From Herod’s palace to British Prison

About the Kishle

The site known as the “Kishle” is adjacent to the Citadel and Tower of David Museum complex. The structure was erected in 1834 by Ibrahim Pasha who governed the Land of Israel (Palestine) from Egypt.

When the Ottoman Turks regained the area in 1841, the “Kishle” continued to serve as a military compound. During the period of the British mandate, it was used as a police station and prison where some members of the Jewish underground were also incarcerated.

Today, the prison is separated from the police station and is an integral part of the Museum complex. The site can be accessed from the dry moat which surrounds the Citadel or through a Crusader era hall in the Museum.

Archaeological excavations have unearthed remains from as early as the 6th century BCE and walls from the time of King Herod as well as evidence from the Middle Ages. Of particular importance is the discovery of a wall from the First Temple Period which adds to our knowledge about the route of the city wall of those days and adds a dramatic element to a visit to the site. Additionally, the impressive findings from the Second Temple Period complement the monumental remains in the Citadel courtyard.

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