Like many ancient cities in Israel and around the world, the city of Jerusalem was surrounded by a wall, the purpose of which, of course, was to protect the beloved holy town. The city walls have been part of the landscape of Jerusalem throughout most of its existence. The first wall of the city was built over 4,000 years ago, during the Canaanite period. Throughout history, when the city was conquered – the wall was demolished but rebuilt by the new conqueror. The existing fence was built in the middle of the 16th century by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Suleiman II.
The walls of the city of Jerusalem have become a symbol of the town and a tourist site – and they are a fascinating and fun part of the city, which is worth a visit!
A walk through the walls of the old city
It is no coincidence that the Old City of Jerusalem was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO; the Old City is an extraordinary place. The city is divided into four districts: the Jewish Quarter, the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, and the Armenian Quarter. The many religions and cultures of the Old City and its critical holy sites, including the Western Wall, attract Israelis and tourists from all over the world. Entirely for the unique character of the city.
The old city walls are impressive in size, length, and of course, beauty. Also, within the Old City walls are eight well-preserved gates: the Garbage Gate, the New Gate, the Flower Gate(Herod’s Gate), the Lions Gate, the Mercy Gate, the Zion Gate, the Nablus Gate(Damascus Gate), and the Jaffa Gate.
A tour of Jerusalem’s walls, where a spectacular view of the city has become one of its most beloved and popular attractions! If you want to tour independently, you can choose between two routes that leave from the Jaffa Gate: the southern walled promenade – which passes over the Jewish and Armenian quarters, to the Zion Gate – and even the best continue a bit to walk to the Garbage Gate – the entrance to the Western Wall prayer plaza.
The northern walled promenade passes over the Christian Quarter and the Muslim Quarter and reaches the Flower Gate. The unique landscape that is second to none presents the multicultural, unique Jerusalem, with its variety of colors and shades.
In addition to the independent tour, countless guided tours await you in the place where you can learn about the fascinating history hidden within the city walls, waiting to tell its story.
Museum Tower of David
The Tower of David is one of the highest places in the Old City and served as a fortress that protected Jerusalem over the years. The connection between the tower and King David is only symbolic – the Tower of David appears in the writings of Yosef ben Matityahu: “On its strength, this hill was called the Citadel of King David.” And it is even possible that it had a large building in Jerusalem as early as the First Temple period. It appears in the Book of Songs of the Songs: The tower is impressive in its beauty and presence and can be seen from anywhere in the Old City.
Today, inside the Tower of David, the historical fortress, the ‘Museum of the History of Jerusalem’ has been established – as its name implies, it presents the city and its history, with a permanent display of the city in different periods, its development and stories over the past 4,000 years! Also, in the museum, rotating exhibitions suitable for the whole family, an archeological garden with archeological remains of great importance, and more.
Also, the Tower of David tells the historical story of Jerusalem in a colorful and spectacular audio-visual vision, projected in three dimensions, with advanced technology in which all sizes, colors, and shapes, on top of the castle walls and the archeological remains of the place!
How to get there?
From the Jerusalem train station – Yitzhak Navon to the Jaffa Gate – starting points for a tour of the Old City walls or to the Tower of David, it is recommended to arrive by light rail: a short ride on line 1, to the Jaffa City station and from there a 10-minute walk.
The Tower of David can also be reached by buses departing from the various stations in the city: Egged 8 line to Yitzhak Karib Street or King David Street with lines 13, 18, and 38 of Egged.