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Western Wall description and photos - Israel: Jerusalem. Detailed information about the attraction. Description, photographs and a map showing the nearest significant objects. The title in English is Western Wall.
Photo and description
The Western Wall (in modern Western tradition) is the remains of a colossal ancient foundation on the Temple Mount. Two thousand years ago there was a biblical Jerusalem temple here. Today it is a sacred place for Jews around the world.
The Wall itself is a fragment of limestone 57 meters long and 19 meters high. It is noticeable that the stones of the lower seven rows are larger - they were laid during the time of King Herod mentioned in the Bible.
However, under these rows, archaeologists have found much larger blocks. The most powerful of them, weighing up to 400 tons, belong to the era of King Solomon (X century BC). The Temple of Solomon, in the Holy of Holies of which the Ark of the Covenant with the tablets of Moses was kept, in 586 BC. e. destroyed by the Babylonians. Seven decades later, the Jews rebuilt and consecrated the Second Temple. In 19 BC. e. King Herod began its reconstruction. To expand the site of the sanctuary, he built a powerful retaining wall, and the space inside it was covered with soil.
In 70, the Romans destroyed the city and the temple, and in 135, after the defeat of the Bar Kokhba uprising, the Jews were even forbidden visit Jerusalem. The wall - all that remains of the legendary Temple - became for many centuries a center of spiritual attraction for the Jews scattered around the world. The Christian Emperor Constantine I allowed them to enter the city once a year to mourn the loss of the Temple at the Wall. The Islamic warrior Saladin, who captured Jerusalem in 1193, settled Moroccans near the Wall - their houses appeared just 4 meters from the ancient stones. The right to worship the shrine without hindrance was granted to the Jews in the second half of the 16th century by Suleiman the Magnificent. Since the 19th century, they tried to buy the block located at the Wall, but nothing came of it. The place became a point of constant tension between Jews and Arabs.
After the formation of the State of Israel in 1948, the Old City came under the control of Jordan. In theory, Jews had the right to visit the Wall, in practice this was impossible. Pilgrims could only see the Wall from nearby Mount Zion. In 1967, during the Six Day War, Israeli paratroopers fought their way through the narrow streets of the Old City to the Wall. They cried and prayed for their dead comrades, and Rabbi Goren sounded the shofar here for the first time in two thousand years. Forty-eight hours later, the Israeli army bulldozed the Arab quarter, creating an area in front of the Wall that could accommodate more than 400,000 people.
Here, recruits are sworn in, state ceremonies are held, families celebrate the coming of age of children. And, of course, here, in the heart of Jerusalem, thousands of believers flock every day. A huge, echoing Wall reigns over the square. People, closing their eyes, fall to the Wall, hug it, kiss the stones. In the cracks, they leave notes with prayer requests (over a million every year). Faith and hope lead people to the sacred stones, which the biblical prophet Jeremiah, who predicted the destruction of Solomon's Temple, prophesied for many centuries.
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Topic: Western Wall description and photos - Israel: Jerusalem.