The Ramparts Walk is divided into two separate walks, totally just under two miles: the north side walk and the south side walk. Both are included in the admission ticket and both have their differences. The north side walk is the longer of the two and covers a far greater area, from the Jaffa Gate (on the west side of the Old City) to the Lions Gate (on the east side, approaching the Dome of the Rock). The south side walk is shorter but ends at a more convenient location, the Western Wall (or Kotel as it is known in Hebrew).
The south side walk begins at the Tower of David (on the west side of the Old City, beside the Jaffa Gate) and continues around to the south side of the city, ending off between the Zion and Dung Gates. On the south side walk, the shorter and easier of the two, one passes by the Tower of David and only crosses over one gate, the Zion Gate. The walk covers the Armenian Quarter and ends at the Jewish Quarter, before the Dung Gate. Included in the sites are many of the Armenian churches and important historical buildings such as the Dormition Abbey and the Church of St. Peter. Additionally, the stables of the Israeli Police can be walked over – the stables a flashback to the times of the old British and Jordanian rule (where horses were used for militaristic purposes). Descending before the Dung Gate it is just a short walk to the Western Wall (Kotel) and the surrounding sites.
Modern civilization began right here in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley. Also known as the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia, this is the place where, six thousand years ago, agriculture, writing and mathematics were brought into widespread use.The term "Middle East" comes from the British navy, which used it to describe the countries on the trade route from Europe to India and China. Everything from Afghanistan to Morocco may possibly be classified as "middle eastern", depending on whom you ask -- and when.Only a partial list of past Empires in the middle eastern territory includes Sumeria, Babylonia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and the Roman Empire!When northern Europe was still lurking about in slimy cold stone castles playing chess, the Middle East was enjoying the flowers of poetry, luxurious craftsmanship, music and literature. In fact, the Renaissance in Europe was partly inspired by stories brought back from the middle east by travelers along the trade route.Strategic location, religious history and the world's largest supply of crude oil have kept the Middle East at the center of world activity for centuries. The saga continues.Text by Steve Smith.