Temple Mount Jerusalem, Israel – holy site of Judaism

Temple Mount

The Temple Mount, aka Mount Moriah, where the Jewish Temple of Solomon stood, is the holiest place for Jews. It is believed that the Creation of the world began here.

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The Temple Mount (Hebrew: Ar ha-Bayt , “mountain of the House,” i.e. the Temple), aka Mount Moriah, is the mountain where King Solomon (Shlomo) built the Temple of Jerusalem. Today the Temple Mount is within the borders of the Old City of Jerusalem. In Judaism, it is considered the holiest place on earth because the Temple is the “gate of Heaven” where G-d establishes communication with people. According to the sages, the name “Moriah” comes from the word “oraa” – The name “Moriah,” according to the sages, comes from the word “moriah,” one of the incenses (see Rashi to Bereshit 22:2; Brachot, fol. 35B). The point of greatest concentration of holiness of the Temple Mount is the cornerstone of the universe – Even ha-Shtia, which began the Creation of the world. After the construction of the Temple, the Ark of the Covenant was placed on the Cornerstone in the Holy of Holies, where only the High Priest would enter, and only once a year, on Yom Kippur. The cornerstone today is inside the golden Dome of the Rock, built by Muslims.

The kohen priests who served in the Temple, as well as the other people who came to the Temple, had to be in a state of ritual purity. Since in our time, according to Jewish law, this is unattainable, Jews are forbidden to enter the Temple Mount. The remnant of the wall that once supported the Temple Mount from the west is known today as the Wailing Wall.

Table of Contents

Mount Moriah before the Temple was built [↑]

According to the Midrash, the First Man, Adam, was created on Mount Moriah and then placed in the Garden of Eden (Gan Eden).

After he committed a sin by violating G-d’s prohibition against eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and was expelled from Gan Eden, he was placed back on Mount Moriah, “for the Gates of the Garden of Eden are near it” ( Pirkei derabi Eliezer 20; Shoher tov 92). The Midrash tells us that on the first evening of his life, when Adam saw that darkness was coming, he was frightened and said: “Woe is me! This is because I have sinned!” All night long, Adam and his wife fasted and wept, and in the morning, when it dawned again, Adam gave thanks to the Creator and, laying an altar on Mount Moriah, sacrificed a bull to Him (Avodah zara 8a). Since that day, Adam fasted for seven weeks, begging G-d to accept his repentance, and was forgiven (Pirkei derabi Eliezer 20).

Cain and Evel and Noah (Noah) offered their thanksgiving sacrifices in the same place after he and his family had left Noah’s Ark.

Before he died, Noah divided the land among his three sons. The land where Mount Moriah is located was given to his son Shem (Rashi, Bereshit 12:6, Siftei Hachamim).

The weekly chapter of Lech Lech mentions Malki Tzedek , the priest of the city of Shalem. The Midrash explains: Malki Tzedek is Shem, and Shalem is the former name of Jerusalem; the other name of the city is Tzedek, so Shem was called “Malki Tzedek” – i.e. “king of Tzedek” (Bereshit 14:18, Rashi). Along with this, Shem was the high priest and offered sacrifices to G-d on Mount Moriah on behalf of all mankind (Targum Yonatan and Rashi; Bereshit Raba; Zohar Hadash 22).

During Shem’s lifetime the right to be a servant of G-d (“keunah,” from the word “kohen,” priest) was given to the forefather Avraham and his descendants (cf. Nedarim, fol. 32B).

The most important episode of our history took place on Mount Moriah, the sacrifice of Yitzhak – Akedat Yitzhak (literally, “the binding of Yitzhak”), when G-d, wishing to test the faith of Avraham, ordered him to raise his son Yitzhak on the altar. Both father and son obeyed G-d’s wish without question, and only when a voice was heard: “Don’t stretch out your hand to the boy … ( Bereshit 22:12 ), Avraham took away the knife brought above Yitzchak, and instead of his son, he sacrificed a ram.

Later on, according to the commentators, Yitzchak prayed at this place when Rivka saw him for the first time, and later together with Rivka, after 20 years of fruitless marriage, asked G-d to give them offspring ( Bereshit 25:21; Pirkei Derabi Eliezer 32 ).

Mount Moriah is also associated with the name of Yaakov’s forefather. Fleeing from his brother Esav, Yaakov fled from his father’s house. On his way he spent the night on Mount Moriah and saw a prophetic dream – a ladder (see Yaakov’s Ladder) standing on the ground and reaching the top in the sky, on which angels were descending and ascending (Bereshit 28:12; Zohar 1, 149b). Yaakov heard the voice of the Creator, who promised to give him and his many descendants the Land of Israel. G-d also showed Yaakov the four kingdoms that would rule over his descendants, but also promised that He would never destroy his people (Pirkei derabi Eliezer 35; Vayikra Raba 29:2 ).

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The Torah says this about this place: “And Yaakov awoke from his sleep, and he said: Verily, there is the L-rd in this place, and I did not know! And he was afraid, and he said: How terrible is this place! This is none other than the House of G-d! And this is the gate of heaven!” (“Bereshit 28:16-17”).

Later Jerusalem and Mount Moriah itself were occupied by the Jebusites, one of the Canaanite tribes, who conquered the Land of Israel from the sons of Shem (Rashi to Bereshit 12:6).

Many years later, when the Jews under the leadership of Jehoshua bin Noon conquered the promised land, these places were given to the tribe of Binyamin. However, even after defeating the army of the Jebusite king of Jerusalem, Adoni-Tzedek, Jehoshua was unable to expel the inhabitants of the city of the Jebusites (Joshua 10:3-14; 15:63; 18:28).

Construction of the First Temple [↑].

The Second Book of Shmuel tells how King David went to war against Jerusalem, where the Jebusites lived, took the fortress of Zion (Ziyon ) and founded the “city of David” ( II Shmuel 5:6-11; I Divrei Hayamim 11:4-7 ). The Ark of the Covenant, containing the Tablets of the Covenant with the Ten Commandments written on them, was brought here by royal decision. The Ark was placed temporarily in a tent.

It grieved David that he himself was living “in a house of cedar wood and the Ark of G-d was in a tent,” but the prophet Nathan informed him of the words G-d had spoken to him in a dream: “You will not build a house for My dwelling. …But when your days are completed and you are honored with your ancestors, I will place after you your descendant … He will build a House for My Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” ( II Shmuel 7:1-17; I Divrei Hayamim 17:1-15 ).

David bought a piece of land on which was the threshing-floor of the Jebusite Aravna (Orna) to build the Temple. This was Mount Moriah (Divrei a-Yamim 2:2:1). The money for the purchase was collected from each tribe.

On this spot David erected an altar to G-d and laid the foundation for a permanent stone Temple to replace the Mishkan, the portable Temple (built in the desert back in the time of the Exodus from Egypt). His son Shlomo built the First Temple on these foundations in 2960 (826 BC).

As soon as the Temple on the Temple Mount was finished and the Ark of the Covenant was moved to a special room, the Holy of Holies, the Shechinah (G-d’s presence) descended into the Temple. The Second Book of Chronicles ( Divrei ha-Yamim 2, 5:12-14 ) describes it this way: “And the Levite singers … dressed in fine linen, with cymbals and harps and cymbals, stood on the east side of the altar, and with them a hundred and twenty kohen, trumpeting. And they were as one, trumpeting and singing, issuing a voice united to praise and glorify the L-rd; and when the sound of trumpets and cymbals and musical instruments rang out, and when they praised the L-rd – “For good is He, for ever His mercy” – then the house, the house of the L-rd, was filled with a cloud. And the Kohanim could not stand at the service because of the cloud, for the glory of the L-rd filled the house of the L-rd.”

During the time of the First and Second Temples [↑]

410 years the Temple was the place of G-d’s exaltation. The Kohanim, descendants of Aaron, served here as before in the Transferable Temple (Mishkan), which was erected during the period of wandering in the wilderness. They offered sacrifices on behalf of all the people (“public sacrifices”) as well as other kinds of service.

The Temple area was divided into a “holy” area (where only the Kohanim could be) and a “mundane” area, where all Jews came, and where they could come only in a state of ritual purity, bringing their “personal” sacrifices. Three times a year, on Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot, “ascent” to the Temple was obligatory and was called “aliyah le regel,” hence the name of these holidays. The Temple was called “aliya le regel,” hence the name of these holidays: “shalosh regalim” (“regel” literally means “foot” in Hebrew, “shalosh” means “three”). The Sanhedrin, the Supreme Jewish Court, also sat in the “mundane” room of the Temple.

The Shechinah was clearly present in the First Temple and ten constant miracles occurred during the service (they are listed in the Mishnah tractate “Pirkei Avot” – part 5, Mishnah 5).

On Av 3338 (422 BC) the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar destroyed and burned the First Temple. The people of the land were driven into Babylonia. According to the Oral Torah, the First Temple was destroyed for the three sins of idolatry, murder, and debauchery. For seventy years the exile lasted-until the Jews returned to their country and rebuilt the Temple.

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The second Temple was built according to the plan received by the prophet Jehohezkel in a revelation sent to him from above. It no longer had any obvious miracles or the obvious presence of the Shekinah. In addition, the Ark of the Covenant, hidden in a cache in the bowels of the Mount of Chromos shortly before the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem, was lost. Nevertheless, in this era the people feared G-d more than in the days of the First Temple. But the Second Temple did not hold and was destroyed for a different reason, because of the unjustified hatred of the Jews toward one another.

The Second Temple was destroyed and burned by the Romans on Av 3828 (68 AD), 420 years after it was built.

Temple Mount after the destruction of the Temple [↑]

Having destroyed Jerusalem, the Romans leveled it and plowed up the Temple Mount. Only the Western Wall of the Temple Mount remained, the Wailing Wall, which, as we know from prophecy, will never be destroyed (for the construction and destruction of the walls of the Temple Mount and the Temple itself, see here).

Subsequently, the Roman colony of Elia Capitolina was built on the ruins of Jerusalem, and a pagan temple was erected on the Temple Mount in place of the Temple.

After the fall of Rome, during the Byzantine Empire, in order to erase the memory of the Temple, a huge garbage dump was set up here, and a Christian church was erected on the southern part of the mountain. The Jews were driven out of Jerusalem for more than 500 years.

In 4398 (638) the Muslims, led by Caliph Omar, conquered Jerusalem and cleared the Temple Mount. They declared this place their shrine (“cornerstone” – the one from which, in their opinion, the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven) and in 4451 (691) year they built around the stone “Dome over the Rock” – Kipat as-Sela – the now well-known building with a golden dome. On the Temple Mount was also erected one of the main Muslim mosques, the Al-Aqsa Mosque (in 4473 / 713).

In 4859 (1099) Jerusalem was conquered by the Crusaders. They killed Jews, but did not touch the Temple Mount. They made the Al-Aqsa Mosque their residence, and the “Dome over the Rock” was taken over by the Knights Templar.

In the 12th century, Sultan Salah ad-Din (Saladin) recaptured Jerusalem and expelled the Christians.

As a result of the sixth crusade the Temple Mount was again in the hands of Christians for forty-five years ( 5059-5104 / 1299-1344/).

They were followed by the Mamelukes who ruled until 5277 (1517). Then the Turks took over the Land of Israel for four hundred years. At the end of the First World War they put all their power in Eretz Israel in the hands of the British, and from 5708 (1948) the Temple Mount was in Jordanian hands until the liberation of the Old City by the Israeli army in 5727 (1967) during the Six Day War. At present the Temple Mount is under the authority of the Palestinian Authority.

Construction of the Third Temple [↑].

Jewish prophets and sages say that in the future, with the arrival of Mashiach, a king from the house of David, the Third Temple will be rebuilt and will never again be destroyed. Not only the Jews, but the nations of the world, too, will recognize the authority of One G-d over them, and no one will think of the Temple Mount as a place designated for something else. The thoughts of all mankind will rush to the Temple with prayers of thanksgiving.

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The sanctity of the Temple and the Wailing Wall. The Laws of Sorrow for the Destruction of the Temple

Toldot Yeshurun.

As we approach the 10th Tevet Lent, it is important to recall the basic details of mourning for the destruction of the Temple and the laws related to the sanctity of the Western Wall (Wailing Wall). On the tenth Tevet the armies of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon began the siege of Jerusalem, which eventually led to the destruction of the First Temple and the Babylonian exile. With the destruction of the First Temple, we lost the great spiritual values with which the nation was blessed at that time, and their loss is felt in all generations. All the laws of the established fasts apply to the Tenth Tevet: the prohibition of eating and drinking from the time of the first light (amud ashahar) until the appearance of the stars, the prayer of “slichot,” the reading of the Torah, the addition of the prayer “Anenu” in the shmoneh esreh

Avraham Cohen.

The eastern wall of old Jerusalem.
This is not a custom or dispensation, it is simply forbidden by the Torah

Haim Friedman

Why is it forbidden to go up to the Temple Mount?

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View of the Old Town

Unknown author

The picture shows the Temple Mount, the Dome of the Rock, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Is it possible to climb the Temple Mount?

Rav Benzion Zilber.

Why is there so much hype surrounding this?

Why are Jews not allowed to climb the Temple Mount?

Rav Benzion Zilber.

Are we not afraid of our task in this world.

Is it possible to fly over the Temple Mount in a helicopter?

Rav Yaakov Shub.

How could Moshe Montefiore go up to the Temple Mount? What was the reaction of the rabbis? Why was the great philanthropist not excommunicated? Did Montefiore not set foot on the Temple Mount? What about showing that the Temple Mount is ours?

Children and Jerusalem.

Unknown author

The photo shows the Mount of Olives and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Avraham Cohen.

The South Wall of Old Jerusalem
Tours of the Temple Mount

Editorial Toldot.

The founder of religious Zionism, Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak a-Kohen Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of the Land of Israel, also forbade visits to the Temple Mount

Jerusalem, Great Mosque, 1844

Unknown author

The Al-Aqsa Mosque, located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, is Islam’s third holiest shrine after the Kaaba (Al-Haram Mosque) in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina

Western Wall Tunnel

Vadim Levin

An underground tunnel runs along the entire Western Wall. It is adjacent to it and underneath the buildings of the Old City. The tunnel gives access to an additional 485 m of the Western Wall. A portion of the Western Wall was left open after the destruction of the Temple. Because it was as close as possible to the Holy of Holies of the Temple and remained accessible, this part of the Wall has been a place of prayer for the Jews for thousands of years. Over time it has been hidden beneath a layer of centuries. You can see it in the underground tunnel shown in the photo.

Avraham Cohen.

There is no temple. Only the Wall.

Avraham Cohen.

Next year, at the Temple.
Temple Mount

Unknown author

A view of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. According to the Tanakh, King David bought the plot of land where the Temple of Jerusalem was later built from the Jebusite Aravna (Orna). The money to buy the land was collected from each of the tribes of Israel. David built an altar to the God of Israel on this site, and his son and heir to the throne, Solomon, built the First Temple. For 410 years the Temple was the place where the one God was exalted. It was also the seat of the Supreme Court and the center of legislation.

Another view of the Temple Mount

Lena Litvinova

The First and then the Second Temple of Jerusalem was located on the Temple Mount. Here, according to Jewish tradition, in the future there will be the Third Temple. At present, the Temple Mount is home to Muslim places of worship – the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

The Western Wall of the Temple – Kotel Maarawi

Mishpaha Magazine.

The Western Wall of the Temple in Jerusalem is the holiest place of prayer since the destruction of the Temple nearly 2,000 years ago. Here we leave notes asking G-d, here we pray for the Temple’s rebirth. According to tradition, G-d’s presence never leaves the Wailing Wall. The Western Wall of the Temple is the Kotel of Maaravi. Customs, facts and dates.

Avraham Cohen.

Jerusalem Day. The inhabitants and visitors of the Old City
Al Aqsa Mosque Jerusalem

Unknown author

Al-Aqsa Mosque is a Muslim temple in the Old City of Jerusalem on the Temple Mount. It is the third shrine of Islam after the al-Haram Mosque in Mecca and the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina. Originally built by Caliph Umar on the Moriah Temple Mount, the site of the Jewish First Temple of Solomon and the Second Temple, which was destroyed by the Roman Empire in 70 A.D. The current structure was laid by Caliph Abd al-Malik and dates mostly to the 8th century.

The Wailing Wall on the Temple Mount

Unknown author

An 1865 photograph showing the Wailing Wall on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Temple Mount

Temple Mount

The Temple Mount is located in Jerusalem, to the east of the Old City. It is enclosed by high walls and is bordered by two quarters, the Muslim and the Jewish Quarter, and is controlled exclusively by the Muslim side. The Holy Land is the subject of centuries of disputes, military and civil conflicts between Muslims and Jews, who for a long time were not even allowed to set foot on it. Today the way to the Temple Mount is open but for non-Muslims only during the prescribed hours and days of the week and subject to certain rules.

The dimensions of the Temple Mount:

  • length (east and west) – 470-485 m;
  • Width (south and north) – 280-313 m;
  • The absolute height – 774 m;
  • Relative height – about 20 m;
  • The maximum height of the surrounding wall – 45 m.
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Climbing to the central square of the Temple Mount

Temple Mount: meaning.

The rectangular area of the hill is a sacred site for Jews, Islamists and Christians.

In Judaism the Temple Mount is considered to be God’s chosen place and therefore belongs to the most sacred place on earth. Here stood the First Temple (Solomon), then was built the Second Temple (Jerusalem), and after the descent of the Messiah, according to tradition, there appeared the eternal Third Temple. It is believed that on the Cornerstone of the mountain the Most High began the Creation of the world. An altar was erected here, Jacob had a dream there that made him realize “the presence of the Lord in this place,” and the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy of Holies were in the First Temple. The notion of the sanctity of the place is confirmed by the fact that the Jews turn their eyes in supplication to Israel-Jerusalem-the Temple Mount.

In the prophetic scriptures there are references to other names for the holy place – Mount Moriah, the Mount of the Temple (or House), Mount Zion (before the first century, now a different hill).

In Islam, the Temple Mount is recognized as third in importance, behind Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. According to tradition, it is one of the first places to worship Allah. It is from here that the Prophet Muhammad made Miraj – ascending to heaven with the angel Jabrail.

For Christians, the Temple Mount is associated with the introduction of 3-year-old Mary, the future Virgin Mary, in the Holy of Holies, which could enter only once a year the high priest, and with her upbringing in piety in the Temple of Jerusalem until the age of 12.

Today only Islamic shrines are present in the enclosed area and no project to “combine” them with the shrines of other religious denominations is even considered.

A mosaic on the facade of the Dome of the Rock

The Cornerstone

From a religious point of view, the Cornerstone is considered the place where God began the process of creation and where later rites of sacrifice were conducted. According to scholars, the Cornerstone originally lay in the Holy of Holies of Solomon’s Temple and was later covered by the Dome of the Rock by Muslims.

Today the Sacred Stone measures 17.7×13.5 meters and rises to a height of up to two meters, is fenced in with a gilded lattice to avoid touching and is controlled by Muslims. However, the truth of this section of the rock is questioned by some researchers, since the first written text of the religious injunctions of Orthodox Judaism, the Mishnah, mentions a stone rising only three fingers above the surface.

Temple Mount in Jerusalem: A Visit

Not all tourists manage to visit the Temple Mount because access is strictly regulated by time, days and religious canons. Today there are strict controls at the entrance. Muslims can be asked to recite by heart the most important passages from the Koran, and those who refuse for whatever reason will be turned back. Unpretentiously dressed visitors will meet the same fate. It is obligatory to have your passport with you, since the requirement to show identification is quite frequent.

Jews are not permitted to carry religious paraphernalia, prayer books and holy books, and groups of orthodox Jews passing through the perimeter of the mountain are accompanied by a tight security detail. They are strictly forbidden to say prayers, even with a silent waving of the lips, and to make bows with their faces towards the Holy of Holies. For the slightest violation the entire group is expelled from the territory.

Infidels are permitted to visit the religious-historical complex from Monday through Thursday at a fixed time:

  • In summer – from 07:30 to 11:30 and one hour after 13:30;
  • In winter – from 07:00 to 10:30 and an hour after 12:30.

There is no access on Friday and Saturday. There are cases when during the scheduled visiting hours the gates are closed without prior notice.

There is no time limit for Muslims.

The footbridge to the Guigel Gate (Mughrabi)

There are several gates in each of the walls, some of which are bricked up. There are 11 active gates, 10 of which are reserved exclusively for Muslims. The Mughrabi Gate, located in the southern third of the Western Wall on the Jewish Quarter side, was opened to non-Muslims in 1967. Since 2016, they have been renamed the Guigel Gate.

Sightseeing

On the borders of the enclosed hill there are more than 100 sites belonging to different historical periods and styles. There are buildings from the Herodian and Greco-Roman eras, but most of the buildings were built during Mameluk and Ottoman times. On the Temple Mount there are mosques and monuments of Muslim architecture, including prayer pavilions, several fountains, arches, dome-monuments, etc.

Dome of the Rock

Mosques on the Temple Mount.

The main objects of the Haram al-Sharif complex of religious buildings are two Islamic sanctuaries, the Qubbat al-Sakhra (Dome of the Rock) and Al-Aqsa Mosques, which are considered one of the most important Muslim shrines. There is also the Al-Marwana Mosque in the underground rooms of the Solomon Stables.

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Islamic Museum

The collection is housed in a historical building built by the Crusaders in the 12th century next to the Al Aqsa Mosque, which was converted into the headquarters of the Knights Templar Order at the time. The museum was opened in 1927.

The collection contains items related to Islamic history of several Muslim regions, unique manuscripts of the Koran, ceramics, bronze items with characteristic embossing, weapons, ceramic tiles etc.

Al Aqsa Mosque

History

The first mention of the Temple Mount goes back to the 10th century B.C. It says that King David bought a plot of land from a local resident, built an altar to the God of Israel, and that Solomon built the First Temple of Jerusalem. It stood for 410 years and was destroyed in the 6th century BC by the Neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II as a result of a rebellion of the Jewish king Zedekiah against Babylon.

The second temple, which became the center of the social and spiritual life of the Jewish people, was built almost 70 years later. It stood for over 400 years, was rebuilt and enlarged by Herod the Great and was destroyed by the Romans during the Jewish War in 70 AD. On the mountain colonizers erected a temple of Jupiter and mounted an equestrian statue of Emperor Hadrian above the Holy of Holies.

During the Byzantine rule of Jerusalem the Temple Mount remained unclaimed and littered. With the arrival of the Muslims in the seventh century, the Dome of the Rock was built over the Foundation Stone and the Al-Aqsa Mosque was erected nearby. Since 1099 began an epoch of Crusaders who have released Jerusalem from the Islamic presence and used the Dome of the Rock as a basis for construction of the Temple of God. However power Templars has not lasted long, only till 1187. From that time the centuries-long period of Muslim rule began.

Dome Monuments

After World War I the modern capital of Israel was placed under the patronage of the British Mandate. Thanks to the efforts of the Mufti of Jerusalem the shrine was given the status of the national property of the Palestinian Arabs, and in 1948 it came under Jordanian control.

Until 1967, Jews were forbidden to visit the Temple Mount. The easing began after the events of the Six Day War, when Israeli paratroopers managed to break through to the shrine. Despite the fact that the administration of the area was transferred to the Islamic WACF, the Jews were given partial access to the Temple Mount.

There are several versions on the question of the location of the First and Second Temples. In addition to the traditional assumption of its location under the Dome of the Rock, researchers are developing versions to the west, north and south of the Qubbat al-Sakhra Mosque.

Excavations

Leaving aside the Crusaders’ intense search for King Solomon’s treasure in the early 12th century, no major excavations have ever been conducted on the mountain. Minor archaeological discoveries have been associated with construction work or accidental events. In particular, sections of stone retaining walls from the Herodian period were discovered, as well as several outbuildings, including Solomon’s Stables. It has been suggested that some of the artifacts found are hidden by the WACF or deliberately destroyed, but there is no evidence for this, nor is there any denial.

Ancient Capitals

In the 19th century British explorers, with prior permission from the Ottoman side, carried out excavations along the Western Wall outside the boundaries of the Temple Mount, which yielded several finds, including the discovery of an ancient stone arch of an ancient bridge. After Israel gained access to the Western Wall in 1967, the excavations from the Jewish Quarter became systematic. Today the Western Wall Tunnel is open to the public. The cave found in it, once used as a synagogue in agreement with the Muslims, is considered to be the closest prayer site to the Cornerstone.

How to get to the Temple Mount

Non-Muslims can visit the Temple Mount through the Guigel Gate, formerly the Mughrabi Gate, or the Moroccan Gate. After the partial collapse of the wall supporting the 800-year-old ramp, a temporary pedestrian bridge was added to them from the Jewish Quarter. The closest way is through the Trash Gate in the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. You can get there by buses number 1, 3, 51. The stop is called “Western Wall. You can see the schemes, stops, and transport online at the official website of the bus company Egged.

The other gates are in the Muslim Quarter. It can be reached by the same number 1, 3, 51 buses. Stops:

  • “Rockefeller Muesum/Sultan Suleiman” – at the Flower Gate (or Herod’s Gate);
  • “Jericho Road/HaOfel Road” – at the Lion’s Gate.

When choosing a ride in a Jerusalem cab, note that the Jewish Quarter is followed by white cars, and the Muslim Quarter by yellow ones.

In the capital of Israel are popular mobile cab applications – Uber, Gett, Yango, etc.

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