Jerusalem is the holy place for Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Its Old City rounded the rampart is like a wonderful labyrinthine for travelers. Take a walk, and enjoy the Palestinian atmosphere.
Jerusalem consists of two parts, East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem.
East Jerusalem is the future Palestine State capital. President Abbas declared it in 2011 when he requested membership in the UN. The area remains a lot of Arabian atmosphere with Arab inhabitants.
West Jerusalem is the new city with many Jewish settlers. Its lifestyle is very modern.
There are many Palestinians born in Jerusalem who aren’t able to return to Jerusalem because of the restriction by Israel.
Even Palestinians who still live in Jerusalem are treated coldly for legal or tax aspect.
To visit Jerusalem and see the reality can be the first step to consider what is the peace for Palestine.
History of Jerusalem
c. 4500 – c. 2000 BC
Humans started living c. 4500 – 3500 BC. It became a town with a defensive wall c. 2000 BC
The name of “Rusalimum” appears on remains of Middle Kingdom of Egypt (c. 2055 BC – c. 1650 BC).
There is a theory saying “Rusalimum” comes from “salam” of Arabic or “shalom” of Hebrew which both mean “peace”.
c. 17th century BC
Canaanites made a wall on the east side of Jerusalem for a protection of their water channel.
c. 1000 – 930 BC
Kind David of the United Kingdom of Israel made Jerusalem as its capital.
After King David’s death, his son Solomon ascended to the throne c. 970 BC. The First Temple was built in this period, and Jerusalem became bigger.
After King Solomon died, the United Kingdom of Israel divided into South and North. Jerusalem became the capital of Southern “Kingdom of Judah”.
Shoshenq I, a pharaoh of ancient Egypt started to invade the Kingdom of Judah. The situation was getting very unstable afterward.
Nebuchadnezzar II of Neo-Babylonian Empire surrounded Jerusalem. In 586 BC, Jerusalem fell.
The thousands of Jewish nobles were marched off to Babylon as prisoners (Babylonian captivity).
Cyrus II of Persian Achaemenid Empire conquered Babylon.
He released Jewish people. They returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the wall and the temple.
After 4th century BC
(The Hellenistic period) Jerusalem stayed calm with thousands of nobles.
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey) of the Roman Republic conquered Jerusalem.
Herod the Great established a Kingdom as a vassal of the Roman Empire.
Around 19 BC, he started a reconstruction of the Second Temple which outer wall is now the Western Wall.
After Herod’s death, the capital is transferred to Caesarea. Jerusalem lost its governmental function.
66 – 73 CE
The First Jewish–Roman War took place by the Jews against the Roman Empire.
The Temple, the identity of the Jews, was destroyed by the Roman. Jerusalem fell.
c. 2nd century
Roman emperor Hadrian crushed the Jewish rebellion, the Jews were banished from Jerusalem (Diaspora).
Hadrian rebuilt Jerusalem as a Roman city. Jerusalem was then renamed as Aelia Capitolina.
Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire.
Jerusalem then became a holy place of Christianity and connected to the episodes of Jesus.
638 (Islamic age)
After the death of Mohammad, Umar as the second caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate conquered Jerusalem.
After then, Umayyad Caliphate was established by Muawiyah I. Dome of the Rock was built in 691.
During these periods, Christians in Jerusalem were put under Umayyad’s control.
On the other hand, Jews disappeared from Jerusalem because of the opposition by Christian priests, as Jews were concerned with the massacre of Persians or the destruction of churches.
The Crusades, sent from Rome to recapture Jerusalem from Islam, built the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
They massacred the Muslims or Jews living in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem was retaken by Saladin, the first sultan of Egypt and Syria, then put again under the Islamic power.
During following Mamluk Sultanate, in spite of many attacks by the Crusades or the Mongol Empire, Jerusalem was saved from destruction.
The Ottoman Empire was gaining power and beat Mamluks in the Middle East. Jerusalem belonged to Selim I.
Under the Ottoman control, a new wall was built in Jerusalem.
After then, Jerusalem stayed calm for centuries.
mid 18th century
Makbul Ibrahim Pasha, the first Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire, reformed governmental system. Jerusalem then became the second biggest city after Istanbul, the capital.
mid 19the century
European countries started to compete for their power in Palestine. The United Kingdom, Prussia (German state), or France established their consulate, which made Jerusalem the center of geopolitics.
Jerusalem also became an important point for traffic with new roads to Jaffa, Syria or Iraq.
Also, from this period to the beginning of the 20th century, Diasporas came and settled in Palestine from everywhere.
World War I broke out. The United Kingdom promised Arabs to establish an Arab State and defeated the Ottoman Empire.
Meanwhile, UK made a secret agreement with France and Russia that 3 of them would divide the Middle East, and on the other hand, the UK wrote a letter saying they support Zionism in order to get military funds from Jewish Banks.
After World War II, Jews started rushing to Palestine for immigration. The UK totally lost its control.
The United Nation recommended a partition of Mandatory Palestine in 1947. They proposed dividing Palestine into an Arab State, a Jewish State and the city of Jerusalem controlled under the UN.
In 1948, just after the foundation of Israel, the first Arab–Israeli War broke out between Arab countries around and Israel. Jerusalem was divided into West Jerusalem under Israel and East Jerusalem under Jordan.
Conflict continued afterword. After the third Arab–Israeli War (Six-Day War), East Jerusalem was annexed to Israel.
Israel still continues the colonization into East Jerusalem to make the possession of the land an accomplished fact.
Tourist Information Center
- Jaffa Gate
- 8:30-17:00 (Friday until 13:30)
- +972 2 627 1422
Christian Information Center
- in front of David’s Tower
- Mon-Fri 8:30-17:30, Sat 8:30-12:30 (Closed on Sunday, Christian holidays)
- +972 2 627 2692