The most familiar part of the fortress is the one located in its southern part and protruding far away. This is the turret of the mosque from the Ottoman period, which is known as the Tower of David. Despite the name of the fortress named after it, the Tower of David is only a nickname. There is no historical connection between King David and the fortress. Although it has defended the city for thousands of years, King David was only many generations later.
Either way, it is a fascinating archeological site rich in archeological remains. These remains attest to the past full of vicissitudes of the Old City, and can be seen as representative of the history of the city of Jerusalem, its different periods.
By the way, from the citadel towers you can see a magnificent Jerusalem landscape. There is a 360-degree view here, eastward to the Old City of Jerusalem and to the new city in the west.
So much so that this name "caught on" until it seems that many members of the Jewish community are sure that this fortress was built by King David and imagine that here, right here, near the elevator, he once stood waiting for her to come ...
This fort was the last point the Romans faced during the Great Revolt. After the destruction, the Romans set up their legion camp on the ruins of Herod's towers. In the archaeological excavations there were tiles and bricks with imprints of the Roman legion.
The Arabs, in turn, turned the place into a large fortress and created an inner courtyard. Jerusalem was then ruled by the Crusaders, who added large halls around the fortress for the use of their garrison.
Days passed and the Ayyubids and the Mamluks came, thickening the walls of the fortress and surrounding it with tall towers. The Turks, who came after them, turned the fortress into a military camp and placed cannons inside. In the 17th century they added to it the minaret of the mosque, the "Tower of David" we know today. If you look around the fortress, you will see the "moat", the deep trench that the Ottoman Turks added to protect it from attack.
Part of the moat, incidentally, was filled with earth in 1898. This was done on the side of the Jaffa gate, in order to create a convenient passage for the carriage of Kaiser Wilhelm II, who came to visit Jerusalem. To this end, a small section of the wall of the moat was also removed.
It was the British, who during the British Mandate period turned the fort into a museum. In the 1920's they allowed exhibitions of young Israeli art to be exhibited here. The tradition of those "Tower of David" exhibitions continues today, and in the State of Israel, the small museum has become a real museum, transforming the citadel into a cultural and tourist center.
The museum presents the story of the city in modern and sophisticated ways and with digital and interactive means that enrich the experience and enable visitors to learn about Jerusalem in unusual ways. All this is done through computers and screens, as well as games and apps developed for all ages, including children.
A night show in the citadel tells the story of Jerusalem, through a nightly spectacle, a stunning video display, breathtaking animation, effective sounds and narration, all-enveloping the viewer in a multi-sensory experience. All these bring together visitors with the ancient cultures, religions, rulers and myths that are projected on the walls and archeological remains themselves. The Night Spectacular of the Tower of David is a real attraction for children.
In addition to the walking paths built between the archaeological finds in the courtyard of the citadel, you can go up and walk on the walls of the fortress, on the promenade that offers a spectacular view of both the Old and New City.