The Tower of David Museum invites the general public to come, enjoy and explore the moat and the Kishle building which will be open for the first time to the general public since it has been renovated.
(Communicated by the Ministry of Tourism)
"Kishle" is the term used by the Turkish Ottomans to refer to soldiers’ barracks. The Kishle prison in Jerusalem’s Old City, adjacent to David’s Citadel, was built by the Ottoman Turks in the mid-1800s. It later served the British as a jail for members of the pre-state underground, and evidence of the period can be seen in a scratched inscription on its walls.
This large arched structure contains remains from nearly every period in Jerusalem’s history, from King Herod to the Crusaders and the British Mandate. Excavations have revealed important findings from the First and Second Temple periods, including parts of the Hasmonean city wall (2nd century BCE) a wall from the time of King Hezekiah (8th century BCE), two massive walls of Herod’s palace and a drainage system running from the palace to outside the city walls. Other findings include pools that archeologists believe may have been used to dye cloth during the Middle Ages. The leading archeologist on the Kishle excavations is Amit Reem (today Chief Archeologist of Jerusalem for the . The leading archeologist on the Kishle excavations is Amit Reem (today Chief Archeologist of Jerusalem for the Israel Antiquities Authority).
Previously, the Kishle had only been open for a few small groups as access to the impressive excavations was unsafe. Now the Tower of David Museum has renovated the access and the excavations dating back to before King Herod are beautifully lit up for all to see.
After many years during which the Citadel moat was closed to the public, the southern part of Jerusalem’s historic moat has been revived. The ancient builders of the Citadel surrounded the fortress with a dry moat, the first line of defense against enemies. As years passed, the moat served other purposes. It was a marketplace, a passageway and even a makeshift garbage dump. Excavations in the moat have exposed archeological remains including an ancient quarry, a ritual bath from the Second Temple, a hewn water channel, secret passageways and a giant stone staircase and pools from the Hasmonean and Herodian eras. The renewed moat also includes passage to a building that was closed for many years.