Salah Al-Din Street in Jerusalem

 

Salah Al-Din Street, one of East Jerusalem's major shopping and commerce thoroughfares, is named for the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria. A Muslim of Kurdish origin, is known for his fight against the Crusaders, namely in the battle of Hattin.

Following the Crusaders' defeat, the Muslims were able to recapture the area of Palestine, which had been under the Crusador control for 88 years. Salah Al-Din died in 1193 in Damascus as a poor man, having distributed much of his wealth to his subjects. He was buried in a mausoleum adjacent to Damascus's Umayyad Mosque.

Salah Al-Din is a busy street, lined with low and high-rise buildings on either side. The narrow street and its many shops and hotels create a bustling area, often congested and full of busy shoppers and many tourists.

On the northern edge of the street, the American Colony Hotel offers a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the neighborhood. A favorite destination for wealthy clients from Jerusalem and around the world, the hotels walled gardens and the ancient villa within offer the quiet and seclusion of a countryside retreat. This luxury hotel is also an oasis of neutrality in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.

Farther down Salah Al-Din Street, the Anglican Cathedral borders the Israeli Ministry of Justice. Continuing your walk, the street becomes the commercial center for East Jerusalem. In the past, these shops were frequented by Jerusalem residents of all religions, and were a popular destination for affordable shopping and dining. As the city grew and expanded, it has become the major shopping area mainly for East Jerusalem. These shops include many Middle Eastern specialties, including artwork and artifacts, unique clothing and souvenirs.

The southern edge of the street leads the Old City walls of Jerusalem, and Zidkiyahu’s Cave. This man made cave is over 2000 years old, extending deep into the bedrock. It is believed that the cave was created by the quarrying of stones, which were used to build Herod’s Temple.

This part of Salah Al-Din Street is also home to the National hotel, a four star hotel with excellent service and direct access to the Old City gates.

Salah Al-Din Street and the Damascus Gate area are usually busy with vendors, displaying their wares in the streets. In addition, various taxi and bus services depart from this area, mainly to East Jerusalem neighborhoods and Palestinian cities. The street is also home to several international banks, including the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Saudi British Bank and more.

An exciting street with endless shopping opportunities and unique, outstanding cuisine, Salah Al-Din Street offers a real Middle Eastern flavor to locals and visitors alike. With its close proximity to the Damascus Gate, it can be easily integrated in a tour of the Old City and its various religious attractions.