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.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

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

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Michael Levi (2 years 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 (2 years 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 (2 years 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 (2 years 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 (2 years 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.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Cesis Castle

German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.

In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).

In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.

Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.