The Old City of Jerusalem extends to an area of just under 1 km. It does contain some buildings from the past, but in its present position of the city wall Suleyman the Magnificent in the 16th Century enclosed. Although the Mount Zion with the Dormition Church is located outside the city walls, he is expected to center on occasion.
Between 1535 and 1538 a wall was built around the old town. During the 19th Century increased the influx of Jewish settlers , who so from the middle of the century the majority population in the city. During this time the Jews began and first settlements outside the city walls to build, and Jerusalem grew slowly beyond the boundaries of the old town.
After the British General Allenby conquered Jerusalem in 1917 by the Turks in 1920 was the British Mandate for Palestine established, which also included Jerusalem. During this period there have been repeated violent clashes between Jews and Muslims. In 1948 the Israeli War of Independence broke out, the old town was destroyed in many parts of occupied and subsequently annexed by Jordan and 1950. For the next 19 years the town was part of the Jordanian-controlled East Jerusalem . During this time the town was sealed off to the west, the western gates were walled Old City. She fell into the following years, increasingly, in particular the Jewish Quarter.
1967 during the Six Day War , the town was conquered by Israeli troops and the expanded Jerusalem municipality in East Jerusalem with the Old Town is located. Since then, the entire old town area many buildings have been renovated or rebuilt. The Jerusalem Law of 1980, the entire city as a unit and “indivisible capital of Israel” is defined. Since 1981 are the Old Town and the city wall as a world cultural heritage under the protection of UNESCO . Due to the special political situation and the uncertain political status of Jerusalem, it was in 1982 on the red list of endangered world heritage set. The World Heritage Committee sees it as his special mission to monitor the development of the old town and the preservation of its monuments and support.
Finally, it had to intervene in 2007 in mediating the dispute over the reconstruction of a ramp next to the Wailing Wall at the Dung Gate into the Old Town. This was damaged in late 2004 after heavy rains. The activities undertaken by the Israeli Government to investigate the subsurface excavations for repair led to sharp protests from the Arab Waqf , which claimed the sole authority for the administration of the old town.
Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent was in the years 1532 to 1542 built on Byzantine and Roman foundations of the present city wall. The construction was delayed because of controversy over the question of whether the Mount Zion should be framed in the south to the wall with. The city decided that the Franciscans (OFM) as administrator of the mountain for the extra cost would pay. Since these as mendicants, but did not have the necessary financial resources of the Mount Zion remained outside the city walls.
In the southeast the city wall is the Temple Mount is interrupted, as the natural obstacle here will replace the wall. The length of the walls is 4018 m, its average height of 12 m and an average width of 2.5 m. It contains 34 watchtowers and eight magnificent gates. In the north these are the Damascus Gate and Herod’s Gate . In the east, the Lion Gate and the Golden Gate . In the south, the Dung Gate and Zion Gate , and in the west, the Jaffa Gate . 1887 in the northwest corner was also known as the New Gate added.