This description of the Western Wall tunnel was taken from the website as it explains the route much better than I. This tunnel runs 1,000 feet along the wall and shouldn't be missed.
Entering a tunnel at the prayer plaza, you turn northward into a medieval complex of subterranean vaulted spaces and a long corridor with rooms on either side. Incorporated into this complex is a Roman and medieval structure of vaults, built of large dressed limestone. It includes an earlier Herodian room, constructed of well-dressed stones, with double openings and walls decorated with protruding pilasters. The vaulted complex ends at Wilson's Arch, named after the explorer who discovered it in the middle of the 19th century. The arch, supported by the Western Wall, was 12.8 m. wide and stood high above the present-day ground level. Josephus Flavius mentions a bridge which connected the Temple Mount with the Upper City to the west during the Second Temple period. This bridge once carried water via a conduit from Solomon's Pools; it was destroyed during the Jewish Revolt against Rome (66-70 CE) and rebuilt during the early Islamic period.
Beyond Wilson's Arch, a large hall, part of a Mamluk period construction, was cleared of debris and a large water cistern was removed, revealing the Herodian Western Wall.
From this point, along the outer face of the Herodian western wall of the Temple Mount, a long narrow tunnel was dug slowly and with much care. As work progressed under the buildings of the present Old City, the tunnel was reinforced.. A stretch of the western wall - 300 m. long - was revealed in pristine condition, exactly as constructed by Herod
At the end of this man-made tunnel, a 20 m. long section of a paved road and an earlier, rock-cut Hasmonean aqueduct leading to the Temple Mount were uncovered. Today one can proceed along it to a public reservoir and from there, a short new tunnel leads outside to the Via Dolorosa in the Muslim Quarter.
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!!!
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.
For Jewish is the wailing wall a stone expression of their religious tradition
For Christians is Jerusalem the town where Jesus was living.
11,000 people worked for three years building this construct that was one of the biggest and most magnificent buildings.
The current wall is only partly the original wall. It is 18 meters high and the 11 lower rows are original Herodian work
From all over the world, but ofcourse mainly from Jerusalem itself Jews come to pray at this holy site. There is, like in a synagoge (jewish church) a segregation of men and women.
Here you see men reading out of the Torah, the holy book of the Jews.
These men are praying directly at the wall. It's very common to put your prayer on a piece of paper and put it in a gap between the stones. Jews from al over the world can now quite easaly put a prayer in the wall, even if they do not have the time or money to travel to Jerusalem, because there is a fax-machine at the Wall to which they can send their prayers!
At the time I visited Jerusalem I was told that the actual wall could only be accessed by Jews
From VT member dantes2 I got the following reaction on this item:
'The Wall in your picture is part of the rebuilt wall of Solomon's Temple, and any male (not females I believe) can go to the Wall. A section of the original wall is to the left of the Wall in the picture, inside where the two Walls meet. I remember distinctly going there as well, and I am not Jewish- hehe. There are times however when the older men (rabis?) who seem to be in charge of the area will really put up a fuss if a group arrives with a non-Israeli/approved tour guide. Likewise, they will hoot and shout if the group continues on up to the Temple Mount, since the Orthodox NEVER go up there for fear of treading on the place where the Holy of Holies was.But actually this is a two way street, because when my group went to the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth we were barred by the Christian Arabs at the door because our guide WAS an Israeli guide. One other observation I just remembered about the Wall- there is a famous picture of Pope John Paul kissing the wall, and the last time I heard he was NOT Jewish.'
Martin_S. also reacted. He wrote:
I took a look at your Jerusalem page and wanted to comment on several things.
The wailing wall is accessable to all who want to visit it, not only Jews. I personally have taken Christian and Budhist friends there and they have put their own prayers in those cracks in the wall and said their own silent prayers.
The wall is also accessable to women, Jewish law just forbids the mixing of the sexes during prayers, so a section for women is screened off so the men may not see the women.
The Al-Aksa Mosque was built by the then Arab rulers on that particular spot to prevent the rebuilding of the Temple Mount by the Jews at some future date. You mention it as one of the most important religious places in Moslem beliefs, but it is not mentioned in the Koran at all. Mecca and Medina are noted numerous times. It seems that the Jerusalem Mosque has become a political expedient for the Moslems to rant and rave against Israel. But that is common for extremists, does not matter if they are Moslem, Jew, Christian or whatever.
Did you know that for all the years the Old City of Jerusalem (along with the Jewish religious sites) was under Arab rule, all the Jewish sites were closed to Jews, but today since 1967 when Israel defeated the Jordanian army that occupied the city, the Christian and Moslem religious sites have been open to all, yet Israel is seen as being unfair, why??
It is interesting to note that outside the gate opposite the mosque, leading outside the city walls, there is a graveyard. This also was put there with the specific purpose of preventing the Jewish Messiah from returning, you ask why, well the reason is that he cannot enter a graveyard.
The section you show in your picture is the original wall, which extends further to the left. The part on the far left can only be accessed by a tunnel excavated recently because of the material that was 'dumped' next to it preventing access.
As for the 'hooting and shouting' of the Orthodox Jews', they do that with anyone who is not dressed exactly like them, they are the extremists and I for one consider them as religious terrorists.
I for one am for fairness and 'live and let live', I wonder why the whole world cannot accept people for who they are - People - no different from each other, one likes red shoes, the other black, one likes chocolate, the other cream, one believes in Christ, the other in Mohammed......etc, etc....
Anyway, enough for now, hope you have the energy to read all this.
The Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem is the holiest place in the world to Jews. People from all over the world come here to pray to God and ask for assistance, forgiveness, health & happiness.
Believed to be the only remains of the great temple of Herod the great. Today its the most sacred sight for Israeli jews.
You'll see all kinds of worshippers at the Wall, but a majority of them are Hassidics coming from other Jewish areas of Jerusalem - outside of the Old City.
The Western Wall Or famously Known As The Wailing Wall Is The Holies Shrine To The Jewish People.You can see the worshipers praying here.
There was a boy by the wall performing his Bar Mitzvah (Acceptance into adulthood) and his concentration and nervousness of making it in this sacred place where quite fascinating.
The magnetism that you can feel when you go to the Kotel, is like been near to heaven.
Most of the people that goes to the kotel prays and introduce paper between the stones aksing to God.