At the Jaffa Gate of the Old Town one can see an impressive Citadel, which is one of the most interesting monuments of medieval Jerusalem.
A Citadel was built at this place as far back as 2 B.C., but considering numerous destructions of Jerusalem by every conqueror, it was always ruined being one of the main town fortifications. Consequently it was restored by the new rulers of Jerusalem.
The look of the citadel was most impressive under Herod the Great. He had three strong towers added to the outer wall, which defended not only the western side of Jerusalem but also Zion Mount. These towers had the following names: Phasael (in memory of his brother who killed himself), Mariamne (in honor of his second wife) and Hippicus (in honor of his friend). Only Phasael Tower, also known as the «David Tower» survived until our time. Its lower part survived from the time of Herod, and its upper part was considerably rebuilt in 16 century.
Modern fortifications of the Citadel surviving until nowadays were built much later – in the period of Turkish rule under Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1532.
Today the Citadel is the most interesting museum which you should visit. In its halls you can know the history of Jerusalem, have a walk over the ruins and enjoy the panoramic view of the town from the David Tower.