Images & Art: Jerusalem
A 6th c. church floor in Medeba, Jordan has a mosaic map of the land of Israel with numerous place names in Greek.
The center of the map is an open-faced depiction of Jerusalem with the city walls, gates, churches (with red roofs), and the Cardo. This main street of the city is depicted with two rows of colonnades running the length of the city from north to south.
Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Originally built by the mother of Emperor Constantine in 330 A.D., the Church of the Holy Sepulcher commemorates the hill of crucifixion and the tomb of Christ's burial.
On grounds of tradition alone, this church is the best candidate for the location of these events. The Garden Tomb was not identified as such until the 19th century.
Dome of the Rock
Built atop the earlier location of the Temple, the Dome of the Rock was built by the Muslim ruler Abd el-Malik in 688-691. Because of its situation on bedrock, the numerous earthquakes over the centuries have not caused significant damage to the structure (unlike its neighbor Al Aqsa mosque). This shrine was covered by a lead dome from 691 until it was replaced with a gold-colored covering in 1965. Because of rust, the anodized aluminum cover was again replaced in 1993 with a gold covering.
In Jerusalem for a visit in 1884, General Charles Gordon spied a prominent rocky crag which looked to him like it could be the "place of the skull" mentioned in the Bible as where Jesus was crucified.
Around the corner Gordon identified an ancient tomb and putting the two together he located the hill of crucifixion and the nearby burial place.
A 1750-foot (530m) tunnel carved during the reign of Hezekiah to bring water from one side of the city to the other, Hezekiah's Tunnel together with the 6th c. tunnel of Euphalios in Greece are considered the greatest works of water engineering technology in the pre-Classical period. Had it followed a straight line, the length would have been 1070 ft (335m) or 40% shorter.[Bible Places]
Jerusalem Area G
The City of David was very narrow; about 80-100m wide. The east side has a steep slope of about 60 degrees.
Though smaller, steeper and more difficult for construction than the Western Hill, the City of David was chosen because of its water source, the Gihon Spring.[Bible Places]
The southeast corner of the Old City, the Jewish Quarter occupies about 15 acres and has been inhabited by Jews for centuries. Following the capture of the Old City by the Arabs in 1948, all Jews were expelled and their buildings destroyed. When Israel regained the Old City in 1967 work began to reconstruct the quarter and today hundreds of people live and study here.
Mount of Olives
Separated from the Eastern Hill (the Temple Mount and the City of David) by the Kidron Valley, the Mt. of Olives has always been an important feature in Jerusalem's landscape. From the 3rd millennium until the present, this 2900-foot hill has served as one of the main burial grounds for the city. The two-mile long ridge has three summits each of which has a tower built on it.[Bible Places]
The modern Mt. Zion is a misnomer applied by Byzantine pilgrims who thought that the larger, flatter Western Hill must be the original City of David. Archaeological evidence has shown that this hill was only incorporated within the city's fortifications in the 8th century B.C. but the name has stuck. The Hinnom Valley borders this hill on its western and southern sides.[Bible Places]
Old City Gates
So named because the road leading from it goes to the port city of Jaffa (Joppa), this gate is the only one on the western side of the Old City.
A low part of the city wall was torn down and the Crusader moat of the Citadel filled in 1898 for the visit of the German Kaiser Wilhelm II. This gate was also the famous scene of the English General Allenby's entrance in 1917.
Southern Temple Mount
These excavations begun by Benjamin Mazar in 1968 were the largest earth-moving archaeological projects in Israel. Work continued until 1978 but has since resumed in the 1990s under the direction of Ronny Reich. These excavations are the most important for understanding the Temple Mount because of the impossibility of excavating on the mount itself.[Bible Places]
Often visitors wonder why the Temple Mount isn't the highest point in the city when the Bible seems to describe it as such. The answer is that the city today (including the "Old City") has grown and shifted from its original location. The earliest city of Jerusalem is the "City of David," a smaller hill south of, and lower than, the Temple Mount.[Bible Places]
Tomb of the Kings
Generally regarded as the largest and most beautiful tomb in Jerusalem, the so-called "Tomb of the Kings" was the final resting place for the family of Queen Helene of Adiabene in the first century A.D. Located 820 m north of the Old City walls, the tomb got its name from early explorers who believed that this magnificent tomb housed members of the dynasty of David.[Bible Places]
Discovered by Charles Warren in his investigations of the city in the 1860s, this underground tunnel system has become known as "Warren's Shaft."
The system by this name consists of four parts: the stepped tunnel, the horizontal curved tunnel, the 14 meter vertical shaft and the feeding tunnel. Scholars have long debated the date and function of this system.
Formerly known as the Wailing Wall, the Western Wall is now so known because of the desire to remove the negative associations that the Wall had before its recapture in 1967.
The plaza was created as an area for prayer (technically it is a synagogue) beginning in 1967 and thousands of people sometimes gather here for prayer.
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