The Tower of David is an ancient citadel located near the Jaffa Gate entrance to western edge of the Old City of Jerusalem. The citadel that stands today dates to the Mamluk and Ottoman periods. It was built on the site of an earlier ancient fortification of the Hasmonean, Herodian-era, Byzantine and Early Muslim periods, after being destroyed repeatedly during the last decades of Crusader presence in the Holy Land by Ayyubid and Mamluk rulers. It contains important archaeological finds dating back over 2,000 years including a quarry dated to the First Temple period, and is a popular venue for benefit events, craft shows, concerts, and sound-and-light performances.

As evidenced by the archaeological discovery of the Broad Wall, King Hezekiah (c. 739 - c. 687 BCE) was the first to specifically fortify this area. The city's fortifications demonstrate that by the late eighth century the city had expanded to include the hill to the west of the Temple Mount. The motivation for building the walled fortification was the expected invasion of Judea by Sennacherib.

The museum

The Tower of David Museum is today located in the citadel. The museum presents Jerusalem’s story. It details the major events in its history beginning with the first evidence of a city in Jerusalem in the second millennium BCE, until the city became the capital of the State of Israel, as well as its significance to three religions. The permanent exhibition illustrates the city’s history along the axis of time using myriad methods and includes explanations in Hebrew, Arabic and English.

The Citadel itself is a fascinating archaeological site. The finds uncovered within are a testimony to Jerusalem’s eventful past and produce a representation of Jerusalem and its various historical periods in microcosm. The Citadel’s towers offer a 360-degree view of the Old City of Jerusalem as well as the city’s modern areas.

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Details

Founded: c. 700 BC
Category: Castles and fortifications in Israel

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Michael Levi (18 months ago)
Sound and light show was pretty good, but lacks any audience information as to what the periods of occupation being depicted are. Only maybe 20% of visitors will be able to understand what they are watching unfortunately. Still, visually speaking it is pretty entertaining.
Rabbi Rapoport (18 months ago)
Best lookout over the Old City. The museum is also very nice but even if you decide to not visit the museum (it's a bit expensive), nonetheless see the lookout. To go up to the lookout is 15 sheqels.
eXZ eptit (18 months ago)
The tower surprised all of us! It looks small from the outside but shows a lot of things inside, including the most beautiful panorama view of Jerusalem from the top! Some rooms inside the towers are very informative about the history of Jerusalem and make the trip even on a rainy or cloudy day absolutely worthy! Positive to mention is also the compact information, you won't feel overloaded.
Alexei Marshakov (19 months ago)
A great museum - a definite must before a tour of Jerusalem. Luckily our tour guide took us here. It's so much easier to comprehend what's happened around here for 4 thousand years after going through the exposition.
Melvin Diaz (19 months ago)
Very nice museum with an observation tower that makes easier to better appreciate the old city of Jerusalem. The place has been restored and therefore the construction details can better enjoyed. Although good, the view from the tower is not as tall as one could expect. Opens from 9 am to 4 pm (2 pm on Fridays). They also offer tickets for large groups. Recommended.
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