About sight: Old Town of Jerusalem

Most tourists enter the Old Town of Jerusalem through the Damascus Gate. It is just there that the bus station is located where you can come from any point in Israel. Having passed the wall gate you get in the special atmosphere of an ancient town you can't find in any other place in the world.

Jerusalem is several thousand years old and it was often destroyed, and this isn’t surprising for the city, which is sacred for three world religions. After its last destruction in 70 the city was in ruins for over fifty years and only in 130 the Roman emperor Hadrian ordered to restore it. The city was reconstructed by the model of a Roman military camp and it survived until our time just with this layout. Streets are no more than two or three meters wide, houses are close to each other forming right squares of quarters.

The walls of Jerusalem were ruined several times, when Christians, Arabs, Persians and Turks fought for control over this city. Until nowadays the walls survived (34 towers and eight gates), which were erected by the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 16 century.

Now the walled Old Town of Jerusalem is divided into 4 quarters: Arab, Christian, Jewish, and Armenian. The Arab Quarter takes most part of the city. The following Muslim sanctuaries are there: Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock Mosque, and almost all streets of this quarter are occupied by stalls. The Temple of the Lord's Shrine is in the center of the Christian Quarter and several dozens of churches. Jewish Quarter is the best-attended. This is due to that it was almost completely restored after the destruction in 1967, when the Israeli returned control over Jerusalem.

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