Jerusalem Archaeological Park & Davidson Centre

sights / Historic

Jerusalem Archaeological Park & Davidson Centre information

Location
Jerusalem , Israel
Telephone
+972 2 2 627 7550
More information
www.archpark.org.il
Prices
adult/student & child 30/16NIS, guided tours 160NIS, audioguide 5NIS
Opening hours
8am-5pm Sun-Thu, to 2pm Fri
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Offering a peek into the history of the Temple Mount area, this archaeological site near Dung Gate incorporates the remains of streets, columns, gates, walls, plazas and mikvehs exposed during archaeological digs in the 1970s. There's also a modern visitor centre where two video presentations – an interesting one about the excavations and another reconstructing the site as it looked 2000 years ago – are presented in both Hebrew and English.

As you enter the site you’ll notice on your left the remains of what was once Jerusalem's main street, which ran the length of the Temple's Western Wall. Note the remains of an arch protruding from Herod’s wall. This is Robinson’s Arch (named after a 19th-century American explorer), once part of a bridge that connected the Temple Mount and the city's main commercial area. The piles of stones on the Herodian-era street below the arch are said to be part of the Western Wall, hurled down by Roman soldiers as they destructed the Temple in 70 CE. Nearby is a divided staircase leading down to a mikveh from the same period; one side was for bathers on the way to the bath and the other was for bathers who had been purified.

At the back of the site (ie closest to the Mount of Olives) are the Huldah Gates, also built in the Second Temple period. These originally gave access to tunnels that led up to the Temple Mount enclosure. Nearby is a largely reconstructed staircase that was once the main entry for pilgrims headed to the Temple Mount. Near the bottom of the steps you can spot more mikvehs.

Book in advance if you would like to take a guided tour.