The City of David (Hebrew: עיר דוד, Ir David; Arabic: مدينة داوود) is not only the oldest settled neighborhood of Jerusalem but also a major archaeological site relating to biblical Jerusalem. It is a narrow ridge running south from the Temple Mount. It was a walled city in the Bronze Age and according to tradition, it is where King David built his palace and established his capital.
The City of David was naturally defended by the Tyropoeon Valley on its west, the Hinnom valley to the south, and the Kidron Valley on the east; although over time the once-steep valley to the west has been largely filled in.In the ancient pred-Israelite period, the City of David was separated from the Temple Mount by the Ophel, an uninhabited area which became the seat of government under Israelite rule. During the reign of Hezekiah, the walls of the city were expanded westward, enclosing a previously unwalled suburb in the area now known as the Old City of Jerusalem, west of the Temple Mount.Although there is currently both Muslim and Jewish housing in the area, archeological digs are ongoing under many of the homes and it is proposed to make the entire ridge into an archaeological park.
Entrance to the City of David – City of David Archives/photo by Koby Harati
Davidson Center – City of David Archives/photo by Eliyahu Yanai