City of David
Although the Old City of Jerusalem is suffused with an air of great antiquity, the Canaanites who founded the city and the Israelites who made it the center of the world's first monotheistic religion would find it utterly unfamiliar – and not just on account of the roving bands of Japanese tourists taking pictures of the informational placards in front of sites of interest.
The Old City of Jerusalem is built vaguely along the lines of the Roman city Aeolia Capitolina, built over the smoking rubble of Jerusalem in the wake of the failure of the Great Revolt in 70 CE.
The Jerusalem of the Jebusites, the Jerusalem of David and Solomon, occupied a different piece of real estate that's not even enclosed by the Old City's (Ottoman-era) walls. Exiting the Old City through the Dung Gate brings you to a ridge overlooking the steep plunge into the Kidron Valley. It is this ridge, called the Ophel, upon which ancient Jerusalem was founded. And it is here on the Ophel that archaeologists unearthed the City of David.
Unfortunately, the ruins of ancient Jerusalem have not weathered the past 3,000 years particularly well, which makes exploring the City of David something of an exercise in using one's imagination – but what the City of David lacks in grandeur, it makes up for in significance. The remnants of the towers which steadfastly guarded the Citadel atop the Ophel can be clearly seen, and the site gives excellent views of the Mount of Olives and the Kidron Valley, with the beginnings of the Judean Desert just over the hills to the east.
For more information about our other activities, including Segway tours and archaeological experiences please see the City of David's website.
Prior registration for tours is advised as space is limited.
DetailsSunday to Thursday 8:00 to 19:00; Fridays and Holiday eves 8:00 to 15:00