commander replied that if he had destroyed the last remaining wall, future generations could not see how impressive the Temple was, before it was destroyed by Titus. Titus, pleased with the flattering answer, left the wall standing.

By the way, we know today that the Western Wall was much taller in height. Over the generations, the wall was almost completely destroyed and what remains of it is the Western Wall of today.

#A Closer Look at the Western Wall in Jerusalem:
Lions' Gate
#About the Gate Where it All Began

You are standing at the Lions' Gate, the Eastern gate of the Old City, located across from Olive Mount. The walkway from the gate leads to the Via Dolorosa, and the last station in the Crusade of Jesus.

The gate was built in the 16th century, was part of the Old City walls by the Ottoman Sultan Süleyman.

Not only for its location on the Via Dolorosa, but also during the Six Day War in 1967 this gate was of great importance. Through this gate paratrooper units came on their way to the Temple Mount and liberated the Old City and the Western Wall. With this, 19 years of Jordanian rules ended, and Jewish life in the city returned to flourish.

The lions' gate was named because of the lion figures engraved with the stones of his gate. In fact, these are the Bardalas, the symbol of the Mameluke king of Baybars, who ruled Jerusalem in the 13th century. Only by mistake are they considered lions.

#Lions' Gate's Architecture

In the past, the Lions Gate was a Tafnit Gate, like the Jaffa and Zion Gate. A Tafnit's goal is to delay invasions of forces into the city. But unlike the other gates, the Lions' Gate has changed over the years and has been turned into a straight gate, which can also be used to bring vehicles into the Old City.

On either side of the Lions' Gate there are reliefs of lions. Actually these are not really lions, but we'll get back to that. Legend has it that these bullets were placed in the gate after Sultan Süleyman dreamed of a dream and in his dream two lions were about to devour him, as punishment for not protecting the holy city of Jerusalem. The Sultan interpreted the dream as a sign from heaven and ordered that Jerusalem be surrounded by a wall.

And we will return to the lions, which are similar to the Bardalas. Some scholars believe that these reliefs were brought here from a more ancient structure, built by the Mamluk ruler of Baybars, who was known as the Bardalas.

If you look over the lions or the bardalas, you will see other decorations. There are flowers here and small arches. They all stand between the slits. See above the inscription commemorating the construction of the city wall by the Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent.

Pay attention to the small balcony at the top of the gate. This balcony is called "Machecollum," from which you could look at the line of the wall and in the event of an attack, pour boiling oil on invading soldiers or just uninvited guests.

#A Closer Look at the Lions' Gate:

Old City Market Of Jerusalem
#About the Market in the Old City of Jerusalem

This was once the largest market in Israel, and among the largest in the Middle East. Today, however, the Old City Market of Jerusalem is the most colorful, impressive and Eastern market in Israel.

The market is spread over many long alleyways, that cross the Old City and crisscross through the different Quarters of the Old City - The Christian Quarter, Muslim Quarter, and Armenian Quarter.

The market has different areas, some are more tourist oriented, while others are more for the local residents. Each market sells the typical market products. There are souvenirs, Eastern products, and in the touristy sections, more fruits and vegetables, different food stalls, clothes, furniture, phones, and electronics.

#The Market's History

It may be hard to believe that today's market maintains the system of streets that used to be here during the Roman and Byzantine periods. The two market walkways are based on ancient streets from the past -the north-western half of the market is based on the Roman route, while the other half, the north-south axis, is based on the Cardo, the main street of Byzantine Jerusalem, which crossed the city from Damascus Gate to Zion Gate.

The Queen of Jerusalem during the Crusader period, the Queen Melizende, made big changes in the market's structure, when she divided the Cardo into three thin and parallel markets. The Queen also added stylish roofing over the entire market.

Since Jerusalem has be reunited with the Old City in the Six Day War of 1967, the market was renovated and modernized a few times. It was tiled, painted, shop doors painted over in blues and greens, and the overhead arches were reinforced.

If in previous centuries pilgrims reported in their writings about very bad smells and harsh hygiene in the Jerusalem market, today's market is clean and almost completely odor free.

#A Closer Look at the Ancient Old City Market in Jerusalem:

The Armenian Quarter
Church of the Condemnation
Temple Mount
Tower of David