The Western Wall

The Western Wall

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based on 9088 traveler reviews
The Western WallPhoto: Dreamstime
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The Western Wall, considered the most sacred site for prayer and religious and national gatherings, has a magnetic appeal for the Jewish people. Many tourists, visitors, and worshippers visit the site, which is one of the most popular and highly recommended attractions in Jerusalem.

Visit the Holiest Site in the Old City

It is a well-known tradition to write notes of prayer and requests and place them between the cracks of the stones in the Wall. It is also highly recommended to tour the Western Wall Tunnels, where you can explore the underground rooms and narrow passageways, revealing the full length of the Western Wall, as well as the Chain of Generations Center, where a most moving display of the Jewish chain of generations can be seen by means of spectacular artwork created from layers of glass. 

Throughout the year, the Western Wall plaza is the natural and inevitable venue for many events and ceremonies, including government ceremonies, swearing-in ceremonies for new IDF recruits, special prayer sessions, and bar mitzvah celebrations.

When Herod renovated the Second Temple, built in the first century B.C.E., the Western Wall was one of four huge supporting walls. Herod built a huge courtyard on Mount Moriya, the site of the Temple. In the sixteenth century, when Jewish pilgrimage to the Temple Mount was prohibited, the Western Wall would serve as a place of prayer for the Jews; a symbol of longing for the Temple. 

The Wall is built from enormous, quarried stones, whose mass ranges between two to five tons. The stones are chiseled in a way that is characteristic of the construction during the times of Herod the Great: A stone frame that is chiseled, smoothed, and slightly sunken, whereas the center of the stone protrudes outward. The original height of the Western Wall was about 30 meters, and it was approximately half a kilometer long, with the bedrock of Jerusalem at its foundation. 

There were fillings and vaults built in the space between the walls and the mountain, on top of which a paved plaza was constructed with a surface area of 144,000m2, equal to the size of 12 soccer fields. 

From 1948-1967, when Jerusalem was divided between Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan, access to the Wall for Jews was forbidden, so many would make a pilgrimage to King David’s tomb on Mount Zion, where they could observe the Temple Mount from the roof of the structure, in the hope to return once more to pray at the Western Wall. Following the Six-Day War, masses of people flocked to the Jewish Quarter, and especially the Western Wall. A short time thereafter, the homes in the Mughrabi Quarter that were built alongside the Wall were destroyed and a prayer plaza was constructed.

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based on 9088 traveler reviews
  • Grace Ooi
    Grace Ooi
    March 14, 2023

    This was my 3rd time went to the Western Wall but this round went deep under the wall to see a big panel of wall made by a piece of super huge rock, wonder how the temple was built and how the people transported the rocks...

  • Shlomi Masuri
    Shlomi Masuri
    June 1, 2023

    The second holy place for the Jewish people

  • Eds Ch
    Eds Ch
    October 22, 2020

    This 2,000-year-old city wall is all the remains of the ancient temple built by Herod. I saw the Wailing Wall, a world cultural heritage, and it was very special that the meaning behind the Jews was truly understood. I sa...

  • Andres Mariani
    Andres Mariani
    April 18, 2021

    The Wailing Wall or Western Wall located at the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem is one of those places in the world where you only need to stop, relax and breath all of that mystical atmosphere surrounding you.

  • Milica Brašanac
    Milica Brašanac
    March 15, 2021

    The whole of Jerusalem is like a great religious place for all the religions of the world. I witnessed how even the greatest atheists feel the special energy and spirituality of this city. It is customary to write a wish...

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