Jerusalem from a bird's eye: The Ramparts Walk

CITYSIGHTS: Discover the four quarters of the Old City by walking on the 50-foot-tall, 2,000-year-old walls.

By ITRAVELJERUSALEM.COM STAFF
August 23, 2011 13:24
1 minute read.
Jerusalem Old City Jaffa Gate

Jerusalem Old City Jaffa Gate 311. (photo credit: Yehoshua Halevi)

What better way to take in the diverse life of the Old City  then from above? A walk along the ramparts affords an intimate look into the various quarters of the ancient town as well as a real sense of the awe-inspiring work that went into building the walls. The imposing project was the brain-child Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and follows the route of the Old City's Roman-era ramparts, erected some 2,000 years ago.

The walls stretch for some 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles), rising to a height of up to 15 meters, (49 feet), with an average thickness of 3 meters (10 ft). Along the course of the walls are 11 gates to the Old City, seven of which are open: New Gate, Damascus Gate , Herod's Gate, Lions' Gate, Dung Gate, Jaffa Gate, and Zion Gate.

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Although they're striking all year long, one event that really makes the walls shine is the annual Festival of Light. During the week-long event, Jerusalem is flooded with a series of scintillating displays, with some of the world's top light designers and artists illuminating the ramparts of the Old City  in bold and unexpected ways and to create a world of dazzling beauty.


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