City of David (Ir David) Tour
Before there was Jerusalem, there was a small, well fortified city on a hill called Jebus. When the tribes of Israel crowned David as their King, he took his soldiers to conquer it. David renamed it Ir David or City of David. Later this tiny city was expanded by David’s son Solomon and again by his descendant Hezekiah and several times again during the Second Temple period. But on this tour we will go to the original site of David’s City which is today the national park of Ir David. We’ll see ancient ruins, walk through underground tunnels and touch the holy waters of the Gihon spring!
What you’ll see:
See the foundations of a monumental building that was an important administrative center in First Temple Jerusalem and may very well have been the actual palace of King David!
Climb to a rooftop overlooking the Kidron Valley where you’ll see ancient Jewish burial tombs from the time of the First Temple. Including the Tomb of Pharaoh’s Daughter who King Solomon took as a wife!
Walk through a 4,000 year old tunnel chiseled through the rock by the original Canaanite inhabitants of Jerusalem. This tunnel was made in order to access a giant fortress that protected the Gihon Spring just outside the walls of the city. This is the same spring where Solomon was anointed king over Israel!
When the Assyrians were coming to lay siege to King Hezekiah’s Jerusalem, he prepared for the battle by carving a tunnel deep beneath the City. This tunnel channeled the waters to a new pool called the Shiloach Pool. In this way he ensured that the Assyrians would not have water to drink while they laid siege to Jerusalem.
Only recently unearthed by archaeologists, this giant pool served as the main Mikveh for the many thousands of pilgrims who came on Aliya Le’regel (pilgrimage to Jerusalem). It was also the source of the pure water used to prepare the Red Heifer ashes and the water poured on the altar during Simchat Beit Hashoeva on Sukkot.
Walk on the original road that led up to the Temple Mount during the Second Temple Period.
At the end of the tour we’ll watch an excellent 3D film that sums up everything we’ve seen and brings the ancient history of Jerusalem to life.
Other options that can be incorporated into this tour:
- Combine with the Jewish Quarter Tour to make a full day tour
- The Davidson Center Archeological Garden