The Tower of David steeple

The Origin of the Name

Despite being called the Tower of David, the citadel has no connection to King David. The roots of this mistake date back to the Byzantine period, when early Church fathers misinterpreted Josephus Flavius’ writings and attributed a tower from the time of Herod  (the Tower of Phasael) to King David. The Muslims also associated the Herodian tower with King David and called it mihrab Nabi Daud (the prayer niche of the prophet David). In the 19th century, when Westerners arrived in the city looking for physical evidence of the scriptures, the Turkish minaret added to the Mamluk mosque was mistakenly identified as the Tower of David. It was then that the misnomer for the Herodian Phasael Tower was transferred to the Turkish minaret and it received the name the Tower of David.