Sacred Mosaic

A HERITAGE of architecture

in Jerusalem

BY ALBERTO LUCAS LÓPEZ,

MATTHEW W. CHWASTYK,

AND SOREN WALLJASPER

The embattled Old City of Jerusalem

has grown over the centuries into an

architectural patchwork reflecting the

styles, beliefs, and priorities of con-

querors past. The rulers who rebuilt

or repurposed these structures are

long gone, but evidence of their am-

bitions remains—both above and deep

below the bustling metropolis.

EUROPE

ASIA

Israel

WEst

Bank

AFRICA

Jerusalem

AREA ENLARGED

ISRAEL

Jerusalem

city limits

WEst

Bank

East

Jerusalem

OLD CITY

Israel

West

Jerusalem

Green Line,

1949 armistice

Old City

Enlarged Below

Residential

buildings

MUSLIM QTR.

24,530

residents

Haram al

Sharif

(Temple Mount)

CHRISTIAN

QUARTER

4,180

ARMENIAN

QTR.

2,300

JEWISH QTR.

3,130

City wall

Residential

buildings

Underground

features

Ancient

drainage

tunnel

Church of the

Holy Sepulchre

Dome of

the Rock

Tower of

David Citadel

Hurva

Synagogue

Church of the

Holy Sepulchre

Dome of

the Rock

Tower of

David Citadel

Hurva

Synagogue

Church of the

Holy Sepulchre

Dome of

the Rock

Tower of

David Citadel

Hurva

Synagogue

Church of the

Holy Sepulchre

Dome of

the Rock

Tower of

David Citadel

Hurva

Synagogue

Church of the

Holy Sepulchre

Dome of

the Rock

Tower of

David Citadel

Hurva

Synagogue

Herodian and Roman

63 B.C.-A.D. 324

Byzantine

A.D. 324-638

Crusader

1099-1187

Ayyubid and Mamluk

1187-1517

Ottoman

1517-1917

British Mandate

1917-1948

Jordanian control

1948-1967

Israeli control

1967-today

Date unknown

OLd City quarters

The area has long been divided into quarters with fluctuating boundaries and names. The Christian Quarter, for example, was once called the Patriarch’s Quarter; current names came into common use in the 1800s. The Old City is home to more than 34,000 registered residents (thousands more may be uncounted), most in the Muslim Quarter.

Structures from two millennia

Current buildings in Jerusalem reflect the many changes in rulers who came to dominate the city. Roman, Byzantine, early Muslim, Christian crusader, Ayyubid and Mamluk Muslim, Ottoman, and modern powers have all left their mark.

Buried history

Beneath the bustling modern city lie vestiges of Jerusalem's more than 3,000 years of urban history. Two examples include a room from King Herod's palace that was discovered under the old Ottoman Kishle prison and a Roman legionary bathhouse that was excavated when a modern Jewish mikvah, a building for ritual baths, was under construction.

SYMBOLS OF A CITY

These structures, developed over the centuries, shelter the most hallowed and historic ground in Jerusalem.

DOME OF THE ROCK

Begun in 691, this shrine protects

bedrock venerated as the place

where Abraham was to sacrifice

his son and Muhammad ascended

into heaven. Crusaders converted

it into a church called

Templum Domini.

TOWER OF DAVID CITADEL

Mamluk and Ottoman fortifications

stand over earlier towers built by

Hasmonean Jews and Herod the Great.

The site played a role in the city’s

defense for 2,500 years.

CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE

Begun in the Roman period, the church

is honored as the site where Jesus Christ

was crucified and buried, and then rose

from the dead.

HURVA SYNAGOGUE

Named for the Hebrew word for

"ruin," it was re-inaugurated in 2010,

62 years after it was destroyed by

Jordanian Legion forces.

ALBERTO LUCAS LÓPEZ, matthew W. chwastyk, KAYA BERNE, AND SOREN WALLJASPER, ngm staff; Patricia Healy; Gura Berger. 3D art: ariel roldán
sources: RIWAQ Archive, Palestinian Territories (building periods); Joe Uziel, IAA; Wendy Pullan, University of Cambridge, England; Jodi Magness, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research; Jerusalem Statistical Yearbook; Hebrew university of jerusalem GIS lab; OPenstreetmap contributors, available under open database license

Read the full story

Sacred Mosaic

A HERITAGE of architecture in Jerusalem

BY ALBERTO LUCAS LÓPEZ,

MATTHEW W. CHWASTYK,

AND SOREN WALLJASPER

The embattled Old City of Jerusalem has grown over the centuries into an architectural patchwork reflecting the styles, beliefs, and priorities of conquerors past. The rulers who rebuilt or repurposed these structures are long gone, but evidence of their ambitions remains—both above and deep below the bustling metropolis.

Jerusalem

city limits

WEst

Bank

EUROPE

ASIA

East

Jerusalem

Israel

WEst

Bank

AFRICA

Jerusalem

AREA ENLARGED

OLD CITY

Israel

West

Jerusalem

ISRAEL

Green Line,

1949 armistice

OLD CITY

ENLARGED BELOW

Herod’s

gate

Damascus

gate

NEW

gate

Al wad st.

(Ha Gay)

BEIT Habad st.

LIONS GATE ST.

LIONS’

GATE

Jaffa

gate

DAVID ST. (SUQ EL BAZAR)

Ha Shalshelet (STREET OF THE CHAIN)

GOLDEN

GATE

(blocked)

Haram AL Sharif

(Temple Mount)

Habad st.

(Suq el hussor)

Dung

gate

Zion

gate

Zedekiah’s Cave

(ancient quarry)

Pool of Israel

Hezekiah’s

Pool

Western Wall tunnels

Mamluk

caravansary

and hammam

Kishle

excavation

Cardo Maximus

Great Causeway

Al Marwani

Mosque

Herodian elite

mansions

Nea Church

Ancient

drainage

tunnel

63 B.C.

Present

Herodian and Roman

63 B.C.-A.D. 324

63 B.C.

Present

Byzantine

A.D. 324-638

63 B.C.

Present

Early Islamic

(Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid)

638-1099

63 B.C.

Present

Crusader

1099-1187

63 B.C.

Present

Ayyubid and Mamluk

1187-1517

63 B.C.

Present

Ottoman

1517-1917

63 B.C.

Present

British Mandate

1917-1948

63 B.C.

Present

Jordanian control

1948-1967

63 B.C.

Present

Israeli control

1967-today

63 B.C.

Present

DOME OF

THE ROCK

TOWER OF

DAVID CITADEL

(AL QALA)

CHURCH OF THE

HOLY SEPULCHRE

HURVA

SYNAGOGUE

Old city quarters

The area has long been divided into quarters with fluctuating boundaries and names. The Christian Quarter, for example, was once called the Patriarch’s Quarter; current names came into common use in the 1800s. The Old City is home to more than 34,000 registered residents (thousands more may be uncounted), most in the Muslim Quarter.

Structures from two millennia

Current buildings in Jerusalem reflect the many changes in rulers who came to dominate the city. Roman, Byzantine, early Muslim, Christian crusader, Ayyubid and Mamluk Muslim, Ottoman, and modern powers have all left their mark.

Buried history

Beneath the bustling modern city lie vestiges of Jerusalem's more than 3,000 years of urban history. Two examples include a room from King Herod's palace that was discovered under the old Ottoman Kishle prison and a Roman legionary bathhouse that was excavated when a modern Jewish mikvah, a building for ritual baths, was under construction.

SYMBOLS OF A CITY

These structures, developed over the centuries, shelter the most hallowed and historic ground in Jerusalem.

DOME OF THE ROCK

Begun in 691, this shrine protects bedrock

venerated as the place where Abraham

was to sacrifice his son and Muhammad

ascended into heaven. Crusaders converted

it into a church called Templum Domini.

CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE

Begun in the Roman period, the church

is honored as the site where Jesus Christ

was crucified and buried, and then rose

from the dead.

HURVA SYNAGOGUE

Named for the Hebrew word for

"ruin," it was re-inaugurated in 2010,

62 years after it was destroyed

by Jordanian Legion forces.

ALBERTO LUCAS LÓPEZ, matthew W. chwastyk, KAYA BERNE, AND SOREN WALLJASPER, ngm staff; Patricia Healy; Gura Berger. 3D art: ariel roldán
sources: RIWAQ Archive, Palestinian Territories (building periods); Joe Uziel, IAA; Wendy Pullan, University of Cambridge, England; Jodi Magness, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research; Jerusalem Statistical Yearbook; Hebrew university of jerusalem GIS lab; OPenstreetmap contributors, available under open database license

Read the full story