The Herodian Quarter, also known as the Wohl Archaeological Museum, is a popular tourist destination located in the Old City of Jerusalem. This historical site showcases the remains of a wealthy residential area dating back to the Second Temple period. The Herodian Quarter is an important part of Jerusalem's rich cultural heritage and provides visitors with a unique insight into the lives of the city's ancient inhabitants.
In this article, we will discuss the history and significance of the Herodian Quarter and how to make the most of your visit to the Wohl Archaeological Museum.
History and Significance
The Herodian Quarter was discovered in the late 1960s during excavations conducted by Israeli archaeologist Nahman Avigad. The site covers an area of approximately 2,000 square meters and features the remains of several houses and public buildings that date back to the Second Temple period (516 BCE - 70 CE).
The Herodian Quarter is named after King Herod the Great, who ruled Judea from 37 BCE to 4 BCE. It is believed that the residential complex was built by Herod for his high-ranking officials and their families. The Quarter is also significant because it was located in the Upper City, which was the political and social center of Jerusalem during the Second Temple period.
The Wohl Archaeological Museum
The Herodian Quarter is now open to the public as the Wohl Archaeological Museum. The museum showcases the excavated ruins of several homes and public buildings, including a bathhouse, a ritual bath (mikveh), and a dining room. Visitors can also see ancient household items such as pottery, glassware, and coins, which give insight into the daily life of the residents of the Herodian Quarter.
The Wohl Archaeological Museum is located on three different levels, with each level showcasing different parts of the excavation. Visitors start their tour on the highest level, which features a stunning panoramic view of the Old City of Jerusalem. The second level showcases the residential area, including the dining room, living quarters, and bathhouse. The lowest level displays the ritual bath (mikveh) and public buildings, such as a communal kitchen.
Tips for Visiting
If you plan to visit the Herodian Quarter and the Wohl Archaeological Museum, here are some tips to make the most of your experience:
Book your tickets in advance to avoid waiting in long lines.
Wear comfortable shoes, as there are many steps to climb.
Bring a camera to capture the stunning panoramic views of the Old City.
Take advantage of the free audio guide, which provides detailed information about the excavations.
Allow at least an hour to explore the museum fully.
The Herodian Quarter and the Wohl Archaeological Museum offer a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the ancient residents of Jerusalem. Visitors can see the remains of homes and public buildings, as well as household items that date back over 2,000 years. With stunning panoramic views of the Old City and a free audio guide, the Herodian Quarter is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Jerusalem's rich cultural heritage.