Western (Wailing) Wall, Jerusalem

Western (Wailing) Wall, Jerusalem (must see)

The Western Wall – otherwise known as the Wailing Wall, the Place of Weeping, or the Buraq Wall – is part of the last remaining wall of the Temple Mount in Old Jerusalem, and was built in 19 BCE by Herod the Great. The king expanded the Temple Mount area artificially and had the wall built to retain the soil and filler added during that period.

The wall stands about 100 feet high from its foundation, of which only approximately 60 feet are showing above ground. Out of total 45 stone courses laid, only 28 are visible. The first seven layers are dating from the time of Herod the Great, four more layers were added by the Umayyad Caliphate – around 600 CE, and another 14 during the Ottoman period in the 1860s. Finally, the last three layers were added by the Mufti of Jerusalem in the 1920s. No further additions have occurred since the Six-Day War of 1967.

The size of the stones used in the construction is enormous, some weighing between two and eight tons, and one huge stone near Wilson’s Arch weighing alone a staggering 570 tons!!! The amount of effort put into the project of such magnitude is hard to overestimate.

The Wailing Wall has been the site of Jewish pilgrimage and prayer since at least the 300s CE, and is considered to be one of the holiest places for Jews because of its proximity to the Temple Mount. The name “wailing” derives from the Jewish practice of mourning the loss of the Holy Temple on the Temple Mount. The plaza in front of the wall was built after the Six-Day War as a gathering place for worshipers.

Both men and women are allowed to pray at the wall, although they must use separate entrances. The wall is particularly busy at Sabbath which commences at sundown on Friday and lasts until sundown on Saturday. It has now become a tradition to bring to the wall a prayer request written on a small slip of paper to be stuck between the stones. These papers are removed once a month and taken to the Mount of Olives.

Tip:
When visiting, make sure to bring along a valid ID (passport); expect tight security, and dress modestly.
No pictures are allowed during the Sabbath. The entry is free.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Jerusalem, Israel within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. 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

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Western (Wailing) Wall on Map

Sight Name: Western (Wailing) Wall
Sight Location: Jerusalem, Israel
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.
Mount Scopus Walking Tour

Mount Scopus Walking Tour

Mount Scopus translates as the "Observation Mount" from Greek. It is a great place to see the whole Old City of Jerusalem with many of its sightseeing places. Its most visited landmarks are the Hebrew University campus with its botanical garden and amphitheater, the War Cemetery and a few places of worship. Follow this self-guided walk to have a great time in this magical place!

Tip:
...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 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 tour will lead...  view more

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

Mount Zion Walking Tour

For those interested in religion and history, Mount Zion offers several unique sights that are situated in close proximity to each other. An important place for Christians, Jews as well as Muslims, it holds important constructions dating from the 20th century as well as the compound built by the Crusaders, marking the spot of King David's tomb as well as of the Room of the Last Supper.

In...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 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: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Christian Quarter Walking Tour

Christian Quarter Walking Tour

One of the epicenters of worldwide Christianity, the Christian Quarter is the second-largest of the four ancient quarters of Jerusalem's Old City. It covers the northwestern part of the Old City, just beyond Jaffa Gate – the traditional pilgrim's entrance to Jerusalem, and is a prime destination for most visitors to Jerusalem.

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

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

Bethlehem Walking Tour

For more than two millennia Bethlehem has been known to the world 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 for some visitors the bustle of a modern city may come as a surprise. Undoubtedly, the main tourist attraction of Bethlehem is the Church of the Nativity,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 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...