About the city
Experience the Story of Jerusalem at the David Tower Museum
Jerusalem has long stood as the center of not just Jewish, Christian, and Muslim life but indeed one of the great pivots on which world history has turned time and again.
The Babylonians, Syriac Greeks, and Romans all attacked the city over the course of antiquity with Jerusalem twice being destroyed, the second resulting in one of world history’s most momentous events in the destruction of the Second Temple and expulsion of the Jews in 70 CE, beginning a 2000-year diasporic odyssey unlike any other. The Middle Ages saw Jews caught between the warring forces of Richard the Lionheart, Phillip II of France, and the Crusaders set against Saladin’s Islamic forces, resulting in clashes that wrought havoc upon the city and its citizens. Empires continued to dominate the history of Jerusalem as first the Ottomans and then the British seized control of the area.
That’s just a taste of the history and drama that has visited the streets and stones of Jerusalem. All of those empires have come and gone but Jerusalem remains. With the War for Independence in 1948 and the establishment of the State of Israel, a new era has dawned in the Jerusalem’s long history with that epic story on full display in the David Tower Museum.
The David Tower Museum tells the story of Jerusalem by providing permanent exhibits on the city’s long, storied history from its earliest foundations in the Canaanite Period to modern Israel. Among these exhibits are:
- Canaanite Period: Here, you’ll be able to view some of the oldest artifacts from this region’s history in the world. The Canaanite Period covers the involvement of several peoples interacting and coalescing in the city’s earliest days as well as the Middle and Late Bronze Ages.
- First Temple Period: These exhibits focus on the period dominated in Biblical myth and Middle Eastern history by figures such as David and Solomon.
- Second Temple Period: From the Period of Babylonian Captivity to the emancipation of Cyrus the Great to the construction of the Second Temple, this exhibit captures one of the most tumultuous periods in ancient Middle Eastern and Jewish history.
- Roman Period: This exhibit covers life in Roman-occupied Judea before and leading up to the destruction of the Second Temple and the expulsion from Jerusalem.
- Byzantine Period: From the rise of Constantine and the Eastern Roman/Byzantine Empire to the transition of power from Jewish to Roman to Christian authority, this exhibit traces the foundations of Christian Jerusalem.
- Muslim/Ayyubid/Mamluk/Ottoman Period: Several exhibits here trace the story of Islamic Jerusalem from its earliest roots through the several dynasties, caliphates, and empires that ruled the city.
- British and Israeli Period: This exhibit covers post-WWI Jerusalem from British rule to the War for Independence and modern Jerusalem under Israel.
In addition to those standing exhibits tracing the millennia-long history of Jerusalem, the David Tower Museum is constantly putting in new series of exhibits to tell and retell the city’s story in new and profound ways. You’ll want to visit the site frequently to see what’s coming next.
And there always will be something next because there will always be Jerusalem standing at the center of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim life and so much of world history. Its story is unlike any other and is worth telling and reliving again and again.