The City of David is the birthplace of the city of Jerusalem, the place where King David established his kingdom, and where the history of the People of Israel was written. It is within walking distance from the Old City of Jerusalem and the Western Wall, and is one of the most exciting sites in Israel. Visitors come there from all over the world to see the place where the Holy City started and the strongest physical connection between the stories of the Bible and reality.
In the year 1004 B. C. E. King David conquered the city from the Jebusites and established his capital there. It was here where the People of Israel were united under King David’s rule, here where the Holy Ark was bought and here where the First Temple was built by King Solomon, King David’s son.
Today the City of David is an archeological park that tells the story of the establishment of Jerusalem, its wars and hardships, its prophets and kings, and the history of the Jews during Biblical times. The remains of the city are present in the ancient stones and the thousands of shards that cover the pathways between the buildings. Among the archeological ruins are large elaborate houses that bear witness to the high social status of the city’s residents, the Warren Shaft leading to the water tunnel that was used to transport water from the Gikhon spring outside the city, and the remains of one of several towers that was used to defend the well. It is thought that King Solomon was anointed and crowned king of Israel at this site. Among the ruins found in the city were personal seals for signing letters and documents bearing the names their owners – people who were mentioned in the bible.
One of the most fascinating parts of the City of David is the tunnel of Shiloh - a 533-meter-long tunnel that was carved during the period of King Hezkiyahu. The tunnel extends from the city to the well at Shiloh, and is an astounding engineering feat. Its builders carved the tunnel through solid rock beginning from opposite ends and succeeded in making the two sides meet in the middle. Visitors can walk through the tunnel which is partially filled with water, and come out at the pools of Shiloh.
The City of David and its remains and historical significance have made it an important and exciting tourist site.
More information about the City of David is available at the website: http://www.cityofdavid.org.il/index.html