One of the oldest sections of central Jerusalem, the Russian Compound includes the massive, striking Holy Trinity Church and several other buildings and courtyards. The compound, which is located off Jaffa Road just up from Zion Square, was constructed in the 1860's.
About 100 years ago, the Russian Compound served the needs of Russian pilgrims to the Holy Land, many of whom stayed in its hostels. That was good while it lasted; however, when World War I broke out, the Ottoman authorities expelled the Russians. Then, when the British captured the city, they used the area for various administrative offices. After the State of Israel was established, the Israeli government bought most of the buildings from the Russian Patriarchate. Today the compound houses Jerusalem's district courthouse and the police headquarters, and the area is a happening restaurant and pub district.
Aside from the imposing-looking Russian church, another point of interest is the Underground Prisoners Museum, where British Mandate forces held captured members of the Jewish resistance in the years leading up to the 1948 War of Independence.