One night early in the week, we took a tour of the Western Wall Tunnel. In the begining, there was a valley at the Western Wall and there were several entrances the first photo below shows one of those entrances filled in. There were ramps that led to the entrances. Over time arches were attached to the wall, covering much of it from view. Cisterns were created against the wall and buildings were built attached to the wall.
The signs were all lit plexiglass, so that you could read and see through them at the same time. It was dark & rather hard to photograph though. The entrance is HUGE, my photo does not give the scale any justice.
Do you see the square piece that appears to be stuck to the column? Those were used to remove the piece of stone from the quarry. 99.9% of the time when you see columns that have been smoothed out. This happens to be at the end of the road & is one of several examples of how it looks like the workers took a coffee break and never returned... Just out of view was a smoothed column. & also out of view was a road paver ready to be installed...
Here is the road that was finished:
The tunnel, not a place for people afraid of tight spaces...
We returned to see the city on Friday Morning.
(Another favorite photo)
At this time, the Moslems were headed to prayer. Since we had been headed in the opposite direction, I now know what salmon swimming up stream must feel like. I had to hold onto the back pack that my husband was carrying both pushing and trying not to get separated.
During prayers, the streets in the Arab quarter looked like this. I wanted to see the Lion's gate, but were were near the Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre so we stopped there first.
In the church.
Part of the mosaic at the bottom of the stairs.
A wall in the church.
Looking up in the church.
The church iteslf seemed a bit odd to me, it actually seemed to have several churches in it... Quite a bit if it was in a state of disrepair (I heard that that is becasue the different churches can not agree who would pay, choose, etc. the work that needs to be done.) especially the paintings. the mosaic & marble looked fair - where it had not been graffitied. There was a long line to see something in the middle, but I am not sure what it was for. There was a part in the front where people were leaving bottles of what looked like perfume. There were candle sellers and a few places to light those candles.
The fifth station. Out of view was a "shrine."
Nearing the Lion's gate (St. Stephen's Gate) and the first stations was this relic from the British Mandate:
It had been a letter box.
As we walked past the 3rd and 2nd station, we ran into an Armenian rug seller who aslo "guarded" the Armenian Church. He let up look through one of the windows onto the Temple mount.
Finally we made it to the Lion's gate:
So named because of these:
I had seen and felt enough of the old city by then & thought that it would be neat to walk on the ramparts.
they were closed.
This photo was take through the wall of the city.