Tower Of David (Old City)

The Tower of David is an ancient citadel (fortified area of a city) located near the western edge of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The museum tells the story of Jerusalem, its history over 4000 years from its beginnings as a Cannanite city to modern times and its importance to three religions: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. It contains important archaeological finds including a quarry dated to the First Temple period.

The Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem is located near the Jaffa Gate, one of the historic entrances to the Old City which is directly to the right in this photo.

The fortifications include a wide mote in front, an external wall above the mote and an internal wall of the high tower. This was built in the 12th century by the Crusaders as part of the defenses of the citadel.

Entrance Gate: The inscription above the main gate of the citadel attributes its construction to an Ottoman sultan who rebuilt the city walls.

The Museum presents in many separate and smaller museums the history of Jerusalem. It details the major events of each period 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.

Herod the Great, the great builder of Jerusalem and Israel, added here 3 towers (37-34BC), naming them after his wife, Miriam, (buried in a cave west of the tower), his friend, Hippicus, and his brother, Phatsael. Herod built his palace in the adjacent area south to the towers. Following the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD, the three towers were preserved when it was overcome by the Romans and the site served as barracks for the Roman troops.

Inside the entrance was a pictorial model of the citadel at the Tower of David. The citadel itself is a beautiful and most fascinating archaeological site. As you look at this model, notice the walls which surround the citadel. The individual museums are located in areas all around the open courtyard beginning with the First Temple Period, Second Temple Gallery, Roman-Byzantine Galleries, Roman-Byzantine Gallery, the Early Museum Gallery, Crusader Gallery, Mumluk/Ottomon Gallery, Ottomon Period, and the Modern Period Gallery.

In the summer of 70 CE, Jerusalem was captured by the Romany army under Titus, son of the Emperor Vespasian. The Temple was burned and the city was destroyed.

There are walkways between individual galleries, a courtyard and a staircase down to the cistern, an Ampitheater and an Archaeological courtyard. I took over 300 hundred photos and it would be impossible and too time consuming to show everything.

I was surprised to learn that the tower was a minaret which was built by the Ottomans in the 17th century. Therefore, the preconceived tower I had imagined was not a rock tower but rather a round, mosque tower that was built to rise high above the walls and one I have seen many times whenever we have gone to the Old City. The mosque Tower of David became a symbol of Jerusalem and the entire complex was nicknamed Tower of David. The Byzantine Christians believed the site used to be the palace of King David. They borrowed the name, Tower of David, from the Song of Songs, attributed to Solomon, King David's son, who wrote: "Thy neck is like the Tower of David built with turrets, whereon there hang a thousand shields, all the armor of the mighty men."

  Photo: Statue of David after her slayed Goliath.

The museum stages temporary exhibitions which give a contemporary presentation of artistic and historical issues. The museum also hosts lectures and special events in music, dance and drama, concerts and sound-and-light performances.

The walls and tower were repeatedly built and destroyed over the past 2,100 years, and protected the northwest corner of the upper portion of the city.

In the heart of the Citadel lies a green garden amidst important archaeological remains which document different periods of Jerusalem history.

You can also take a walk on top of the walls and around the citadel.

The citadel’s towers offer a 360-degree view of the Old City of Jerusalem as well as the city’s modern areas.

Photo: View of Jerusalem from the top of one tower.

Photo: Imperial Hotel.

Photo: Look closely and you can see the Jerusalem Center in the distance on Mount Scopus.

Inside the citadel was a mosque.

This art piece depicts the ascension of Mohammed into Heaven on his white horse.

Let's go to another museum but know these are not in order of eras.

Photo below: Immediately after the reunification of Jerusalem, the barriers and cement walls that separated the Western and Eastern parts of the city came down. Today a "Separation Wall" divides the area of Israelis from the Palestinians.

The Tower of David Museum is one of only 24 museums in the city or surrounding area of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world that people have lived in continuously.

SUMMARY OF HISTORY: King David, the second king of the Israel, took this city from pagans and settled his palace here.

King Solomon, David's son and the next king, built the Temple in Jerusalem. Later, as capital of Judah, Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar II, the king of Babylon. The Palace of King David and the Temple of Solomon were burned and the Jews were captured and taken to Babylon. Seventy years later, the Persian King Cyrus allowed them to return to Jerusalem and to rebuild the Temple.

Later the area was occupied by Romans. King Herod the Great, who ruled for the Roman Emperor, made the Temple larger to try and win Jewish favor. The Temple was famous for its greatness and beauty. Jesus Christ died in Jerusalem around AD 33. In AD 70, the Jews rebelled against the Romans, but the Romans destroyed the city and the Temple.

Jewish people who lived in Jerusalem were caught and became slaves. The Romans renamed Jerusalem with a Latin name. Since then, the Temple has not been rebuilt, and only a part of its wall (Western Wall) remains until today.

After the Roman Empire was split into two, the Byzantine Empire ruled Jerusalem. Later, Muslims took over the city from them. The Muslims believed Muhammad went to heaven from Jerusalem.

Later, the Pope in Rome sent the Crusaders from Western Europe to try and take it back. They succeeded for a while but eventually the city fell again to the Saracens. Until the 20th century, Jerusalem was a part of the Ottoman Empire. There were some Jews in Jerusalem all along, even though they were ruled by other people.

In 1949, at the end of the first Arab-Israeli War, Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan. Israel controlled the western part of the city. Jordan controlled the eastern section, including the Old City, a walled section of Jerusalem dating from Biblical times. Israel took control of the entire city during the Six Day War in 1967.

Jerusalem today is claimed by both the Palestinians and the Israelis as their capital.