Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter: Unique Things to See
Jerusalem is a beautiful and big city, and it is known for its beautiful synagogues and important historic landmarks like the Western Wall and Masada. But, how much do you know about Jerusalem aside from this?
The Old City, also known as The Holy City, is divided into four uneven quarters: the Muslim Quarter, the Armenian Quarter, the Christian Quarter, and the Jewish Quarter.
Each quarter has its own special and unique landmarks they are known for.
The Muslim Quarter has the Kotel Katan or Little Western Wall and the Western Wall Tunnels, which run below the neighborhoods along the wall. Also, the Via Dolorosa, Way of the Cross, starts here with the first seven Stations of the Cross.
The Armenian Quarter has the Tower of David, also known as the Citadel. It is situated between the eastern and western parts of the city and expresses the continuing dialogue between ancient and modern Jerusalem. The Tower is a medieval fortress that serves as a historical entrance to the Old City and has been the iconic symbol of Jerusalem for generations.
The Christian Quarter has several important churches, but the main one is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This is where Jesus was crucified and where Jesus’s empty tomb is located. It also has the last four Stations of the Cross of the Via Dolorosa.
Though the Jewish Quarter is known for The Western Wall, the holiest Jewish site, it also functions as a synagogue, including the area beneath Wilson’s Arch. But it has much more than that to offer.
Here are more landmarks and history to discover when visiting the Jewish Quarter.
More Sights to Discover
The Davidson Center
The Davidson Center is both an archaeological park and a museum. Archaeological relics and remains from the First Temple and Second Temple periods can be found.
Admire the City Wall, the staircase used by pilgrims to reach the Temple, and the historic ceremonial baths. Explore the area and walk down a historic road that countless pilgrims have traveled before you.
According to Jewish tradition, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yohanan Ben Zackai frequently traveled that same street. Located below this street is a drainage channel, and Jewish warriors used this drainage as a place to hide from the Romans.
One of the main attractions in the Jewish Quarter is the Hurva Synagogue. A group of Eastern European Jewish immigrants began constructing it in 1500.
In 1520, local Muslims destroyed it. As a symbol of the Jewish Quarter, the synagogue stood for almost a century after being rebuilt in 1864 by Lithuanian Jews.
In 1948, Jordanian soldiers from the Arab Legion destroyed the synagogue again during the War of Independence.
The Jewish Quarter and Hurva Synagogue were rebuilt after Israel won the Six-Day War and regained control of Jerusalem from the Jordanians in 1967.
It was rebuilt by the Israeli government in the early 2000s in the style it had in the 19th century.
Today, it is an active place of worship that is well worth a visit. You also have a stunning 360-degree view of the Old City from the veranda of the synagogue’s dome.
The north side of the Cardo was built during the Roman period (from the Damascus Gate to David Street). The south side was built during the 6th century, the Byzantine era. Its impressive columns and built-in shopping lane make it one of the main attractions in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City.
Its original shops, which date back to the Byzantine period, are still in use today as gift shops and cafes, making it a fantastic place to take a stroll.
In the Herodian Quarter:
The Wohl Museum of Archaeology
It is a fascinating underground museum where visitors get a glimpse into what luxury and decadence looked like in ancient Jerusalem. It gives us a view and taste of how aristocratic families used to live.
The museum features a six-house compound set on the slope of the hill, which descends to the Temple Mount featuring an uninterrupted view across to the Temple. From underneath the current street level of the Old City, you can get a great idea of what life might have been like in the era of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
Want more of Jerusalem?
Don’t miss out on what Jerusalem offers, especially its Jewish Quarter. You don’t want to sleep on its beauties and wonders, and it’s a magical place full of landmarks and stories you must find out for yourself.
So, make sure you get in touch with ITAS Tours so we can help you craft the best vacation, trip, and tour to Israel for you and your family.
With over 45 years of experience organizing Jewish heritage tours, we pride ourselves on ensuring that you’ll have a most memorable Israeli vacation.