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Western Wall Tunnel

Coordinates: 31°46′37″N 35°14′04″E / 31.7770°N 35.2345°E / 31.7770; 35.2345
From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Narrow passage in Western Wall tunnel

The Western Wall Tunnel (Hebrew: מנהרת הכותל, translit.: Minharat Hakotel) is a tunnel in Jerusalem. It expose part of the Western Wall where the prayer site ends and up to the northern end of the Wall. Most of the tunnel is located under buildings of the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. The open-air portion of the Western Wall is about 60 metres (200 ft) long. Most of its original length of 488 metres (1,601 ft) is underground. The tunnel allows access to the morthern part of the Wall.

History[change | change source]

In 19 BCE, King Herod doubled the area of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. He did this by using part of the hill on the Northwest. To do this, four walls were built. The Temple Mount was expanded on top of these walls. These walls and the platform itself were still standing after the Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.[source?]

Since that time, much of the area next to the walls has been covered and built upon.[1] Part of the Western Wall was still exposed after the destruction of the Temple. It became a place of Jewish prayer for a very long time.[2]

Excavation[change | change source]

Route of the Western Wall Tunnel

British researchers started excavating the Western Wall in the 19th century. Charles Wilson began the excavations in 1864. This was followed by Charles Warren in 1867 - 70. Wilson found an arch. This arch is now named for him, "Wilson's Arch". It was 12.8 metres (42 ft) wide. The arch is above present-day ground level. It is believed that the arch supported a bridge which connected the Temple Mount to the city during the Second Temple Period.[1]

After the Six-Day War, excavations began to expose more of the Western Wall. The excavations lasted almost twenty years. They found many facts about the history and geography of the Temple Mount that had not been known. The excavations were difficult. Tunnels ran below neighborhoods that were built on top of structures from the Second Temple Period. The excavations were done with the supervision of scientific and rabbinic experts. This was to ensure both the stability of the structures and to prevent damaging the historic artifacts.[3] In 1988, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation was formed.[4] It took over the excavation,[3] maintenance and renovations of the Western Wall and Western Wall Plaza.[4]

Gallery[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Archaeological Sites in Israel – The Western Wall and Its Tunnels". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  2. "What is the Western Wall?". The Kotel. Archived from the original on 2007-02-02. Retrieved 2022-06-20.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Exposing the Western Wall Tunnels". The Kotel. Archived from the original on 2006-09-03. Retrieved 2006-08-14.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "About Us". The Kotel. Archived from the original on 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2010-05-05.

Other websites[change | change source]

31°46′37″N 35°14′04″E / 31.7770°N 35.2345°E / 31.7770; 35.2345