Jerusalem is the holy place for Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

Its Old City rounded the rampart is like a wonderful labyrinthine for travelers. Take a walk, and enjoy the Palestinian atmosphere.

Jerusalem the Old City
Souq near the Damascus Gate.

Jerusalem consists of two parts, East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem.

East Jerusalem is the future Palestine State capital. President Abbas declared it in 2011 when he requested membership in the UN. The area remains a lot of Arabian atmosphere with Arab inhabitants.

West Jerusalem is the new city with many Jewish settlers. Its lifestyle is very modern.

Jerusalem tramway
Modern tramway in West Jerusalem.

There are many Palestinians born in Jerusalem who aren’t able to return to Jerusalem because of the restriction by Israel.

Even Palestinians who still live in Jerusalem are treated coldly for legal or tax aspects.

Visiting Jerusalem and seeing the reality can be the first step to considering what is peace for Palestine.

History of Jerusalem

c.4500 - c.2000 BC

Humans started living c. 4500 - 3500 BC. It became a town with a defensive wall c. 2000 BC.

The name “Rusalimum” appears on the remains of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt (c.2055 BC - c.1650 BC).

There is a theory saying “Rusalimum” comes from “salam” in Arabic or “shalom” in Hebrew which both mean “peace”.

c.17th century BC

Canaanites made a wall on the east side of Jerusalem for the protection of their water channel.

c.1000 - 930 BC

Kind David of the United Kingdom of Israel made Jerusalem the capital.

After King David’s death, his son Solomon ascended to the throne c. 970 BC. The First Temple was built in this period, and Jerusalem became bigger.

After King Solomon died, the United Kingdom of Israel was divided into South and North. Jerusalem became the capital of the Southern “Kingdom of Judah”.

925 BC

Shoshenq I, a pharaoh of ancient Egypt started to invade the Kingdom of Judah. The situation was getting unstable afterward.

587 BC

Nebuchadnezzar II of the Neo-Babylonian Empire surrounded Jerusalem. In 586 BC, Jerusalem fell.

Thousands of Jewish nobles were forced to march off to Babylon as prisoners(Babylonian captivity).

Babylonian captivity
The Flight of the Prisoners (from Wikipedia)

539 BC

Cyrus II of the Persian Achaemenid Empire conquered Babylon.

He released Jewish people. They returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the wall and the temple.

After 4th century BC

(The Hellenistic period) Jerusalem stayed calm with thousands of nobles.

124 BC

John Hyrcanus, priest-king of the Hasmonean dynasty, establishes Jerusalem as the capital.

63 BC

Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey) of the Roman Republic conquered Jerusalem.

37 BC

Herod the Great established a Kingdom as a vassal of the Roman Empire.

Around 19 BC, he started a reconstruction of the Second Temple whose outer wall is now the Western Wall.

Jarusalem Western Wall
The Western Wall. The large blocks of lower courses are Herodian.

After Herod’s death, the capital was transferred to Caesarea. Jerusalem lost its governmental function.

66-73 CE

The First Jewish–Roman War took place by the Jews against the Roman Empire.

The Temple, the identity of the Jews, was destroyed by the Romans. Jerusalem fell.

c.2nd century

Roman emperor Hadrian crushed the Jewish rebellion, the Jews were banished from Jerusalem (Diaspora).

Hadrian rebuilt Jerusalem as a Roman city. Jerusalem was then renamed Aelia Capitolina.


Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire.

Jerusalem then became a holy place of Christianity and connected to the episodes of Jesus.

638 (Islamic age)

After the death of Mohammad, Umar as the second caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate conquered Jerusalem.

After then, Umayyad Caliphate was established by Muawiyah I. Dome of the Rock was built in 691.

Jerusalem Dome of the Rock
The Dome of the Rock was initially completed in the 7th century.

During these periods, Christians in Jerusalem were put under Umayyad’s control.

On the other hand, Jews disappeared from Jerusalem because of the opposition by Christian priests, as Jews were concerned with the massacre of Persians or the destruction of churches.


The Crusades, sent from Rome to recapture Jerusalem from Islam, built the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

They massacred the Muslims or Jews living in Jerusalem.


Jerusalem was retaken by Saladin, the first sultan of Egypt and Syria, then put again under Islamic power.

During the following Mamluk Sultanate, despite many attacks by the Crusades or the Mongol Empire, Jerusalem was saved from destruction.

16th century

The Ottoman Empire was gaining power and beating Mamluks in the Middle East. Jerusalem belonged to Selim I.

Under Ottoman control, a new wall was built in Jerusalem.

After then, Jerusalem stayed calm for centuries.

mid 18th century

Makbul Ibrahim Pasha, the first Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire, reformed the governmental system. Jerusalem then became the second biggest city after Istanbul, the capital.

mid 19th century

European countries started to compete for their power in Palestine. The United Kingdom, Prussia (German state), and France established their consulate, which made Jerusalem the center of geopolitics.

Jerusalem also became an important point for traffic with new roads to Jaffa, Syria, or Iraq.

Also, from this period to the beginning of the 20th century, Diasporas came and settled in Palestine from everywhere.


World War I broke out. The United Kingdom promised Arabs to establish an Arab State and defeated the Ottoman Empire.

Meanwhile, the UK made a secret agreement with France and Russia that 3 of them would divide the Middle East, and on the other hand, the UK wrote a letter saying they support Zionism to get military funds from Jewish Banks.


After World War II, Jews started rushing to Palestine for immigration. The UK lost its control.

The United Nations recommended a partition of Mandatory Palestine in 1947. They proposed dividing Palestine into an Arab State, a Jewish State, and the city of Jerusalem controlled by the UN.

In 1948, just after the foundation of Israel, the first Arab–Israeli War broke out between Arab countries around Israel. Jerusalem was divided into West Jerusalem under Israel and East Jerusalem under Jordan.

How to became smaller Palestinian land
Palestine had larger land by the UN partition plan in 1947.

Conflict continued afterword. After the third Arab–Israeli War (known as Six-Day War), East Jerusalem was annexed to Israel.

Israel continues the colonization of East Jerusalem to make the possession of the land an accomplished fact.

Articles about Jerusalem