Muristan / Aftimos Market, Jerusalem

Muristan / Aftimos Market, Jerusalem

Just south of the Holy Sepulchre lies the Muristan, a network of quaint streets encircling a square with several cafés and restaurants, and an elaborate fountain erected in 1903 to mark the silver jubilee of the Ottoman sultan Abd al-Hamid II. Once bustling with pilgrims and travelers, the area derived its name from the Persian word for "hospice", reflecting its historical role as a lodging hub for visitors.

Originally serving as the main forum of Hadrian's city, Aelia Capitolina, the Muristan has a rich history dating back to antiquity. Charlemagne established a pilgrims' enclave here in the early 9th century, although its structures suffered damage in 1009 when the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim ordered the demolition of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Eventually, the spirit of restoration prevailed, with many buildings reconstructed in the 11th century by merchants from the Italian republic of Amalfi.

Today, the area hosts a variety of churches, religious institutions, and the lively Souq Aftimos, where shops overflow with leather goods and tourist souvenirs. On its western side, overlooking the fountain, Saint John's Hospice has been occupied since April 1990 by Jewish settlers affiliated with a group called Ateret Cohanim, recognizable by the Israeli flags hanging from its upper windows.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Jerusalem. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Muristan / Aftimos Market on Map

Sight Name: Muristan / Aftimos Market
Sight Location: Jerusalem, Israel (See walking tours in Jerusalem)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Jerusalem, Israel

Create Your Own Walk in Jerusalem

Create Your Own Walk in Jerusalem

Creating your own self-guided walk in Jerusalem is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Muslim Quarter & Temple Mount Tour

Muslim Quarter & Temple Mount Tour

The largest, most populous and perhaps most chaotic of all Jerusalem’s quarters, the Muslim Quarter is worth exploring for its unique atmosphere. Spending a day here may take you back to a simpler time, but be prepared for many sights and sounds as you pass many vendors, stores and restaurants on your way from site to site.

Some of the city’s most interesting city gates (Damascus and...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

Entirely rebuilt in the 1980s after having been largely destroyed during the 1948 War, the Jewish Quarter is quite distinct from the rest of the Old City. Good signposting, spacious passageways, art galleries and a somewhat less buzzing atmosphere make the area a relaxing place to spend some time.

With its rebuilt residential buildings, some almost consider this area the "New...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Armenian Quarter Walking Tour

Armenian Quarter Walking Tour

Smaller and quieter than the Old City's other three quarters, the Armenian quarter contains a series of winding cobblestoned streets and alleyways teeming with people, shops, coffee stands, ceramic workshops and hookah bars. A city in miniature with distinct language, alphabet and culture, it has been in place since the 4th century, when Armenia adopted Christianity as a national religion.
...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
Bethlehem Walking Tour

Bethlehem Walking Tour

Perched on a hill at the edge of the Judaean Desert, Bethlehem has been known to the world, for more than two millennia, as the birthplace of Jesus Christ. The “star of Bethlehem” as well as Christmas carols and hymns are firmly associated with this ancient city in the West Bank, Palestine, and thus, for some visitors, the bustle of a modern city may come as a surprise.

Undoubtedly, the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Mount of Olives Walking Tour

Mount of Olives Walking Tour

Aside from affording great views over the Old City, the Mount of Olives is home to half a dozen major sites of the Christian faith along with the oldest Jewish burial ground in the world. Considered a holy spot by many, it is associated with numerous events in Jesus’ life including ascending to Heaven and teaching his disciples the Lord’s Prayer.

The following self-guided walking tour will...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Christian Quarter Walking Tour

Christian Quarter Walking Tour

One of the epicenters of worldwide Christianity, the Christian Quarter is the 2nd-largest of Jerusalem’s four ancient quarters. A fascinating place to stroll through, it covers the Old City’s northwestern part, just beyond Jaffa Gate – the traditional pilgrim’s entrance to Jerusalem and a prime destination for most visitors.

With its tangle of broad streets and winding, narrow alleys,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


16 Uniquely Israel Things to Buy in Jerusalem

16 Uniquely Israel Things to Buy in Jerusalem

Modern day Jerusalem is a mosaic of neighborhoods, reflecting different historical periods, cultures, and religions. The influx of repatriates in recent years has made the cultural and artisanal scene of the city even more colourful and diverse. To find your way through Jerusalem's intricate...