• Registration Year

    1981

  • Registered Sector

    Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls

  • Historical Function

    Religion and culture.

  • Administrative Status

    Jerusalem was unilaterally reunified by Israel, of which it is the capital city.

Location and site

Situated between the Mediterranean Sea and the desert, Jerusalem is in the midst of an undulating landscape charged with myth. It is at the intersection of ancient routes between Egypt and Syria. The old city, East Jerusalem, is next to the modern city, at the limit of Cisjordania.

Urban Morphology

Surrounded by a fortification wall which was, for the most part, reconstructed during the Ottoman rule, the old city, with its numerous monumental gates, still possesses streets that date to Roman times. From one gate to another (from Damas to Sion, or Jaffa to Bab es-Silsileh), these streets were the basis of its urban plan, most of which dates to the Middle Ages.

The history of the old city, which was constructed on a site filled with ruins of important structures, is extremely rich. Over and above the division that exists between borders and religious groups, two architectural ensembles make Jerusalem a World Heritage City that possesses exceptional religious and artistic significance: the Saint -Sepulchre (335) and the Dome of the Rock (691). The colour of the stone and the light, which can be associated with the cyprus and olive trees, accentuates the richness of this architecture and the gravity of its myths.

Registration Criteria

Jerusalem is associated with the history of humanity's three great monotheistic religions. (VI) The city's monuments have exercised great influence on the development of Christian and Muslim architecture. (II) It possesses exceptional testimonies to civilisations which have disappeared. (III)

Historical Reference

  • Around the year 1000 B.C., King David took over Jerusalem from a Canaanite tribe.
  • King Solomon (970-931 B.C.) erected a temple and palace during his glorious reign and this generated a period of urban expansion. Destroyed during the Babylonian raid of 587 B.C., the temple was reconstructed by Cyrus The Great in 538 B.C., following the liberation of the Israelites who had been banished to Babylon. It was destroyed again in 130 B.C.
  • In 63 B.C., Jerusalem was conquered by the Romans.
  • The reign of King Herod (40-4 B.C.) corresponded to another period of prosperity and urban expansion in the history of Jerusalem. The reconstructed temple was again destroyed, this time by Titus in 70 A.D.
  • After reconstruction, it was again destroyed again under Hadrian (117-138).
  • Under the Byzantines (4th-7th century), a number of religious works of architecture were constructed, and the city became famous as a place of pilgrimage.
  • When Jerusalem was conquered by the Arabs in 638, it became a holy city of Islam.
  • It was captured by the Crusaders in 1099, and then taken by Saladin in 1187.
  • Conquered by the Turks in 1516, it became part of the Ottoman Empire until 1920.
  • While capital of Palestine, it was divided in two as a result of the Israeli-Arab conflict of 1948.
Mr. Nir Barkat
Mayor
City of Jerusalem
1 Safra Square
91007 Jerusalem, Israel
P. O. B 775
Tel:
+972.02 629.5734
Fax:
+972.02 629.6403
Email:
cohsigal@jerusalem.muni.il
Ms. Naomi Tsur
Deputy Mayor
Municipality of Jerusalem
1 Safra Square
Jérusalem, Israel
P.O.B 775
Tel:
+972-2-6295665
Fax:
+972-2-6296403
Email:
margo.r.kulkarni@gmail.com