Jerusalem Old City & Walls

The Old City of Jerusalem of is a 220 acre walled area within the city of Jerusalem that is historically significant. The Old City is also religiously significant for the followers of Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Unlike other historical cities, the Old City of Jerusalem is not empty or abandoned; people live here even today.

Jerusalem Old City and Walls History

The Old City and Walls are over 3000 years old and as a first-time visitor you will be overwhelmed when you first set foot into the monument. King David is credited to have built the Old City in the year 1004 BC.

Walls as high as 4 kilometers surround the Old City. Construction of the walls began in the year 1537 and continued upto the year 1541, during the reign of the Ottoman Sultan - Suleiman the magnificent.

Jerusalem Old City

Jerusalem Old City Information

The Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls
UNESCO World Heritage Site
State Party No nation named by UNESCO
Site proposed by  Jordan
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iii, vi
Reference 148
Region Arab States
Jerusalem Old City and Walls Inscription History
Inscription 1981  (5th Session)
Endangered 1982-

The Pieces That Make Up the Jerusalem Old City

The Old City is divided into 4 quarters. The outer walls of the Old City have seven gates .

Jewish Quarter

The Jewish Quarter is quite different from the rest of the Old City because most of the buildings were razed to the ground and later, rebuilt. The Wailing Wall or the Western Wall is 2000 years old and considered holy by the Jews. It is a remnant of the Temple Mount. Other places of interest in the Jewish Quarter in the Old City are the Cardo, Saint Mary’s Hospice, the Broad Wall, and Ophel Archaeological Park.

Armenian Quarter

This is the smallest area of the city whose gates are closed at night. The Citadelis an imposing fortress whose excavated remains place it back to the second century BC.  The Saint James Cathedral and the Armenian Museum are very interesting places that you can visit.

Christian Quarter

The Christian Quarter is home to several churches and hospices. Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Lutheran Church of the Redeemer and Muristan are other places you could visit.

Muslim Quarter

This is the largest and most densely populated quarter in the Old City that houses the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock but they cannot be visited by non-muslims.

Outside the Jerusalem Walls

Outside the walls of the Old City you can see King David’s Tomb, Chamber of the Holocaust, the City of David, Schindler’s Tomb and Church of the Dormition.

Jerusalem Old City and Walls

Jerusalem Wall Gates

English Hebrew Arabic Alternative names Construction Year Location
New Gate HaSha'ar HeHadash Al-Bab al-Jedid Gate of Hammid 1887 West of northern side
Damascus Gate Sha'ar Shkhem Bab al-Amoud Sha'ar Damesek, Nablus Gate, Gate of the Pillar 1537 Middle of northern side
Herod's Gate Sha'ar HaPerachim Bab al-Sahira Sha'ar Hordos, Flower Gate, Sheep Gate unknown East of northern side
Lions' Gate Sha'ar HaArayot Bab al-Asbatt /Bab Sittna Maryam Gate of Yehoshafat, St. Stephen's Gate, Gate of the Tribes 1538-39 North of eastern side
Dung Gate Sha'ar HaAshpot Bab al-Maghariba ( ‎) Gate of Silwan, Sha'ar HaMugrabim 1538-40 East of southern side
Zion Gate Sha'ar Tzion Bab El-Nabi Da'oud Gate to the Jewish Quarter 1540 Middle of southern side
Jaffa Gate Sha'ar Yaffo Bab al-Khalil The Gate of David's Prayer Shrine, Porta Davidi 1530-40 Middle of western side

Jerusalem Sealed Gates

English Hebrew Arabic Period Location
Golden Gate Sha'ar HaRahamim Bab al-Rahma 6th century Middle of eastern side
Single Gate     Herodian period Southern wall of Temple Mount
Double Gate     Herodian period Southern wall of Temple Mount
Huldah Gates     Herodian period Southern wall of Temple Mount

List of Jerusalem Tours

  • From Mount Zion Gate to Jaffa Gate
  • In the footsteps of Cristian Sects
  • Jerusalem in The First and Second Temple period
  • Marketplaces in the Old City
  • Ramparts Walk, Southern Section
  • Ramparts Walk, Northern Section
  • The Herodian Quarter
  • The Jewish Quarter
  • The Temple Mount Compound
  • Via Dolorosa Tour
  • Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period - Accessible Tour
  • Mount Zion Gate to Jaffa Gate - Accessible Tour
  • The Jewish Quarter - Accessible Tour
  • The Temple Mount Compound - Accessible Tour
  • Via Dolorosa - Accessible Tour