Writers at The Times of Israel tell us more about the history behind the Old City walls and the daily life that flourishes there.
What would Jerusalem be without its walls? Poets have sung of them since ancient times, they are mentioned in the Book of Psalms, and they have shadowed conflicts past and present. . .
The current golden limestone walls date back to the 16th century. Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent ordered the iconic ramparts built after his father, Selim the Grim, brought Jerusalem under Turkish rule in 1517.
The city remained under Ottoman rule for 400 years, until British Gen. Edmund Allenby marched through the Jaffa Gate on December 11, 1917, the start of 30 years of British rule.
Over the course of its tumultuous 3,000-year history, Jerusalem’s Old City has had many masters, from the ancient Persians and Babylonians all the way up to the modern states of Jordan and Israel. There have been almost as many walls, some torn down by wars or earthquakes.