The Ramparts walk is a fun way to get an overview of Jerusalem. For a small entrance fee, you can climb the ramparts of the Old City and circle the city from above. Not only to you get to peek in places you’d never see otherwise – like the cloistered Armenian compound – but you also get a stunning view of the areas outside the walls.
The present walls of Jerusalem were built by Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century, when he restored the ancient walls of the city, and they have served as military fortifications ever since. From 1948 to 1967, Jordanian snipers used the ramparts as a vantage point from which to shoot at Israelis living outside the walls. You can still see multiple bullet holes on many of the older buildings facing the Old City. (Read more here about Jerusalem divided after the Arab-Israeli War of 1948.)
Today, the ramparts serve a more peaceful purpose as a choice destination for school field trips, tourists and Jerusalem enthusiasts. You can't circumnavigate the entire Old City in one shot, since access to the ramparts of the Temple Mount is closed off, and the road bisects the walls at Jaffa Gate. One part of the Ramparts Walk begins just outside Jaffa Gate.
The entrance is a bit hard to find. Before going through the gate into the Old City, head to the enclosure to the right of Jaffa Gate, as you face the Old City. You’ll be walking between two stone walls on a stone path. Follow the signs or ask someone – the entrance is a bit of way down, around a corner to the left. This section takes you from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate and lets you off near Dung Gate, not far from the Western Wall Plaza and the Jewish Quarter. It offers a stunning view of Old City rooftops, Sultan’s Pool, Yemin Moshe, Mt. Zion and the Mt. of Olives.
You can also access the ramparts from Damascus Gate follow them to Lion’s Gate. the ramparts of Jerusalem's Old City The walk requires a lot of stair climbing and descending.
Make sure you’re wearing comfortable walking shoes, and that you have enough water with you – once you’re on the ramparts, there’s no getting off until the end and no refreshment kiosk or bathroom along the way. While the ramparts walk is great fun for adults and older kids, it’s not a suitable activity for small children, people who are scared of heights or those who have trouble walking.
Hours: Sun – Thurs, Sat 9:00 – 16:00; Fri 9:00 – 14:00.
Admission: 16 shekel adults, 8 shekels children.
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.