Located in the vicinity of the Old City of Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate, the Tower of David is the ‘citadel’, a medieval fortress, of Jerusalem. It is significant for both, a historical and an archeological point of view.
Given that this particular site has been the target of much offense, throughout the centuries, many rulers have been forced to ‘fortify’ the said area. Built during the 2nd century BC, the Tower of David has been repeatedly demolished, and then eventually rebuilt by various conquerors of Jerusalem- (Christian, Muslim, Ottoman, and Mamluk). While King Hezekiah, might have been the first to fortify the site, the Hasmonean- as per Josephus Flavius- laid down the ‘first wall’ as it was during the 1st century BC that walls and watchtowers were built around the area.
Tower of David- A symbol of Jerusalem
Herod the Great, following the fall of the Hasmonean dynasty, had three towers built on the Western Hill’s north-west corner, where the Tower of David currently stands. However, today, only one (Phasael) of three towers still stands. It was after this, that the various conquests –one after the other began. The Ottomans added a mosque and minaret to the structure, and it was during their period that the structure came to be known as the ‘Tower of David.’
In addition to offering one with a chance to view the splendid sights of the Old City of Jerusalem meeting the new one; the east meeting the west, the Tower of David also has a museum founded by the Jerusalem Foundation in 1989. The said museum comprises of a courtyard which contains 2700 years old archaeological ruins. With the help of holograms, tapes and maps, the exhibits of the museum portray 4000 years worth of Jerusalem history- from the beginning of the city as a Canaanite city to the present day. As a bonus, the visitors have the option to move to the ramparts which provides one with a 360-degree view of the Old and the new city of Jerusalem. The Tower remains a popular site to date, with over 3.5 million visitors, as the Tower of David is used as a venue for various exhibitions, concerts, benefit events etc.
All in all, the Tower of David, providing one with a chance to take in the breath-taking sight of the Old and the New city of Jerusalem, can well be regarded as a symbol of Jerusalem’s rich culture and history.