From Herod’s palace to British Prison

A tour of the Citadel Moat and the Kishle (in English)

English: Fridays | 10:00

Hebrew: Thursdays | 10:30 

A guided tour of both the Citadel moat and the” Kishle”, one of the most fascinating hidden spaces in the Tower of David Museum compound – an underground space that spans the history of Jerusalem.

The tour will include the “Kishle” building which was built in 1834 by Ibrahim Pasha, the Egyptian ruler, and continued to serve as a military compound even after it was returned to Ottoman control in 1841. During the Mandatory period the building was used as a police station and prison, and pre-State underground Irgun members were imprisoned in its walls. During the archaeological excavations that took place there over the last decade a “timeline” of Jerusalem was discovered – finds from the First Temple Period, the remains of Herod’s palace and tanneries and dying pools from the Middle Ages.

On the way, the tour goes through the south-western part of the moat of the fortress where unique and fascinating archaeological remains were uncovered.

  • Duration: Two hours
  • Price: Free with admission to the Museum

Online tickets – English tour >>

Online tickets – Hebrew tour >>

About the Kishle

The site known as the “Kishle” is adjacent to the Citadel and Tower of David Museum complex. The structure was erected in 1834 by Ibrahim Pasha who governed the Land of Israel (Palestine) from Egypt.

When the Ottoman Turks regained the area in 1841, the “Kishle” continued to serve as a military compound. During the period of the British mandate, it was used as a police station and prison where some members of the Jewish underground were also incarcerated.

Today, the prison is separated from the police station and is an integral part of the Museum complex. The site can be accessed from the dry moat which surrounds the Citadel or through a Crusader era hall in the Museum.

Archaeological excavations have unearthed remains from as early as the 6th century BCE and walls from the time of King Herod as well as evidence from the Middle Ages. Of particular importance is the discovery of a wall from the First Temple Period which adds to our knowledge about the route of the city wall of those days and adds a dramatic element to a visit to the site. Additionally, the impressive findings from the Second Temple Period complement the monumental remains in the Citadel courtyard.

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