I recently attended a tour hosted by the Tower of David Museum aimed at showcasing its recent developments for the public and am happy to share my experience with you.
Trip Agenda Options
- The Citadel
- The Changing Exhibition “A General and A Gentleman – Allenby at the Gates of Jerusalem”
- The Innovation Lab.
- The Kishle – Herod’s Palace in Jerusalem
- The Permanent Exhibition
- The nightime show of light and sound called “Night Spectacular”
The Tower of David Museum (ToD), is situated next to the Jaffa Gate, at the junction between the old and new city. In recognition of its natural position as a bridge between past and present, the museum offers a unique blend of historic and contemporary displays and as such, caters to a wide range of interests.
This beautiful archeological site displays the entire story of Jerusalem’s most prominent historical events while serving as a setting for contemporary cultural artistic events, changing exhibitions, educational activities, concerts and parties. The museum emphasizes the historical importance of Jerusalem to the three monotheistic religions, and its contents are presented in three languages - Hebrew, Arabic and English.
My trip included the ‘trip anchors’. I am mentioning additional options for your benefit.
Open: Every day between 9:00-16:00 except Fridays when it is open between 9:00-14:00.
Eilat Lieber, Director & Chief Curator extends her welcome to YOU!
The Citadel of Jerusalem, known as the Tower of David is a medieval fortress built on ancient foundations with archeological additions from later periods appearing among the remains in separate layers. The Citadel was incorrectly termed the ‘Tower of David’ due to a mistake of identification in the Byzantine period further to misinterpretation of Josephus Flavius’s writings and was actually built by Herod the Great and named after his brother Phasael and should be termed ‘Phasael Tower’. However, the misnomer persists. The Citadel offers a close-up panoramic view of Jerusalem (360 degrees) that captures the Old City and the New City, the Four Quarters, the new neighborhoods, the Mount of Olives, Mount Scopus, the Judean Desert and even the Dead Sea in the distance.
The Changing Exhibition - “A General and A Gentleman – Allenby at the Gates of Jerusalem”
The exhibit was opened on Dec 11th, 2017 in honor of the the conquest of Jerusalem by the British from the Ottoman empire. The date reflects a centennial to General Edmund Allenby’s welcoming ceremony that was held in the Tower of David Museum a hundred years ago. The exhibition features rare films, photographs, original objects, souvenirs and personal travel albums. Examples include the original ‘keys of the city’ presented as a gift to General Allenby. It is interesting to see the documents as well. The initial ‘Proclamation’ made by British was issued in seven languages to Jews and gentiles alike. This gesture of recognition reflected General Allenby’s sensitivity and resulted in tremendous hope and a heartfelt welcome by the inhabitants of the city.
The Innovation Lab.
In the past year, a unique and groundbreaking media laboratory was established at the ToD, the first of its kind in museums in Israel. The new laboratory serves as a platform for development of new imaging and illustration tools including state of the art virtual and augmented reality products. The laboratory brings together Israel’s leading start-up companies with museum experts and historians responsible for content accuracy. The tools developed in the laboratory will enable to present the story of Jerusalem through interactive means and to upgrade the visitors' experience in the museum. The first product developed by the lab. was a virtual 3D tour available online at the museum’s website here. It is currently undergoing translation into English. https://www.tod.org.il/%D7%93%D7%A3-%D7%94%D7%91%D7%99%D7%AA/citadel/virtual-tour-360-degrees/
In addition, an interactive game called ‘Swipe the Citadel’ has been designed for family visits, suitable for children aged 7-12 and is available for rent on site.
The Kishle – Herod’s Palace in Jerusalem
The Kishle is an excavation site that can be entered from the Tower of David that contains a mixture of remains starting from as early as the 6th Century BCE. Findings include remains from the first temple, remaind from the second temple period including a Hasmonian wall and remains from King Herod’s Palace, remains from an old prison that served the Ottoman Empire and British Mandate and was used to incarcerate activists from the Jewish paramilitary organizations.
A tour of the Kishle in English is available on Fridays that is included in the entrance fees.
The Permanent Exhibition
An audio guide is available for a self-guided tour of about 60-90 min that takes you through 35 stations in the museum. You can download it in advance on your mobile phone or rent an audio player at the museum.
The Night Spectacular
This spectacular audio-visual show can serve as the grand finale of your day. The show features the story of Jerusalem on the ancient walls using virtual characters. Bring a top of sorts because it takes place in the open air in the stone courtyard of the museum after sundown. There is a combination ticket available for the entrance fee and night show.
A few nearby restaurants include: ‘The Eucalyptus’, ‘Tala Hummus and Falafel’, ‘Rossini’s Restaurant’, ‘Versavee’, ‘Samara Restaurant’, ‘Luciana’, ‘Armenian Tavern’, ‘Rooftop’, ‘Notre Dame Rooftop Cheese and Wine’ and ‘The Spaghettis Kosher Italian Dairy Restaurant’.
A few suggestions include: ‘Gloria Hotel’, ‘Dan Boutique Jerusalem’, ‘David Citadel Hotel’, ‘Mamilla Hotel’, ‘National Hotel Jerusalem’ and ‘Eldan Hotel’.
The activities should fill up half a day at the very least. You can refer to one of my previous posts on Jerusalem for additional ideas.
- “A Spiritual Trip Dedicated to the Indian Community”
- “An Architectural Showcase in Jerusalem”
- “Jerusalem: A Wonderful Food Trip with a Bonus”
In order to generate a map, I took a location in the old city (The Western Wall) and a location in the new city (King George Street) so that you can see that the Tower of David Museum is situated between the two parts of the city.
This is what it looks like on the map:
The museum has a few events coming up for Purim, a children’s hide and seek game, a party and a tour. You should check out the website. Would you like to share any of your experiences at the museum? You can comment on my post.