34 – The Citadel

Located right next door to Herod the Great’s palace in the Old City of Jerusalem is a set of towers called The Citadel (map). It was originally built by Herod the great and then destroyed along with Jerusalem in 70AD. When the Byzantines found it around 350AD, they mistook it for David’s tower – hence the name. Today it serves as a museum of Jerusalem’s 4,000 year history, complete with models and miniatures of the various periods of Jerusalem’s peoples and history. Its towers offer a magnificent view of the city.

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The Citadel is right by Jerusalem’s Joppa Gate – the same gate that leads to the city of Joppa where Peter had his vision of the unclean animals.
There’s a mix of old world and modern art at the citadel – like these glass flowers. Kinda like Christmas lights, I guess, except they’re 8-12 inches tall.
In one of the rooms was a small model of Jerusalem as it was back in Herod’s time. The model at the Shrine of the Book was much larger and more detailed, but still. I wonder if this map was designed to be more accurate, since the model at the shrine was a lot of guesswork.
At the top of one of the citadel’s towers.(For more on this, be sure to see the movie clip section)
The view into the courtyard is pretty neat. Small cafe below with a couple of travel-weary tourists from our group. If you ever go to Israel with Dr. Dave, plan on doing a TON of walking.(For more on this, be sure to see the movie clip section)
Looking to the east, you see the Dome of the Rock and the Mount of Olives. In the foreground, one of the guys on our tour is pointing to a passage and making the argument that the cross must have been to the east of the temple because the soldier at the cross was able to see both the cross and the temple veil get torn in two. Since the temple faced the east, there was no way the centurion could have seen the veil tear. Interesting argument.
We were there early enough that we had the place all to ourselves – almost. There was a lot of racket going on and it turned out to be a small class of girls re-enacting David’s bringing the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem.As with all school field trips, at least one parent accompanies the group carrying a fully loaded machine gun (the guy sitting down in the very center of the photo)

(For more on this, be sure to see the movie clip section)

The teacher of the group got on to me and asked me not to take their photos because “girls are very ashamed”. I’m hoping it was her poor use of English, and that she meant to say “embarrassed”.About four or five of us were watching them. I told her they were adorable and looked very pretty. She explained their shenanigans in a bit more detail. I hope she doesn’t mind that her “ashamed” girls are now on the Internet…
Parts of the citadel were locked off.
The museum in the Citadel was pretty impressive, doing an excellent job of tracing the history of Jerusalem – the good, the bad and the ugly.Apparently Arabs don’t frequent the museum because they have a slightly different version of events. I wonder how much archaeological evidence there is to support their views.

I read somewhere that more books have been translated into Spanish in the last five years than into Arabic in the last 500 years. That is absolutely mind-boggling! Is it wrong to suggest that the best way to control a people is to keep them illiterate and clueless about the rest of the world?

I messed up this panorama on the right. Drats.