One of the top attractions in Jerusalem is the Old City, which dates back to the time of the First Jewish Temple. Everyone comes to see the Wailing Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the marketplaces of the Muslim Quarter, but what about the lesser known sites of the Old City of Jerusalem? Here are 5 of them:
The David Tower Museum Panorama
Not many people visit the David Tower Museum, which is a museum depicting the history of Jerusalem standing right next to Jaffa Gate. And even those who DO visit don’t always climb up to David Tower. Even if you don’t plan on visiting the museum, ask at the ticket office to pay only for the panorama. Climb up the many stairs to the top of the tower, which is based on a tower from the time of the Second Jewish Temple, and just enjoy the view. It’s BEAUTIFUL!
The Christ Church Museum
Opposite the David Tower Museum stands the gate that leads to the Christ Church compound. This compound was built in the mid-19th century by the Protestants. The church was meant to try to bring the Jews closer to the Christianity. They weren’t too succesful. You can look inside the small church, which is uniquelly designed to appeal to the Jewish people, but what I wanted you to see is the small Christ Church Museum, that’s located in the compound. Inside are three beautiful models, two made by Conrad
Schick, an important archeologist and architect, and one made by his student. And better yet – the museum is free of charge!
The Rooftops Lookout
If you’ll go on Habad Street in the Jewish Quarter until its end, you’ll reach an open area which at first sight looks quite dull. You’re actually standing on the rooftops of the Jewish Quarter. Look to your left and you’ll see a kind of platform made of stone. Climb up it and you’ll be able to see a great view of the Temple Mount area and of the Mount of Olives.
The Tonchook Palace
When wandering around in the Muslim Quarter, try making your way to Aqbat e-Taqiya Street. Here, you’ll see one of the buildings that were left in Jerusalem by the Mamluks, the Muslim rulers that were present in Jerusalem from around 1260 CE to around 1516 CE when the Ottomans took over. The Tonchook Palace is one of the most magnificent buildings left by the Mamluks and you can see its unique architectural features. It was originally built by a lady called Tonchook (who was also buried here) and then expanded by another lady, who turned the place to a soup kitchen. Today, it is an orphanage and school.
The Little Kotel
Another lesser known site in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem is the Little Kotel. “Kotel” in Hebrew means “Wall”. It is a very small segment of the famous Wailing Wall (Western Wall), situated north to the Barzel Gate of the Temple Mount compound, at the end of Sha’ar ha Barzel Street. This is the place to go if you want an intimate visit to the most holy wall to the Jewish people, as most days it is completely or almost completely empty.
Hope you’ll enjoy your visit to Jerusalem!
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