Western Wall

The Western Wall, also being called the Wailing Wall, is located in the Jewish quarter of the Old City Jerusalem.

The Western Wall was a part of the outer wall of the Second Temple which was renovated by Herod the Great around 20 BCE.

Jerusalem Western Wall

The Western Wall is now under control of Israel: since 1967, the place has been expanded by destroying Palestinian residences.

The height of the wall is about 21 meters.

  • 1st – 7th level: the Second Temple (516 BCE – 70 BCE) period
  • 8th – 11th level: Umayyad Caliphate (661 – 749, the Dome of the Rock was built in 691 at the Mount Temple) and Fatima Caliphate (969 -1071) periods
  • higher than 12th level: Ottoman Empire period, using small stones

So, it took over 1,000 years to be present-day high.

On the left side of the wall, there are bathrooms (checked in 2010).

Being prepared for a visit

The Western Wall plaza is separated into men and women.

Men must wear a yarmulke (kippah) on their head to show honor to God.

Don’t you have your own yarmulke (kippah)? No problem, you can borrow one for free. Just please do not forget to return it after a visit.

Men have to wear a yarmulke (kippah) to visit the Western Wall.

Everyone should be dressed modestly: no short pants, no tank top etc. (like Catholic churches)

No photography is allowed on Shabbat (approx. from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset) or Jewish holidays.

History of the Western Wall

c. 20 BCE

Herod the Great, a king of Judea, renovated and expanded the Second Temple.

c. 70 CE

The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans. The Jews were banished from Jerusalem.

Since then, the Jews were not allowed to visit Jerusalem except once a year to see the remains of the temple.

Middle Ages

The custom of the visit once a year disappeared gradually as the Jews converted to other religions through the changes of their rulers.

16th century

During the Ottoman era, Suleiman the Magnificent finally allowed the Jews to pray at the Wall.

It’s said that the Jews was praying only at synagogues or the Mount of Olives until this time.

1853

Once the Status quo of Holy Land sites took effect, the Jews got an exclusive privilege of place to play at the Wall. They began to claim also their property right of it.

Since 20th century

Zionism movement got bigger and bigger. The Jews tried to monopolize the wall but the Palestinians couldn’t take it of course. It leads to an armed conflict all across Palestine.

After the Six-day War in 1967, Israel took the control of East Jerusalem. The dearest wish of the Jews came true.

Jerusalem Hebrew Bible at the Western Wall

Visit quietly as many Jews are praying.

After that, Israel destroyed Palestinian residences and mosques around the wall in order to expand Western Wall Plaza and Jewish quarter.

Information

  • Opening hours 24/7
  • Admission Free