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.

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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:

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