The tour starts with a panoramic view across Jerusalem’s cityscape. Next, take a walk along the Ophel Promenade past the Ophel Archaeological Garden between the Old City Dung Gate and the Gihon Spring. The excavated ruins found at this site trace Jerusalem’s history back 2,500 years. The tour continues to the Mount of Olives, the site of a 3,000-year-old Jewish cemetery. At the foot of the mount is the Kidron Valley and several monumental rock-cut tombs including the tomb of Absalom, the rebellious son of King David.
Next, visit the excavated City of David, the site of King David’s palace, and several ancient water tunnels including the 3,000-year-old Hezekiah tunnel. Get a view of the southern wall excavations then continue to the Western Wall. Here you can take a moment to place a prayer note between the wall’s massive stones. Tour the Old City’s four Sephardic synagogues, built between the 16th-18th centuries. These synagogues once formed a complex of Sephardic sanctuaries. While in the Jewish Quarter take a look at the Cardo, an excavated Roman thoroughfare.
With prior arrangement, it is possible to visit the Hurva Synagogue, originally constructed in the 18th century and destroyed and rebuilt several times over the years. It retained the name “Ruined Synagogue” or Hurva as a reminder of the building’s history. The last stop on this private tour is at the Tower of David Museum, housed within an Ottoman-era citadel built on the site of a series of fortified structures dating back to the 2nd century BC. The museum covers the history of Jerusalem told through authentic archaeological findings displayed in the citadel chambers and courtyard.
Additional Options in the Area:
1. Excavations of the Kotel (requires prior arrangement)
2. Temple Mount, once the site of the Jewish Temple.
3. Davidson Center, excavation of the Southern Wall
4. The Herodian Quarter (The Burnt House)
5. Rooftop lookout point in the Old City
6. A tasting tour of the Old City market: special humus, superior Arabian coffee, and more.
7. King David’s Tomb, Mount Zion
8. Church of the Holy Sepulcher
9. Via Dolorosa