King David’s Palace and the parking lot

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When the Ottoman ruler Suleiman built the walls, from his perspective only the Old City was Jerusalem, ignoring the area that dates back 3,800 years to the Canaanite period.

Earlier this week, I took a break and went back in time – at least 3,000 years and a few hundred meters from where, according to tradition, it all began.
Jerusalem Post staffers left current affairs, as far as you can ever escape them in Israel, and had a brief tour of the City of David, led by Ze’ev Orenstein, the enthusiastic director of international affairs of the Ir David Foundation.
We enter the site near the Old City’s Dung Gate and the first surprise is how calm the area seems, standing on the hilltop looking at a spectacular view of splendidly green hills and the Kidron Valley. Here, you can truly appreciate the phrase “Jerusalem encompassed by mountains.”
This is David’s Jerusalem, Orenstein states, and for the rest of the short trip rolls off a list of archaeological findings to prove his point.
To the north is Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount, where, according to some traditions, the world began and which is literally the center of the world, according to Jewish (and Christian) tradition.
The Old City walls are impressive, notes Orenstein, but they are only 450 years old, not much at all by Jerusalem standards.

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