Jerusalem as a whole is often referred to as the City of David but it is in fact the name of the original Jerusalem settlement that now lies beneath the modern city of Jerusalem across the road from the walls of the Old City and Temple Mount.
History of the City of David
Over 3,000 years ago King David arrived on the hilltop that would become Jerusalem and established his city as the capital of the unified tribes of Israel. Over the years Jerusalem grew while the original settlement was destroyed, rebuilt, conquered and settled many times over. The City of David became buried beneath growing Jerusalem and hidden until excavated began in 1860. The archaeological excavations are still underway and will continue at least until 2020.
Touring the City of David
Visitors to the City of David are taken back 3,800 years with a 3D movie. Then the tour takes you through the city’s history illustrated by excavated artifacts and structures from different periods. Walking through the site you can see ancient excavated structures including David’s palace.
Water Systems of the City of David
You can tour the 533m-long Hezekiah’s Tunnel that once brought water from the Gihon Spring to Jerusalem’s Pool of Siloam. The tunnel is mentioned in Kings II 20:20 and would have been carved out of rock in about the 8th century BC during the reign of King Hezekiah. This wonder of engineering uses the natural graduation of the land to convey water. The water system served Jerusalem for 1,000 years, even in times of siege.
It was in 1867 that Cpt. Charles Warren discovered that a few meters into the tunnel from Gihon Springs the tunnel intersected with other tunnels. To the left is Hezekiah’s Tunnel flows to Siloam Pool and to the right a shorter tunnel leads to a vertical shaft connecting to further tunnels. The system was later named Warren’s Shaft.
Visitors can tour the archaeological site of the City of David and take tours through the water tunnels. There is also the Hallelujah Sound and Light Show in the evening.