Every step you take in the Jewish Quarter brings you closer to discovering tangible remains of a dramatic chapter in Jewish history, especially of the period of its greatest grandeur: the time of the Second Temple.
This period is richly commemorated at the Burnt House and the Herodian Mansions.
At the Burnt House, whose exact date of destruction – a month after the Second Temple fell – was determined by finds there, a stirring audio-visual presentation shares with visitors to the complexities of Jewish life at this time. At the Herodian Mansions, visitors discover how wealthy Jerusalemites were 2,000 years ago.
In the centuries that followed, Jerusalem once again flourished, as archaeologists discovered and restored in the heart of the quarter: the colonnaded Cardo, or main street of the city. Nearby are remnants of Jerusalem’s walls from the time of the First Temple, which fell to the Babylonians with its destruction in 586 BCE.
Into that rich and varied mix, comes evidence of the Jewish experience in the Middle Ages, when the Ramban Synagogue was founded, the Four Sephardic Synagogues restored to their former grandeur and attesting to vibrant community life, and the landmark Hurva Synagogue, now undergoing reconstruction. At the end of visit you’re in on the secret: the Jewish Quarter is more than the sum of its historical parts, it’s a magical blend of them all.