City of David & Underground Jerusalem Tour
Parts of ancient Jerusalem lie beneath the Old City and cast important light on the city’s 4,000-year history. With this tour, view the main Jewish sights and subterranean ruins with ease, with a guide for historical insight. Visit the Western Wall and Tomb of King David; see Herodian mansions beneath the Jewish Quarter; and explore the City of David’s water tunnels. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included for your convenience.
The panoramic view of the Holy City of Jerusalem from Mount of Olives is breathtaking. From here we can see the temple slopes leading to the Jewish cemetery and the Temple Mount where the Second Temple once stood. Heading out in the direction of Mount Zion, we drive across the Kidron Valley and past an ancient cemetery. At the foot of the mount we see the burial tombs of Absalom, King David’s 3rd son; Zechariah, a First Temple priest and the tomb of the sons of Hezir. We also see the Church of All Nations and the Garden of Gethsemane in the distance.
At Mount Zion, we visit the Tomb of King David where David’s cenotaph lies covered with a velvet cloth embroidered with the symbols of a lyre and crown. There are segregated sections for men and women to sit during prayers here. We continue our tour into the Old City through the Zion Gate. We enter the Jewish Quarter and see the four Sephardic synagogues which date back to the 17th and 18th century. These are namely, the Yochanan ben Zakai Synagogue, Istanbuli Synagogue, Emtsai Synagogue, and the Eliahu Ha’Navi Synagogue. The synagogues were found in a condition of desecration and disrepair by Israelis when they reclaimed Jerusalem following the Six Day War. The historic buildings have since been fully renovated and restored.
We then head to the Byzantine Cardo, which was once the main thoroughfare of the city. Today it is an important site for ongoing archaeological excavations. In areas where the Cardo has been restored, ancient Crusader stores function as sites for modern shops. We pass the excavated foundations of an ancient wall which stood 2,700 years ago during the reign of King Hezekiah (Is 22:10). We go under the present day streets to see the 2000-year-old Herodian Mansions. The original mosaics and the ritual bath still stand with prominence. The complex gives great insight into the probable lifestyle prevalent 2000 years ago.
The route leads us to our next destination, the Kotel. This 2000-year-old Western Wall was once part of the outer walls of the Second Temple which stood on Temple Mount until the Temple’s destruction in 70AD. Here one can place a prayer note between the stones of the ancient wall. We exit the Old City through the Dung Gate to reach the excavation site of the 3000-year-old City of David. We tour the still intact ancient tunnels built by Hezekiah to supply water within the city walls. These tunnels are described in Chronicles II 32:2-4 and in Kings II 20:20 – “…the acts of Hezekiah and all his might, and how he made the pool and conduit and brought water into the city…”. Our last halt is at the Spring of Gihon, where Zadok the priest is said to have anointed Solomon king of Israel.
- Hotel pick-up and drop-off service
- A fully qualified and licensed tour guide
- Transport by air-conditioned vehicle
- Food and drinks
- Entrance fees
- This tour includes a reasonable amount of walking; comfortable walking shoes are recommended
- Modest dress is obligatory for visits to holy sites; covered knees and shoulders
- This tour operates with a minimum of 2 participants
- It is possible to have pick ups / drop offs in different cities. However, we do not disperse to specific drop off locations
- In case the visit to one or more of the Spanish synagogues is not possible, we will visit the Hurva Synagogue instead
- Booking is subject to terms and conditions
- Cancellation fee of 4% charged for notification up to 2 days in advance
- Cancellation fee of 25% charged for notification up to 1 days in advance
- Cancellation fee of 100% charged for notification on the day of the tour
- Non Show – 100% Cancellation fees