Thursday, May 3, 2018

2018 Eastern Mediterranean Trip - Day Nine, Jerusalem, The Citadel Of David

Back to the Old City

There really is quite a lot to see here and combined with the fact that Wife is still recovering from her bad cold and I am fighting the onset of same said cold and it is very hot, we've been taking it slower than normal.

The Citadel of David

This is also the primary museum for the history of the Old City. It is a combination of incongruities.
  • It is not located on the site of King David's city. That is to the south of the current Old City
  • The Citadel itself primarily dates from the Middle Ages, the time of Mamelukes, Crusaders and the Ottomans
  • The 'defining' landmark, it's tower, that shows up everywhere as the symbol of the 'Jewish' city, is actual a minaret erected by the Ottomans
That being said it was an excellent history of this ancient city that is so important to so many. We were going to go to the Citadel/museum the first day we were here but when looking at the price we decided that we would wait until Wife joined us (that was the day she stayed back to get better). Today turned out to be International Museum Day! Free Admission! We did pay for a couple of audio guides. To our surprise, 6 year old 3.1 glommed on to one and went through the entire Citadel/museum following it. Impressive.

For those who are keeping score from the Jewish perspective, this is the abbreviated history of Jerusalem.
  • A number of precursors to the Israelites inhabit the area
  • Abraham, the patriarch, resides in the area
  • When Moses/Joshua return from Egypt the Canaanites occupy the area
  • By the time of Saul, Jewish folks are becoming a kingdom
  • David and Solomon bring the kingdom to his height and build the first Temple in their capital the city of Jerusalem
  • After Solomon, kingdom divides into two. Israel is swallowed up by Assyria. Judea is swallowed up by Babylon. First Temple destroyed. Jews are deported to Babylon
  • Persia conquers Babylon. Cyrus tells all the captured nationalities they can return home and worship their own Gods. Some Jews return but many say, "Hey, life is pretty damn good here in Babylon. We're staying." - A basic dichotomy that will define Jewry for millennia.
  • Alexander the Macedonian conquers Persia. Successor kingdom in Syria rules Judea and implements state religion
  • Jews revolt successfully with many calling for a return to orthodox ways but others wanting to keep their Hellenistic new customs. See above related to Persia
  • A new Kingdom arises with King Herod the prime mover. Second Temple in Jerusalem is built
  • Rome absorbs Herod's kingdom
  • Christ comes/goes
  • Jews try to revolt. Rome conquers Jerusalem and destroys the Second Temple. Jews are expelled over the entire Roman Empire
  • Constantine the Great converts to Christianity. His mother comes to Jerusalem, finds the 'true cross'. Jerusalem reborn has site of mass religious tourism
  • Under the Byzantines, the city is a Christian city and Jews can only come once a year to mourn the demise of the Second Temple
  • The Muslim conquest absorbs Jerusalem. The Umaayid dynasty in Damascus builds the Dome of the Rock, the third most holy place in Islam.
  • Crusaders come and conquer Jerusalem reviving religious tourism in the west
  • Mamelukes drive the Crusaders out
  • Ottomans conquer Jerusalem and it loses its cache
  • 19th century sees the rise of Zionist interest
  • 20th century sees all hell break loose with Israel finally reformed and huge conflict with Arab Islamic world
  • After many wars between Israel and Arab Islamic world, Israel controls Jerusalem and mass religious tourism is reborn
Now that you are all mini-experts on the history of Jerusalem, on to pictures

Again we approach via the Jaffa Gate
Reminded that this is a 'modern' city
Some views of the Citadel

The Tower of 'David' (thank you Suleiman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire)

Looking down into excavations that date to the earliest times

A model of the Citadel
Incredible views of the city
The new city
The Old City
Panorama of the Old City

Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Dome of the Rock

Unidentified mosque
Reminder that if you want to convert - come here
Reminder if you had a recent birthday that your daughter will still want to celebrate it

Reminder that if after one week and you are SO FREAKING TIRED OF falafel, hummus and shwarama, that there is actually other food available
Persian style chicken with stewed green beans in some tomato/pomegranate flavoring
Various vegetables (beets, onions, cabbage, zucchini) stuffed with meat and rice

Seems creepy to me that beauty comes from something dead

1 comment:

alexis said...

the history in particular was a very good summary. reminds you that Jews haven't been the dominant force in that area for most of recorded history.