Either if you are jewish or not, the Kotel (the Hebrew name for the Wailing Wall) is an impressive place. It is one of the retaining walls of the Temple Mount on which the second Jewish Temple was built by King Herod. The temple was destroyed in the year 70 by the Romans. The Kotel started to become a holy place for the jewish people in the 15th century, when the Ottoman sultan Suleyman ruled Jerusalem. Suleyman gave the jewish people officially a right to use the wall as a place of prayer.
The part of the wall that can be seen nowadays consists of 24 rows of stones; the oldest and biggest are the lowest rows. It is interesting to know that, underneath the ground there are 19 more rows of stones, which reach down to a paved road. This once was the foot of the wall.
The big square ("Western Wall Plaza") became a fact only in 1967. Before that time, there was a densely populated Arab quarter named Maghrabi in front of the Wall. There was only a small corridor between the neigborhood and the Wall, making it look bigger and more impressive then it does today. Between 1948 and 1967, Jewish people were not allowed to visit their most holy place. After the Six Days War, Israel took the Old City and the Kotel; the 14th century Maghrabi neighborhood was destroyed by the Israeli Defence Forces; the population was forced to leave, making it one of the many sad stories in the history of Jerusalem.
Nowadays, the Kotel is again the heart of the Jewish religion, and one of the main tourist attractions in the Old Town.
The Western Wall, known in Hebrew as Kotel hama'aravi is a wonderfuly atmospheric place to visit, especially on a Friday night, when it is humming with activity. One Shabbat, I was there a group of youths came down singing & dancing, which was great.
Its open to all, Jewish or not, understandably, there are check points on the all the entrances . Men & women are segregated for prayer. The larger (and more shaded!!) area on the northern end is for men & the smaller area for women.
If you look closely at the photo you can see peices of paper in the cracks in the temple wall, these are written prayers.
There is seating opposite the Western wall, where one can sit & the people watching is fascinating.
When I was in Jerusalem I of course visited the Western Wall. You have surely heard about it. It's an important place for the Jews and many are praying there. You can write a prayer on a paper and put it into the wall if you want. There is countless of prayers and when the wall is full, they will empty it and burn the prayers. It is very cool to be there. I recommend you to visit the Wailing Wall if you are in Jerusalem.
In the shadows of the western wall, and stretching outside the current walls of the Old City is the Jerusalem Archaelogical Park. Formerly just the Ophel Archaelogical Park, new diggings round the south-western corner of the Western Wall and the building of a state of the art virtual exhibition centre (Davidson Centre) has led to this massive expansion and is incorporated into the Jerusalem Archaelogical Park, developed round the oldest settlement of Jerusalem.
The entrance to the Park is just inside Dung Gate and the access road to the Western Wall. Start at the Davidson Centre, which includes models of Jerusalem as well as introductory films about ancient Jerusalem. Once outside, the walls of the 2nd Temple (and which are now the walls of the Mosque) tower above you. Here you will find the original foundations of shops, buildings etc that lined Herodian Street - the main throughfare of Jerusalem at the time of the 2nd Temple. Some 20 metres above you is what was once the main entrance into the Temple complex (access now destroyed - when the Romans destroyed the 2nd Temple, they dislodged the stones that formed the access ramp, hurling the huge stones to the streets below. Many of these rocks remain in situ today).
'Round the corner' is the Umayyad Palace foundations from the 6th & 7th century - now an immense courtyard of foundations and columns with access to the city ramparts. Through a small gate is access to the Ophel Archaelogical Park, which is officially outside the walls of the Old City. Abutting the southern wall of the 2nd Temple, the Hula Gates are to be found (or the remains - they are now bricked in), which were the 2nd and 3rd entrances to the Temple.
It's a huge complex - and although there is little more than foundations and exterior walls to be found, its a fascinating new addition to what's on offer in Jerusalem.
Entrance fee: NIS 30, Open Sunday-Thursday, 9am - 5pm, Friday 9am - 3pm
Near the Western Wall, Jewish feelings begin to surface, often to the first time, without our knowing how and why. This essential experience is both deep and mysterious: touching the stones of this still-standing ancient wall; identifying with the nation, the heritage, and the essence of life. Thoughts and feelings become clear at the Western Wall, in their pure proportions. Here is the place where lament and joy, despair and hope - unite.
In 1967, soon after the liberation of the Old City, began the operation of clearing the Western Wall Plaza. Many tons of dirt and refuse were laboriously removed by hand to expose magnificent underground structures, comprising a continuous chain wrote in stone stretching from the Hasmonean era until our time.
These excavations reveald the entire length of the Western Wall - 488 meters - in all its glory.
The WAILING WALL in Jerusalem , the most sacred place for the Jewish people. Don't turn you back to the wall.
Unfortunately we visited the Wailing Wall on Saturday, and it was forbidden to take photos (see the photo taken nearby). If you come close to the wall you will see that in every hole and in every deepening there is a piece of paper with a wish written on it. I put my wish into one of the hole. Believe it or not - IT CAME TRUE!!!
Welcome to the most holy Jewish site in the city. This wall is all that remains of the retaining wall that held the temple complex. There has not been a Jewish temple on site since 70AD. This is now an open air synagogue. If you are a visitor like me, you will need to wear the head covering. There will be some available for you to borrow before approaching the wall. Males go to one place while females go to another. Behind this wall is the Temple Mount which contains the golden Dome of the Rock. The most holy Islamic site in the city is adjacent to the holy Jewish site, and historically this has meant trouble. If you want to see the focus of the troubles with the "peace process", here is where you need to go. A visit to the wall will be a fascinating part of your trip here. Notice the cracks in and between the stones. Probably every nook and cranny will contain a folded prayer note. if you wish, you may bring your own written prayer here and insert it into the stones. It was quiet when I showed up here. Someone did ask for a donation while i was at the wall. They apparently thought I gave too little--oh well, you cannot please everyone. When we approached the Western Wall via the Dung Gate, there was understandably a security check point. Be prepared for this when you visit.
This famous wall (also called "the Western Wall") is supposed to be what's left of the old Solomon temple. It is a very important holy site for the Judaism and tourists are allowed for a visit a well (you must cover your head).
Jews around the world turn their eyes to the Western Wall, also know as the Wailing Wall, which is the closest location to the place where the temple used to stand where Jews can pray. The wall we know today was a part of the temple's western wall, hence its name. Believers leave notes in the cracks between the wall's stones.
Derek & Myself, on my flying visit to Jerusalem, 2 years after I left the Kibbutz.
Weird to be back, but we were there so briefly (& I was feeling really ill) I did not get the feel of the place again. I am obviously meant to return! (~_~)
Rooms and public halls were discovered, as well as a section of a Second Temple road, a Hasmonean water tunnel, a pool, and many other finds.
Here is a domain rich in roots - it was on this mountain that Avraham was worned not to "lift your hand against the youth". Issac. Here, at the foot of the Temple Mount, one can hear the songs and music of the Levites. The courses of stones evoke memories of King David and King Solomon, Ezra and Nehemiah, the Maccabees and the Sages. Kings and prophets walked along these paths.
And here it is, the wall. People often put little papers in it, with their wishes on it. The wall is full of these papers.
Keep in mind that men will have to wear a little hat, when aproaching the wall. This had is calles a 'keppel'. Don't worry: religious men are lending these hats to tourists so they can take a closer look.
This is a very special place.
To get to it you have to go through body scanners and have any bags xrayed.
I was there on a saturday so no photo's were allowed unfortunatly
A place where everyone should go and experience
I did manage to get one photo at very long range
Visit the Western Wall and all the old city, lots of history, very important area for all religions.
Unlike in the past there's now also a special road to Wheelchairs which make it accessible to the wall with wheelchair and to the Herodian Street, this road start at the Archological garden and gets all the way to the wailing road.
When arriving there please make sure you're dressed modestly, Girls, NO mini skirts or Small shirts that doesnt cover you, This is a holly Site, please respect it.
Or the wailing wall or in Hebrew - The Kotel. This place is The Holliest Place for the Jewish people.
You can see people praying and writing their biggest wishes on a small notes which they put in between ths tones...hoping for answers to their prayers. That has become a tradition for those who believe in that and also for those who not... i guess everyone hopes for a miracles.....