Jerusalem

  • Located in the Judean Mountains, between the Mediterranean Sea and the northern edge of the Dead Sea, modern Jerusalem has grown far beyond the boundaries of its well-known Old City. Jerusalem is Israel's largest city in both population and area, with a population of 763,800 residents over an area of 125.1 km2.

  • Jerusalem is a holy city to the three major religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In Judaism, Jerusalem has been the holiest city since, according to the Torah, King David of Israel first established it as the capital of the united Kingdom of Israel in c. 1000 BCE, and his son Solomon commissioned the building of the First Temple in the city. In Christianity, Jerusalem has been a holy city since, according to the New Testament, Jesus was crucified in c. 30 CE and 300 years later Saint Helena found the True Cross in the city. In Sunni Islam, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city. It became the first Qibla, the focal point for Muslim prayer (Salah) in 610 CE,

  • and, according to Islamic tradition, Muhammad made his Night Journey there ten years later.

  • As a result, and despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometers (0.35 sq mi), the Old City is home to sites of key religious importance, among them the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque.

  • During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. The oldest part of the city was settled in the 4th millennium BCE, making Jerusalem one of the oldest cities in the world. The old walled city, a World Heritage site, has been traditionally divided into four quarters, although the names used today - the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters - were introduced in the early 19th century. The Old City was nominated for inclusion on the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger by Jordan in 1982.

  • All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset (Israel's parliament), the residences of the Prime Minister and President, and the Supreme Court. Jerusalem is home to the Hebrew University and to the Israel Museum with its Shrine

  • of the Book.