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Overview

Overview

Today, you will be travelling through those tunnels. Your virtual footsteps will trace thousands of years of history.

by

The Temple Mount has been home to two Temples: King Solomon's, 825 BCE and Ezra's, 352 BCE.

During the Roman era, King Herod, 18 BCE, renovated, reinforced and expanded the Temple and its area.

The Western Wall is one of the four retaining walls surrounding the Temple Mount.

 
Drawing courtesy of Dr. Leen Ritmeyer
 

When the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, the Western Wall was left standing.

Over the next 1,900 years, even during the most dangerous times, Jews would risk their lives and property to make their way to the Wall. Throughout the millennia, the Wall remained a place where Jews would come to pour their hearts out to G-d.

As the centuries passed, most of the Wall was eventually covered over by homes, rubble and refuse. In some ways, it was as if the Wall was as hidden and unseen as the Jewish people in their own land.

In the 1967 Six Day War, Israel retook the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. The government opened up the entire length of the Western Wall as a religious site and also for archaeological study. Where it was not possible to expose the Wall completely, tunnels were dug to allow people to tour this fascinating window into our history.

Wall Facts: Full length of the Western Wall - 488 meters (1601 ft.).

The Wall can be divided into 4 sections:

1) The Southern Wall area Remains of Robinson's Arch approximately 80 meters (262 ft.) long.

 

2) The Kotel Plaza 80 meters (262 ft.), where people come to pray.

3) The Western Wall Tunnel 320 meters (1,050 ft.), originally explored by two British archaeologists: Charles Wilson, in 1864, and Charles Warren, in 1867-1870. The two archaeologists found that the Wall continued approximately 320 meters (1,050 ft.) and that some structures still existed from the Temple period.

The Israeli government continued the northern exploration by excavating a tunnel along the entire length of the Wall. Great pains were taken to ensure the structural integrity of the buildings above.

 

4) An aqueduct Found near the northern part of the Wall, the aqueduct was used during the time of the Maccabbees, about 150 BCE.

Today, you will be travelling through those tunnels. Your virtual footsteps will trace thousands of years of history, and when we emerge at the end of the aqueduct, we may well be looking at the world through different eyes.

Published: January 27, 2010

Article 2 of 16 in the series Western Wall Tunnel Tours


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Visitor Comments: 16

(15) Harvey Grove, February 7, 2013 12:47 AM

wall joke

A young TV reporter was sent to Jerusalem to report on news rom Israel. Due to the time difference his deadline in Jerusalem was in the evening. He liked to eat while writing but the hotel kitchens were closed in the evenings so he took an apartment that happened to overlook the plaza near the WALL. Every day there were people praying and dancing. One old man stood out due to his colored talis. The rporter mdet him and asked what he was praying for. The old man said, "for world peace and the health of his family". " What good have your prayers done?" asked the reporter. The old man replied, "Its like talking to the wall."

(14) Chana Mendez, December 18, 2012 11:21 PM

The Wall is crying for us

When we went, even though i am claustrophobic, i felt only at peace in the tunnel tours. There is a section of the wall that is the closest place to the Holy of Holies and in that part the wall is crying, and it makes you cry also, you feel so close to the Shechinah.

(13) Pamela Shipman, November 16, 2012 2:28 AM

I live to one day be able to visit Israel. I don't know why but it has been a dream of mine for as far back as I can remember. I believe I will feel closer to God when I am there. God Bless Israel and it's people.

(12) Jennifer Smith, November 7, 2012 12:44 AM

Love it.

I got to walk through the tunnels at night when I visited Israel. So cool.

(11) Carolyn, June 1, 2012 9:43 PM

I pray one day i could visit Israel I pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

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