Mount Zion

Thousands of years ago, Mount Zion lay within the compass of the city walls, protected in the west and south by the virtually unassailable slopes of the Hinnom Valley. No more. The 16th-century Turkish wall slashes across Mount Zion, leaving it outside the Old City, connected to it by the narrow Zion Gate. The faiths that call Jerusalem holy cross paths on this hilltop. For Judaism—and, by extension, Islam—this is where King David was buried 30 centuries ago: his supposed tomb is venerated to this day, and a yeshiva, or Jewish seminary, has spread itself over an acre of old stone buildings that surround it. Christianity identifies the area with key scriptural events, and churches, monasteries, institutions, and graveyards are the most visible landmarks. There are few must-see sites here; but if you enjoy less compulsive sightseeing, Mount Zion is worth an hour or two of your time.

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