Israel 2000 Visit » Jerusalem » 11 Ophel  (7 Slides)     [Page 1 of 1] :: Jump To  
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This view is from the south west corner of the Temple Mount facing east. You can see the black dome of the Al Aqsa mosque above and the area beyond the wall in the lower right is the Ophel.  The Ophel is the raised area just south of the Temple Mount that extends into David's City or the Lower City.
These are two horizontal pillars projecting out of the south Temple Mount wall. Presumably they attached to something at one time. I think you can see these same pillars in the previous picture if you look closely at the full size image. In any case, I always find it interesting when I see a seemingly insignificant human artifact like this that has been just sitting there exposed to the elements and basically unchanged for hundreds of years. Based on the shadow, I'd say we were there at about 10 AM.
This is a shot of the Al Aqsa Mosque just after we crossed over into the Ophel area. It gives a sense of how high up the Temple Mount is, especially if you are approaching it from David's City.
This is also in the Ophel area and that's me with my white hat. It was quite hot that summer - up to 40 degrees Celsius - so hat and water were a must. Anyway, these are presumably first century pillars. In the distance you can see the graveyards in the Mount of Olives. The Kidron valley is down below out of sight. The Temple Mount would be up to the left.
  1 Archaeological Gardens  
  2 South Wall  
  3 Al Aqsa Mosque - from South  
  4 Ophel Pillars  
This is looking directly up at the southern side of the Temple Mount Wall. In it you can see the now blocked up Triple Doors otherwise known as the Hulda Gates. This was the main entrance to the Temple Mount from the south. People would enter these gates and then ascend dark staircased tunnels before emerging into the light of the open air. Out of view to the left is a set of blocked double gates that were used for exiting the Temple.
This is one of those places where you can be almost certain that Jesus actually walked. These are the first century stairs that led up to the Triple and Double Doors. The ones in the foreground are the real thing. I think the stairs further up that are in better shape are reconstructions. Sometimes, it's a little hard to tell what is reconstructed and what is original. The wall to the left (west) is part of a Crusader building that juts out from the southern Temple Mount wall.
This is a shot at the top of the stairs. I'm standing against the southern Temple Mount wall. Note again the size of the base stones - over 5 ft tall and longer still.
  5 Triple Doors  
  6 Where Jesus Walked  
  7 First Century Stone  
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© Charles Grebe
This slide show is dedicated to my mother who made possible our summer 2000 visit to Israel.