Visitors tour the inside
of the Old
City of Jerusalem,
but most do not know they can climb on top
of the ramparts to get a different perspective.
Not only do you get a spectacular view of
the city beyond the walls, you get a unique
look, especially in the Muslim
how people live inside the city.
The path along the walls can
be accessed from Jaffa, Damascus, Lion's
and Zion Gates. The entrances are surprisingly
difficult to find, but worth the effort.
The walls are approximately
two-and-a-half miles long. It is not possible
to circumnavigate the city atop the walls.
The street separates the Citadel and Jaffa
Gate at one end of the city. At the opposite
end, the wall walk ends at St. Stephen's
(Lion's Gate), because you cannot walk along
the wall surrounding the Temple
is where the walk beginning at the Jaffa
Gate ends. The walk from the Citadel ends
short of the Dung Gate, opposite the Jewish
From the Citadel,
it is possible to look at what once was a
moat surrounding Herod's palace.
The Citadel was
built by the Crusaders in
the Middle Ages as a lookout to guard the
road to Jaffa. The walk actually ends atop
the police station. Beyond the walls, one
gets a spectacular view of the new city, Yemin
Moshe, the hotels, and shopping mall
outside Jaffa Gate.
As one walks around the wall,
you can look inside at an Armenian seminary
and a huge vacant lot in one of the most
ancient parts of the Old City. It is no doubt
invaluable as real estate and as an archaeological
site. The Armenian authorities, however,
will not allow any excavations.
From the top of the wall,
you can see the 1948
border where Arabs shot
at Jews living in Yemin
by its non-functioning windmill, until the
border was settled with Jordan.
Just to the right is the King
David Hotel and behind
it the tip of the YMCA tower is just visible.
The Sheraton Hotel and the other few “skyscrapers,” also
hotels, mark the skyline of what is otherwise
a low-level city.
It is also possible to see
the cemetery of Dormition Abbey just beyond
the SE corner of the walls. This particular
route is separated from the Jewish
Quarter by a road inside the wall so that it is not
possible to see much. Beyond the walls, however,
it is possible to get a panoramic view of
what the rest of the world calls the occupied
territory. Closer to the Old City, it is
possible to see the Arab village of Silwan
and, if someone points it out, the City
of David excavations. Toward the exit
it is possible to see large depressions that
are the ruins of cisterns from the 4th and
5th century Byzantine
The path along the ramparts
in the Muslim
Quarter is even more interesting.
Making your way toward the Temple
Damascus Gate, it is possible to look inside
the courtyards of Muslim homes. Outside,
across Suleiman Street, you can see the Rockefeller
Museum, which houses antiquities found from
archaeological excavations and other exhibits.
When you reach the far corner of the City,
you can get a wonderful view of Mount
of Olives and
Walking shoes are recommended because the Ramparts
Walk is made of ancient Jerusalem stone.
The Ramparts Walk is located at Schem Gate in Jerusalem.
Hours of Admission: Sunday through Thursday and Saturday, 9am-4pm; Friday,
There is an entrance fee.
Phone number: 972-2-6277550