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Jerusalem in the time of the Second Temple
inisrael.com travel guide

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Enjoy Israel

Jerusalem in the time of the Second Temple

Jerusalem travel guide

A Journey following Jerusalem in the time of the Second Temple

The Second Temple period, between 538 BCE and 70 CE is considered to be a time of Jerusalem’s glory. This is due to the magnificent castles and walls that were built in the city, especially towards the end of the 600 years, with the rise of King Herod. The temple, built in 516 BCE by the Jews returning to Zion after the Babylonian exile was the heart of the city till its destruction in 70 CE. Having said that, one must understand, that the political and social situation in those days was extremely complex, with so many different religious streams trying to get hold of the spiritual leadership in Jerusalem, it seems that the rip inside the Jews, was what inevitably brought to Jerusalem’s destruction by the Romans. This suggested tour follows some of the archeological milestones of the time through the old city and its surroundings, which give light to the historical period and political background of the time as well.

Probably the best way to start off the journey would be by visiting the Model of Jerusalem in the late second Temple Period, located at the Israel Museum. The model, which is the size of 2,000 square meters at a 1:50 ratio, displays the entire city at that time from a birds view, showing off the temple and the roads and buildings surrounding it.

After having seen the model and understanding the destruction the city went through (by comparison to what’s left today) it’s time to go to the Old City. Entering through Jaffa gate, we will already be able to see parts of the Second temple’s time architecture. Originally believed to have been built by King David, the Tower of David situated at the entrance to the old city, was actually built during the time of the second temple by the Hashmonaim, as noted by Josephus Flavius, a historian who lived in the time of the great revolt. Later on it received a face lift and two more towers around it, as part of Herod’s plans of glorifying the city. After the destruction of the city once more, the ancient citadel continued to serve the Romans as barracks for their soldiers. Throughout the years, the tower had been destructed and reconstructed by many, yet still the lower layers of the tower and of the old wall, are genuine to the period.

Passing the tower, we head to the Jewish Quarter to the Wahl Museum of Archeology, also known as the Herodian Suburb. The museum depicts life in the time of the second temple in Jerusalem. Original mosaics, stone tools and various objects of art portray the high quality of life experienced at the time in the city. In order to complete the picture it’s recommended to continue to the excavated Burnt House, said to have been burned by the Romans, where you can watch a 12 minute audio–visual presentation about the political and social events which led to the house’s burning.

Ending the tour near the western wall, you can either choose to walk underground through the Western Wall Tunnels, where you can take a tour of the most ancient layers of the wall, or walk above ground in the area of The Archeological Garden of Jerusalem. There you can see the excavated Robinson’s Arch which once stood at the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount as well as the old market street and the steps that used to lead to the temple up until 70 CE.

Exploring the Colorful Colonially Scene of Mahane Yehuda Market Jerusalem

Exploring the Colorful Colonially Scene of Mahane Yehuda Market Jerusalem

The vibrant and bustling streets of Jerusalem are home to one of its most iconic markets, Mahane Yehuda. This market is a melting pot of culture, history, and cuisine that has been around since the early 19th century. The market is full of life and color, with stalls selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to handmade souvenirs. Let’s take a closer look at this unique place. A Visit To Mahane Yehuda Market Jerusalem The first thing that strikes you when visiting Mahane Yehuda is its colorful atmosphere. From the bright stalls to the cheerful vendors, it’s impossible not to be immersed in the vibrancy of this market. The market is also incredibly diverse, with vendors from all walks of life selling their wares. Whether you’re looking for fresh produce or a unique gift, you’re sure to find what you need here! Mahane Yehuda Market doesn't just offer shopping opportunities There's also plenty of delicious food on offer here too! From traditional Israeli dishes like falafel and shawarma to more international fare like pizza and sushi. We had to try some of the Market food stands, the anmazing Sabih recipe an Iraqi dish with hard-boiled egg, fried eggplants, vegetable salad, hummus, amba and spices, Fricase - a complete meal in a sandwich, spicy and sour flavors inside a bun as soft as a cloud inside and crispy outside... And Bourik, Schnizel in Halla Bread and of course had some drinks and wine. Brown Mahane Yehuda hotel is a boutique hotel adjacent to the market, it has a chic design with local touches inspired by the famous market and created a modern hotel perfect for an authentic stay in Jerusalem. The Montefiore Hotel in Jerusalem is a unique boutique hotel. The hotel has a spacious lobby, a private event and meeting room, a luxurious suite on a separate floor and free wireless internet. The hotel serves a luxurious and varied breakfast. The history of the market can also be traced back for centuries. It was founded in 1887 by Jewish settlers who were looking for a place where they could buy food and other goods without having to travel too far from home. Over time, it has become an integral part of Jerusalem’s culture and identity as a city, making it an incredible destination for both tourists and locals alike. Mahane Yehuda Market is an integral part of Jerusalem's culture and history that has stood the test of time over many centuries. From its colorful atmosphere to its diverse range of products, there's something for everyone here! Whether you're looking for souvenirs or tasty snacks, this market offers up plenty for tourists visiting Jerusalem to explore – so make sure you don't miss out on this one-of-a-kind experience!

The Armenian Quarter - Jerusalem Old City

The Armenian Quarter - Jerusalem Old City

Situated to the right of the vibrant Christian Quarter is the secret Armenian Quarter, the most isolate of all of the quarters in the old city. The quarter goes back to the time when Armenian Christianity began and has a long history of Armenian pilgrims setting foot at its gate. The discovery of holy sites for Christians in the city caused many of the pilgrims to become fixed residents in the Armenian Quarter. Dating back to the turn of the fourth century, when Armenia was declared as the first Christian state in the world, the Armenian Quarter developed into one of the main substances in the Christian entity of Jerusalem. Due to wars and peregrination the Armenian populace in the old city has shrunk these days to a little under 1000. Still, this tight community lives its life in the surroundings of St. James Church, which envelopes the Armenian faith in Jerusalem and is also the residual place of the Armenian patriarchate. Unfortunately, the Armenian Quarter is far from living up to its full tourism potential. With the church and its surrounding areas closed to the public, in the quarter you can visit teh museum of the Armenian history and artwork, which is quite interesting but not easily found.

Chakra restaurant Jerusalem - Mediterranean fusion style

Chakra restaurant Jerusalem - Mediterranean fusion style

Experience a lively and inviting atmosphere at Chakra Restaurant, a non-kosher establishment in Jerusalem that has been a staple of the city's food and nightlife scene since 2000. Nestled near the Independence Garden, this restaurant boasts exceptional service, contemporary cuisine, and a charming pastoral ambiance. Their Mediterranean fusion menu offers a diverse array of dishes, from succulent jumbo shrimp to mouth-watering cheeseburgers, all prepared with accurate execution and served by friendly staff. With a daily-changing menu of fresh ingredients, guests can indulge in a variety of seafood, meats, and specialty dishes. During the summer evenings, visitors can bask in the warm breeze and take in the stunning views of the city garden from the outdoor seating area. Come see for yourself why Chakra Restaurant is a must-visit destination for those seeking a delightful dining experience in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem - one of a kind
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