Ir ha-Kodesh (The Holy City),
Bayt al-Maqdis (House of the Holiness)
|Gihon Spring settlement||3000-2800 BCE|
|City of David||c. 1000 BCE|
|Present Old City walls built||1541|
|• Body||Jerusalem Municipality|
|• Mayor||Nir Barkat (Likud)|
|• City||125,156 dunams (125.156 km2 or 48.323 sq mi)|
|• Metro||652,000 dunams (652 km2 or 252 sq mi)|
|Elevation||754 m (2,474 ft)|
|• Density||7,200/km2 (19,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+02:00 (IST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+03:00 (IDT)|
|HDI (2017)||0.704 – high|
|Official name||Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls|
|Criteria||ii, iii, vi|
Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world that people have lived in continuously. It is important to many major religions. Jews consider Jerusalem a holy city because it was their religious and political center during Biblical times and was the place where the Temple of God stood. Christians consider Jerusalem holy because many events in the life of Jesus took place there. Muslims believe that Muhammad rose to heaven from Jerusalem, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the first Qibla of Muslims after Mecca.
History[change | change source]
Jerusalem is a very old city. It has great importance for three religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Bible says King David, the second king of Israel, took this city from pagans and settled his palace there. King Solomon, David's son and the next king, built the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. Later, as capital of Judah, Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar II, the king of Babylon. The Palace of King David and the Temple of Solomon were burned, and the Jews were captured and taken to Babylon. Seventy years later, the Persian King Cyrus allowed them to return to Jerusalem and to rebuild the Temple.
Jesus died in Jerusalem around 33 CE. In 70 CE, the Jews rebelled against the Romans, but the Romans destroyed the city and the Temple. Jewish people who lived in Jerusalem were caught and became slaves. The Romans renamed Jerusalem with a Latin name. Since then, the Temple has not been rebuilt, and only a part of its wall remains until today.
Later, the Pope in Rome sent the Crusaders from Western Europe to try and take Jerusalem back. They succeeded for a while, but eventually the city fell again to the Saracens. Until the 20th century, Jerusalem was a part of the Ottoman Empire. There were some Jews in Jerusalem all along, even though they were ruled by other people.
The "New City" of Jerusalem is the part outside the old stone walls. People started building the new city in the 1800s. Mishkenot Sha'annanim, Mea Shearim, and the Bukharan Quarter are some of the first neighborhoods in the new city.
In 1949, at the end of the first Arab-Israeli War, Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan. Israel controlled the western part of the city. Jordan controlled the eastern section, including the Old City, a walled section of Jerusalem dating from Biblical times. Israel took control of the entire city during the Six-Day War in 1967.
Holy places[change | change source]
Jerusalem has a central place in the worship, doctrine, and daily practice of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The city's large number of synagogues, churches, mosques, and other religious institutions reflects the significance of the city for all three faiths. Each religious community supervises its own holy sites.
Jewish[change | change source]
According to Jewish tradition, Jerusalem is where God told the patriarch Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, to Him. The Jews built the Temple, the centre of Jewish worship in ancient times, at the site of Abraham's sacrifice on the Temple Mount in the Old City. Two buildings, one after the other, the First Temple and the Second Temple, stood at the site. The First Temple housed the Ark of the Covenant, a sacred box holding the tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments.
The Western Wall is a part of the Second Temple and Judaism's most sacred shrine. It is a stone wall that strengthened the western side of the Temple Mount in ancient times. The wall is sometimes called the Wailing Wall because of the sad prayers Jewish people said there to mourn the destroyed Temple.
Other sites in the city that are sacred to the Jews include King David's tomb on Mount Zion, and the Jewish Cemetery and the Tombs of the Prophets on the Mount of Olives, a hill just east of the Old City. Many sites associated with Biblical figures are sacred to Christians, too.
Christian[change | change source]
Many monasteries, convents, shrines, and religious seminaries in Jerusalem mark events in the life of Jesus and in the formation of the Christian Church. According to the Bible, Jesus taught in Jerusalem and performed numerous miracles there. The Last Supper supposedly took place in a room known as the Cenacle (also called Coenaculum) on Mount Zion. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Old City is said to be the place of Jesus's Crucifixion (called Calvary or Golgotha), as well as His burial and resurrection. Several Christian sects own the church, which was originally built by Constantine the Great, then rebuilt and dedicated by the Crusaders in 1149 CE. The building stands at the end of the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrows), believed to be the path over which Jesus carried His cross to Calvary. Jesus was last seen by His followers on the Mount of Olives before He went up to heaven. All of these sites attract many religious pilgrims each year.
Islamic[change | change source]
Jerusalem is Islam's third holiest city, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad originally selected Jerusalem as the qibla: the direction Muslims should face during prayer. However, he later told his followers to face Mecca instead of Jerusalem when praying. Muhammad is said to have gone up to heaven from a stone now covered by a golden-domed shrine called the Dome of the Rock. The Dome of the Rock and the ancient Al-Aqsa Mosque are among the holiest sites in Islam. They are the main buildings on the Temple Mount, which Muslims call Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary).
Architecture[change | change source]
Jerusalem's architecture is a mixture of old and new. The Old City contains architectural examples from each major period in the city's history. Many ancient historical sites and places of worship stand near modern shopping centers and industrial zones. Architecture from the late 1800s and early 1900s shows European influences. Usefulness rather than style characterizes new apartment buildings constructed by the government as housing for immigrants. Many buildings, old and new, have matching exteriors because all construction is required to be faced with a cream-colored limestone called Jerusalem stone, produced by nearby quarries.
Religion in Jerusalem[change | change source]
Belz Beis HaMedrash HaGadol is the largest synagogue in Jerusalem.
Twin towns and sister cities[change | change source]
Partner city[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- "List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
- "Localities, Population and Density per Sq. Km., by Metropolitan Area and Selected Localities". Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 6 September 2017. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
- "Facts and Figures". jerusalem.muni.il. Archived from the original on 31 October 2016.
- Sub-national HDI. "Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org.
- "Israel". The World Factbook. date. Retrieved 5 November 2012. Check date values in:
- "Israel". United Nations. Missing or empty
- "Online Directory: Israel, Middle East". Sister Cities International. Archived from the original on 17 January 2008. Retrieved 5 April 2007.
- "New York City Global Partners". NYC.gov. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
- "Partner Cities (Portal of Prague)". Praha.eu. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
Other websites[change | change source]
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- Official website of Jerusalem Municipality
- Jerusalemp3, offers free virtual tours in mp3 format from the Jerusalem Municipality
- Jerusalem at the Open Directory Project
- PDF (159 KB), United Nations document related to the recent dispute over Jerusalem
- Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel, Government of Israel, the Israeli law making Jerusalem the capital of Israel
- Israel Museum, one of Jerusalem's premier art museums
- Yad Vashem, Israeli memorial to victims of The Holocaust
- Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem's foremost institution of higher learning
- al-Quds University, the only Palestinian university in Jerusalem