October 17th 2012
In Israel, history and archaeology are present at every turn. An amazing place to experience this is the City of David, just outside the Old City of Jerusalem. Visit the remains of King David’s palace, a 2,000-year-old ritual bath, and much more. Walk in the footsteps of biblical heroes through water tunnels built to bring water into Jerusalem and defend the city from siege. See a Canaanite fortress and a palatial residence from the period of the Judean kings. Excavations at the City of David began in 1867 and have uncovered structures and artifacts from as far back as the lifetime of King David, who named Jerusalem as his capital 3,000 years ago. One of the most significant discoveries is Hezekiah’s Tunnel, leading from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam. This tunnel was designed as an aqueduct to provide Jerusalem with water during an impending siege by the Assyrians. Today, tourists can walk through the wet tunnel and marvel at the technological expertise employed in its construction. The City of David tour is 2-3 hours long. If you intend to walk through Hezekiah’s tunnel, bring water shoes and flashlights. The tunnel is appropriate for children aged five and older. Babies must be placed in carriers at the site, and strollers cannot be brought or stored. On Monday evenings, the City of David is illuminated with a sound and light show focusing on biblical Jerusalem. The nighttime view of the City of David is breathtaking, and the tour combines walking with watching a 3D movie and a presentation of the story of Jerusalem through sound and movement. The tour ends at the foot of the Western Wall, where prayers are always taking place. After you visit the City of David, don’t miss the incredible sites within the Old City. Walk through the Jewish Quarter to experience the Cardo, the restored Hurva synagogue, and the Four Sephardic Synagogues. Visit the Davidson Center to explore the rich and vibrant history of the Temple Mount. Learn about the history of Jerusalem at David’s Citadel, and visit the Burnt House to see firsthand the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans.