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History

Explore historical sites that are sacred to Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Enter the Old City from the Jaffa Gate, minutes from the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem.

The old city boasts many historical sites that are sacred to the three monotheistic religions of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. It is divided into four unique quarters: Armenian, Christian, Jewish and Muslim.

Steps from the Jaffa Gate is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Christians believe Christ was crucified and buried. Stroll along to the Wailing Wall, one of the most sacred sites for Judaism, built by King Herod around 19 BC. The fascinating tour of the Western Wall Tunnels reveals hidden layers of the Wall underground. They tell the story of ancient Jerusalem and of generations of longing for it.

Visit one of the most famous Islamic sites in the world, Temple Mount, containing the golden Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. Wander through the courtyards and marvel at the stone archways and architecture. Pay a visit to the City of David, an archaeological site which is speculated to compose the original urban core of ancient Jerusalem, and was the unified capital of Israel people 3,000 years ago.

Western Wall

Western Wall

It is said that the expression, 'The walls have ears' originally was said about the Western Wall. For the Jews, this remnant of what was the most sacred building in the Jewish World, the Second Temple, quickly became the holiest spot in Jewish life. Jews from throughout the world have made pilgrimage to the Kotel ha-Ma'aravi (the Western Wall) to thank God. The prayers offered at the Kotel were so heartfelt that gentiles began calling the site the 'Wailing Wall'.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The church contains, according to traditions dating back to at least the fourth century, the two holiest sites in Christianity: the site where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, and Jesus's empty tomb, where he is said to have been buried and resurrected. Christians all over the world visit this site.

Dome of the Rock

Dome of the Rock

Initially completed in 691 CE at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik, the Dome of the Rock is in its core one of the oldest extant works of Islamic architecture. It is decorated with beautiful geometric and floral motifs, many believe this site is where Abraham offered his sacrifice. The site's great significance for Muslims derives from traditions connecting it to the creation of the world and to the belief that the Prophet Muhammad's Night Journey to heaven started from the rock at the center of the structure.

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