kishle

Herod’s Palace

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Above ground, Jerusalem is a bustling city - full of beauty, excitement and mystery - including many one-of-a-kind sights, smells and tastes.  But the key to the secrets and power of the city is hidden deep underground; there the historic events which shaped Jerusalem’s character are revealed.

The Kishle, a building used in the past at a police station and a prison, is located south of the Tower of David, against the wall of the Old City.  The structure was erected by an Egyptian ruler, Ibrahim Pasha, in 1834, and throughout time it was used as a military base.  Later, in 1841, it continued in this function, as well as a police station and prison, when control of the area was transferred to the Ottoman army. During the British Mandate, the Kishle was used to detain prisoners including members of the Jewish underground organizations.

In 1999, the Israel Antiquities Authority conducted an extensive archaeological dig in the Kishle and uncovered the secrets of the city of Jerusalem from the days of the First Temple until modern times.

What is the story behind the map that was drawn on the walls of the Kishle during the British Mandate era?
Why did the Jews who lived here during the Crusader period use the basins which were discovered under the Kishle’s floor?  
What is the common thread between the Crusader period, the Egyptian government in the 19th century, and the British Mandate?

We invite you on an exciting journey to explore the city’s past, through the major events and the narratives which shaped its history; a journey which begins at the Tower of David and continues through the Citadel’s moat to the Kishle.

The tour includes the remains of King Herod’s palace, a dyeing factory from the Middle Ages and the prison - the Kishle, and includes impressive findings, stories, and exciting archaeological remains dating from the First Temple period, the Hasmonean era, and the Jewish underground fighters during the British Mandate.
The weaving together of the city’s legends with physical evidence creates a timeline filled with numerous events and occurrences in the ancient city over the course of 3000 years of history.

What made the Tower of David an important strategic center under different rulers throughout time?
What else did the archaeologists discover when they excavated the Kishle, the old prison complex?
What is the secret of the defensive wall, built during the days of the First Temple, which lies deep underground?

The answers to these and many other questions are held within the silent walls of the Kishle, which has only recently come to life.
 

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