Background Information Old Testament New Testament New Testament (cont.) Gentile Period (cont.)
1-Biblical Jerusalem 16-Salem, Jebus 33-Ashlar Stones 51-Bethesda Pool 68-Saint Anne's Church
2-History of Jerusalem 17-Milo, Jebusite Wall 34-Temple Mount 52-Holy Sepulcher 69-Sultan's Pool
3a-Map of Today's City 18-Gihon Springs 35-NE of End of Wall 53-Garden Tomb 70-Citadel
3b-The Four Quarters 19-City of David 36-SE End of Wall 54-Fort Antonia 71-Colonnade Column
3c-Photos 20-David's Palace 37-Western Wall 55-Phasael Tower  
3d-Silwan 21-Temple Mount 38-West Wall Tunnel 56-Struthion Pool  
4-The Walls Today 22-Solomon's Walls 39-Mikvah, Ritual Baths 57-Gethsemane  
5-The Gates Today 23-Solomon's Quarries 40-The Large Mikvah 58-Tombs in Hinnom Miscellaneous
6-Archaeology Periods 24-Broad Wall 41-Wilson's Arch 59-Jerusalem Tombs Archaeological Finds
7-Archaeology History 25-Hezekiah's Tunnel 42-Warren's Gate Gentile Period Jason's Tomb
8-Old Ancient Core 26-Middle Gate 43-Barclay's Gate 60-Ecce Homo Lazarus' Tomb
9-Kidron Valley 27-Nehemiah's Wall 44-Robinson's Arch 61-Roman Inscription Tomb of David
10-Central Valley Hasmonean 45-Western Wall Street 62-Cardo Maximus Via Dolorosa
11-Hinnom Valley 28-Walls and Towers 46-Western Wall Shops 63-Roman Road Hezekiah's Pool
12-Mount of Olives 29-Aqueduct 47-South Temple Wall 64-Nea Church  
13-Mount Moriah 30-Acra 48-Archaeology Park 65-Al Aqsa Mosque  
14-Western Hill Mt Zion 31-Temple Mount 49-Siloam Road 66-Dome of the Rock  
15-Ophel 32-Tombs in Kidron 50-Siloam Pool 67-Temple Mount  
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37- The Western Wall

The entire west side of the Temple Mount retaining wall can be called the western wall (1,600 feet), but there is a section of this wall that is commonly called the
Western Wall. It is a 187 foot section of the wall with a large plaza area where the seven courses (or layers) of stones of the retaining wall of Herod's Temple Mount
can still be seen.

Before the plaza was built in front of the Western Wall, there was nothing but a 12-foot-wide alley running along this area. It ran for about 92 feet. After the war of
1967 the Jews removed buildings and expanded the plaza. Excavation work has exposed much of this west wall of the temple mount to the south. An additional
section called the Small Western Wall can also be seen in the Muslim Quarter.

A typical midnight in June at the Western Wall Prayer Plaza. Wilson’s Arch is to the left and the ramp for non-Muslim entrance to the Temple Mount through
the Morocco Gate is to the right. The men’s section is the larger portion to the left and the women’s prayer section can be seen to the right next to the ramp. There is a thin five foot wall called a mehitza separating the men’s and women’s sections.

 


Compare the section of Herodian ashlars in the small photo from today with the same stones seen in the model of the 70 AD Temple Mount. Notice how high today’s pavement is and how much of the wall is still buried under rubble.

 



There are 17 courses of Herodian ashlars still buried at the Western Wall. The bottom course is 50 feet wide. Seven courses from Herod’s retaining wall are
presently visible above ground. The 21 courses on top of those 7 Herodian courses are, from lowest to highest:

  1. Four Courses added in the 600's by Umayyads.
  2. Fourteen layers added in 1866 during the Ottoman period
  3. Three courses added before 1967 by the Sunni Muslim cleric in charge of Jerusalem's Islamic holy places.

Some interesting facts about the Western Wall:

  1. The wall consists of a total of 45 courses of stone with 17 still underground and 28 above ground.
  2. The overall height of the wall from the foundation to the top is 105 feet.
  3. 43 feet of the wall (17 courses) remains buried below the level of the plaza.
  4. 62 feet of the wall is above ground.

The Herodian stones in the Western Wall are limestone ashlars that were likely quarried from Solomon's Quarries (Zedekiah's Cave), located today under the
Muslim Quarter in the Old City. The average stone weighs between two and eight tons and is about 15 feet wide. Each stone has finely chiseled borders cut
around the edges a little more than 1/2 an inch deep and between 2-8 inches wide. In the northern section of the western wall, located in the tunnels cut along
the base of the wall (below the surface to the left of this photo), one stone weighs 570 tons and is 44.6 feet long and almost 11 feet wide. This stone is called the
Master Course.


The portion of the Western Wall inside the black box is the portion that remains from Herod's New Testament Temple Mount's retaining wall.
The stones inside the black box, or those seven courses of stone, are all Herodian Ashlar blocks.
 


A thin wall separates the men's court (top of photo) from the women's court (bottom right corner of photo).
Also notice the three arches in the middle left of the photo. These arches, called Wilson's Arches, are the tops of arches from Herod's New Testament Temple complex that are much larger, but buried in the rubble under the Prayer Plaza. These arches supported a walkway that led up to the Temple Mount in New Testament time and, even today, support the Street of the Chain (Sisila, Ha-Shalshelet). We (Gentiles) can leave the Temple Mount through the Gate of the Chain located above these arches, but only Muslims can enter the Temple Mount through the Gate of the Chain.

 

  Watch part one of Galyn's video of the Western Wall
  Watch part two of Galyn'w video of the Western Wall
  Galyn's video of the Western Wall at night.
  Late night Bible study at the Western Wall
 

Jewish men praying at the Western Wall.


Four entrances or gates to the ancient Temple Mount can still be identified and seen along the Western Wall:

  1. Barclay’s Gate
  2. Warren’s Gate
  3. Wilson’s Arch
  4. Robinson’s Arch

The men's section of the Western Wall Prayer Plaza.

The entire west side of the Temple Mount retaining wall can be called the western wall (1,600 feet), but there is a section of this wall that is commonly called the Western Wall. It is a 187 foot section of the wall with a large plaza area where the seven copurses, or layers, of stones of Herod's Temple Mount retaining wall can still be seen.

The first 7 courses above ground are from Herod's building. The rest of the 21 couurses on top of those 7 Herodian stones from the lowest to the top are:

  1. Four Courses added in the 600's by Umayyads.
  2. Fourteen layers in 1866 during the Ottoman period
  3. Three courses added before 1967 by the Sunni Muslim cleric in charge of Jerusalem's Islamic holy places.
A large portion of the wall, 17 courses (43 feet), remains buried below the level of the plaza. The over all height of the wall from the foundation is 105 feet. There is 62 feet above the ground. There are 45 courses of stone layed with 17 still underground and 28 above ground.

 

Robinson's Arch on the south end of the eastern wall. It supported a staircase that led up to a gate to enter the Temple Mount.

 

 

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Close up of Robinson's Arch.
 
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