Western Wall

A visit to the most important site in the world for the Jewish religion, providing an incredible cultural, spiritual, and historical experience.
Western wall, Jerusalem

Western wall: the most holy Jewish site in the world.

There is a truly special feeling in the air around the Western Wall, which attracts millions of visitors worldwide, whether for religious or cultural purposes. As the site where so many things happen at the same time, with prayers, celebrations, birthdays and ceremonies happening here daily, every visit to the Western Wall is a surprise, and an experience like no other.
Western Wall, Jerusalem
Western Wall, Jerusalem
Western Wall, Jerusalem

The western wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, is the last remnant of the Second Temple, and the most holy and important site for Jewish people in the world. Located at the heart of the old city of Jerusalem, and being an immensely important part of the Temple Mount, the Western Wall is truly a must-visit site in Israel, providing a unique and fascinating experience. Here’s everything you should know in order to plan your visit here.

The Story of the Western Wall

The Western Wall is a remnant of a retaining wall that surrounded the Second Temple and was built by King Herod in the first century BC. Since the Temple was destroyed, this site remains the closest holy place to the Temple that Jews could reach. As a result, millions of visitors come to it every year from all around the world. 13-year-old boys come here on Mondays and Thursdays to celebrate Bar mitzvahs, IDF soldiers swear allegiance here, and many people come just to say prayers or visit.

Th wall was built as part of a comprehensive series of renovations initiated by King Herod on the Temple Mount in the first century BC. Until the days of Herod, the Temple Mount was quite small, and extended over the natural area of ​​Mount Moriah. Herod expanded the compound to the ravines and mountains surrounding the mountain. To support the large square, the edges of which were designed to be above the ground, Herod built four enormous retaining walls, which together formed a trapezoidal structure, and in the space between them and the mountain, he built arches and vaults. The Western Wall, which is the longest of the walls, stretches for about 488 meters, with most of it being hidden in the Western Wall Tunnels.

The Second Temple was destroyed by the hands of the Romans, During the Great Revolt, in the year 70. Since then, it was never rebuilt, and the Western Wall is the only remnant of the holy place. Jewish people have come back and prayed here for more than 1,100 years, and in 1967, during the Six-Day War, the Western Wall was back in control of Israel.

Visiting the Western Wall

When you enter the main area of the Western Wall, you are very likely to see plenty of interesting events happening at the same time. From birthdays, prayers, and a swear of allegiance by soldiers and policemen, many small events are constantly happening here. If you wish to come closer and reach the wall itself, you can do so easily, but it is important to note that this area is separated for men and women, who each have their area to pray in. It is very popular to bury a note between the stones of the Wailing Wall, with a request for healing or success, and some people even bury notes given to them in advance by their friends and relatives.

The Western Wall Tunnels

A tour through the underground tunnels that lead the visitor to the hidden parts of the Western Wall. This is a very impressive tour, which takes about 1-1.5 hours. It is recommended to coordinate the visit in advance, and it is possible to request guidance in foreign languages. The tours of the place are only possible with a qualified guide, and it is not possible to tour the place independently.

The tour of the Western Wall Tunnels goes through some major historical sites, with impressive designs. Those include sites like Wilson’s Arch, the biggest Stone in the Wailing Wall (and one of the biggest in the world), and many more.

Operating hours:

Sunday-Thursday: 22:00-9:00; Friday: 13:00-9:00

There are tours in Hebrew, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. You should reserve the tour in advance on the following website: www.thekotel.org

The “behind the scenes” underground tunnels tour

During some development works in the Western Wall plaza, additional impressive underground spaces were discovered, along with several important historical findings. The ‘behind the scenes’ tour includes a visit to recently-discovered complexes, and enters into the unique spaces discovered under the classic tunnel route of the Western Wall Tunnels. The new route is a perfect opportunity for an experiential introduction to 3,000 years of history, and a great way to go off the beaten path and experience more unique features of the Western Wall.

Second Temple VR tour

The first ever VR tour in Israel, allowing you to go 2,000 years back, and see the Second Temple before it was destroyed. The 15-minute tour is available in both Hebrew and English, and is a great experience, especially for kids.

Opening hours

The Western Wall is open 24/7

Parking and transportation

The Western Wall is easily accessible by bus, with several lines getting to the Western Wall bus stop. It is also located a 20-minute walk from the parking lot at Paul Emile Botta St 10.

Accessibility arrangements

  • The main area of the Western Wall is wheelchair-accessible. The tunnels are partially accessible.

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