This Museum of the History of Jerusalem is also called the Tower of David Museum and is located in the Tower of David or David’s Citadel at the Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. The museum was opened in 1989 by the Jerusalem Foundation. The history of Jerusalem is told highlighting the major events that have taken place here over the last 4000 years from the 2nd┬ámillennium BC up until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1949. There is a focus on the city’s importance to the three major monastic religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

The exhibits are set out chronologically and make use of a number of presentation methods including holograms, video footage, maps, documents, models and art. The Citadel courtyard is part of the museum and contains archaeological findings from 2,700 years ago. The explanations are in Hebrew, Arabic and English and volunteers guide visitors through the museum’s permanent collection. The museum hosts temporary exhibits which cover both historic and contemporary topics.

The permanent exhibition is housed in the Citadel guardrooms and begins with a short film, then chronologically covers the Canaanite Period of 3200BC, the 1st Temple Period, 2nd Period Temple, Roam Period, Byzantine Period, Muslim Period, Crusader Period, Ayyubid Period, Mamluk Period, Ottoman Period and the British Mandate of 1917.

Model of Ancient Jerusalem

One of the unique highlights of the museum is a model of ancient Jerusalem created in 1872. The model is to scale 1:500 and covers 18m². This gives an idea of what the city would have looked like in the 19th century.

Sound and Light Show

In the evening you can see a spectacular sound and light show which tells the story of Jerusalem from Biblical times. Images are projected on the ancient stones bringing them alive with color.

The Citadel Archaeological Site and Tower

The museum is located within the Citadel which is an archaeological site, it is possible to reach the top of the Citadel Tower and take in the panoramic view across the ancient city. Some of the findings in the Citadel complex include a First Temple period quarry, a wall from the Hasmonean era, steps thought to have been part of Herod’s palace and the ruins of an ancient Umayyad fortress.

Text content copyrights: Bein Harim Ltd., Beryl Ratzer (

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