What to do in Jerusalem | City Of David

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A collection of seals (bullae) from the late First Temple period, discovered in...
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What to do in Jerusalem

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Start at the beginning, where it all began. The City of David, site of ancient, Biblical Jerusalem awaits.

Whether you are meticulously planning your trip to Israel to the last detail, ensuring an unforgettable experience or you are a free spirit that likes to go with the flow, we all want to be able to recount and share our amazing experiences in the place that is eternalized in the history of the Bible.

The one place that is an absolute must-see in the Israel experience is Jerusalem. Jerusalem is synonymous with Israel, it defines it. But when finally arriving to the heart of modern day Jerusalem, irony strikes, as many people miss out on visiting the original city of Jerusalem – the Jerusalem of the Bible, the place where it all began, the City of David.

 The Old City of Jerusalem, as it is known today, has a rich character and rhythm of its own but a big percentage of it didn't exist during the First and Second Temple Period, the times of the Bible.  

At least most visitors get to walk the Cardo and touch the cold smooth stones of the Western Wall, a portion of the Temple Mount that formed part of the ancient Jerusalem. But when it comes to where the everyday hustle and bustle of the ancient city took place millennia ago, they miss it, with an approximate 4 minute walk.

The original city of Jerusalem lies a few meters south of the Temple Mount and Western Wall, outside the Old City walls, nestled in between the Kidron and Tyropian Valleys as described in the Bible.  It is where Abraham and Melchizedek met; it is the city that David conquered and established as the eternal Capital of the People of Israel; it is where Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesied; where King Hezekiah rerouted the city's water supply and to where all the male pilgrims ascended three times a year to celebrate the festivals. It was the heartbeat of the Nation.

In just over a decade the city has literally been rising from dust and ashes as intense excavations started to release her from her millennia old prison of sediment and time, eagerly sharing her ancient treasures to the willing hands that patiently excavate her courtyards, homes and streets. Her treasure trove includes a pomegranate bell that once was attached to the seam of the High Priest coat along with 71 others,  announcing his entry into the Holy of Holies during the Yom Kippur service; a clay seal that ensured your entrance into the Temple compound engrave with the letters "Pure for G-d"; two tiny silver scrolls etched with ancient Hebrew containing the powerful priestly blessing of G-d's protection and benevolence; a perfectly intact earing hinting to the fashion and flair of second temple royalty and a room full of "contract seals" ironically revealing the names of three of Jeremiah's adversaries as it appears in the Bible. This is but to mention a few.

As you make your way down to the City of David -  Jerusalem's name during the times of King David, the Givati parking lot excavations on your right, serves as a prelude of the magic that awaits, revealing the life of the rich and famous during the Second Temple period. The age old foundations of what may have served as the royal palace of the Davidic dynasty welcomes you as you enter the city; a house from the first temple period reveals the life and times of days gone by and the cool waters of the legendary Gihon spring recounts its own story of joy and woe, of an era when kings were anointed and wars loomed. And if a trip down memory lane is not enough, you can brave the ancient water tunnel itself, get your hands dirty on an archaeological dig looking for Temple treasures in the Temple Mount sifting project or join a Segway tour to learn more about the geographical positioning of the City of David and see how all the Bible stories fits into the bigger picture.

To complete your full-on Jerusalem experience, take it to another level with a paint ball game in the Peace Forest, tour the Kidron valley and its fascinating sites on a bicycle ride, or join us for a tasting experience in the Shuk.

In short, there is no reason for you to worry about what to do in Jerusalem or even where to start. Start at the beginning, where it all began.  The City of David, site of Ancient, Biblical Jerusalem awaits. But like all things precious, she reveals her treasures only to those truly in search for her. 

Begin the Journey. Click here for more info on exploring the City of David or visit our website: www.cityofdavid.org.il

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We visited City of David and it felt like we were taken 3000 years back
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