About the Citadel

Jerusalem’s Citadel, known as the ”Tower of David”, is a historical and archaeological asset of international significance. The Citadel is a medieval fortress with architectural additions from later periods. It is located near the Jaffa Gate, the historical entrance to the city and the point where the East meets the West. It bears cultural and architectural values and has been the symbol of the city of Jerusalem for generations.

The Origin of the Name: Despite being called the Tower of David, the citadel has no connection to King David. The roots of this mistake date back to the Byzantine period, when early Church fathers misinterpreted Josephus Flavius’ writings and attributed a tower from the time of Herod  (the Tower of Phasael) to King David. The Muslims also associated the Herodian tower with King David and called it mihrab Nabi Daud (the prayer niche of the prophet David). In the 19th century, when Westerners arrived in the city looking for physical evidence of the scriptures, the Turkish minaret added to the Mamluk mosque was mistakenly identified as the Tower of David. It was then that the misnomer for the Herodian Phasael Tower was transferred to the Turkish minaret and it received the name the Tower of David.

Panorama: From the heights of the towers of the Citadel one has a breathtaking 360 degree view of Jerusalem: the Old City and the New City, the Four Quarters, the new neighborhoods, the Mount of Olives, Mount Scopus, the Judean Desert and the Dead Sea in the distance.

The panoramic view is the only one of its kind in Jerusalem and literally allows the viewer to hold the city in the palm of one’s hand. Every visit to Jerusalem begins at the Tower of David Museum and every tour of the Tower of David begins with the panoramic view from the Citadel towers.

Model of the Citadel: The model of the citadel known as the Tower of David, reveals the architectural qualities of the site.

The model depicts the structure of the Jerusalem citadel as it is today in detail, including the moat surrounding it, its lavish entrance and the minaret which is called the “Tower of David”. Architectural details such as stones, openings and terraces are depicted in minute detail and the archaeological elements are represented by different textures.

The location of the model offers simultaneous viewing of it and of the citadel itself. Near the model the visitor can find audio guides in which the citadel’s history is recounted in different languages.

Aluminum model, scale 1:100

  • The model is located on the level between the entrance hall and the staircase to Phasael Tower.