A tour in the Wohl Archaeological Museum
The Wohl Museum of Archeology is a six-house compound, situated on the slope of the hill facing the Temple Mount. Part of the residential quarter, preserved from Herodian times. The findings indicate that wealthy families lived here. This excavated complex preserves a 385-foot section of the Upper City near the Temple Mount dating back 2,000 years, which also contains a complex of ritual baths or mikvaot. Most impressive are the multiple pieces of elegantly carved stone furniture and intricate, surprisingly well-preserved mosaic floors. Plaques around the museum provide detailed explanations and there is a model of one mansion.
Address: Ha-Kara’im St., Jewish Quarter of the Old City, Jerusalem
Time of tour: One hour
The Herodian Quarter
The Upper City was situated on the western hill – the location of today’s Jewish Quarter. Populated by aristocratic families and Temple priests, the homes were built on terraces, one above the other on the slope, the roof of one house forming the basement of the house above. This allowed all the homes to have an unrestricted view of the Temple.
The exhibit focuses on three houses: The Western House, the Middle Complex and the Palatial Mansion. These were apparently the homes of aristocratic families during the Herodian period, probably Temple priests and their families. The homes were designed in the Hellenistic/Roman style popular at the time.
The design of the dwellings, and the findings revealed during the excavations, bear witness to the residents’ wealth and high standard of living. They allow us to observe the living conditions and way of life of Jerusalem aristocrats on the eve of the destruction of the Second Temple.
Special attention was given to the quarter’s bathing rooms. The flooring was composed of colorful mosaics, and frescoes adorned the walls. The utensils, the artifacts and the luxuries revealed in the excavations, such as the decorated plates and imported wine jugs, all attest to the wealth of the residents.
The largest and most important house in the museum is known as “The Palatial Mansion”. It has a built area of 600 sq m., and its rooms were richly decorated. It also had a large balcony with a view of the Temple.
A unique find is the seven-armed menorah (candelabra) carved on one of the walls. This is the oldest explicit depiction of the menorah, and it is likely that it was carved by a person who had actually seen the original menorah, still at use at that time in the Temple.
The museum was built 15 years ago, thanks to a donation by Vivian and Morris Wohl. Restoration activities have been undertaken recently, and a new, modern and attractive presentation, incorporating advanced multimedia systems, is being planned.
The videos on this channel are introductions to all audio tours in the app.The Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem invites you to tour the Herodian Quarter-Wohl Archaeological Museum, a thrilling journey to Jerusalem at the height of its glory-Jerusalem of 2000 years ago.