About the Museum
If the walls of the Tower of David could speak, what would they say? What would they reveal about the unparalleled historical events that created the city’s character over thousands of years?
These questions are explored at the Tower of David Museum - a unique historical site in Jerusalem and indeed, in the entire world.
The museum is located in the Tower of David Citadel, the iconic symbol of Jerusalem, and uses innovative and exciting technology to tell the stories of more than 3,000 years.
The Citadel, which is situated at the meeting point between the eastern and western parts of the city, expresses the continuing dialogue between ancient and modern Jerusalem that continues to our day. The Tower of David looks out over the walls of the ancient city and into the distance, and receives visitors to the Old City through the main entryway - Jaffa gate.
The Citadel, and the archaeological finds unearthed here, are part of the events that shaped the face of Jerusalem from the days of the kings of Biblical Judah until our own times. In 2014, the Tower of David Museum opened a new wing, the Kishle, in an old prison complex. A tour of the Kishle exposes the depth of history in Jerusalem, and tells awe-inspiring stories about the many uses of this one space through history.
Throughout the year, the museum features changing exhibitions and cultural events and performances, which draw a wide range of visitors of every age, religion and nationality. All those who love Jerusalem are invited to explore, touch and experience Jerusalem’s intense, emotional, and sometimes surprising perspectives.
Please note: The core exhibition of the museum is presently closed and the new exhibition will open in 2023.
Night Experiences - Sound and Light at the Tower of David
All through the year, two sound-and-light shows are screened on the walls of the citadel: the classic Night Spectacular, and KING DAVID. These Night Experiences create multi-sensory encounters between the past, the present and the future, and bring Jerusalem’s stories to life. The shows are projected using advanced multimedia technology - videography, sound and lighting – that combine to create monumental, breathtaking, lifelike images.
The Night Experiences are screened in the international language of sound and images, and are appropriate for everyone, at every age, of every religion and nationality.
Model of Jerusalem in the 19th century
A large one-of-a-kind model, made in 1872 by the Hungarian pilgrim Stephan Illes, depicts Jerusalem as it appeared in his time. The model’s unique character is apparent in its many details and shows the city before the significant changes of the 20th century. (The model preserves, for example, the Jewish Quarter before it was destroyed in 1948.) In 1985 the model was transferred to Jerusalem, restored and repaired, and is on permanent loan to the Tower of David Museum.
Establishment of the Museum
The Tower of David Museum, which is located within the ancient guardrooms of the Citadel, was opened to the public in April 1989. The initiator of this idea, the late Teddy Kollek, then Mayor of the city of Jerusalem, sought to revive a tradition from the days of the British Mandate, and use the site as a complex for culture. He envisioned the Citadel as a showcase for temporary exhibitions (as it had been between 1921-1932) and a backdrop for cultural events.
In order to prepare the Citadel for the public, archaeological excavations were undertaken and many of the Citadel’s rooms were renovated in order to turn them into suitable museum spaces. Besides restoring the guardrooms for the permanent exhibition, the Crusader halls, used today for temporary exhibitions, were renovated and two walkways were created along the walls of the citadel. Paths were also paved among the archaeological finds within the citadel courtyard.
The Tower of David Museum is located within the iconic citadel of Jerusalem and presents the city’s full story, emphasizing the importance of Jerusalem to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It portrays the city’s relevance and its re-establishment as the capital of modern Israel.
The Tower of David Museum draws from the city's multifaceted history and the inspiring events that took place here. It offers core and contemporary exhibitions that rely on current academic research; modern and creative cultural events; and educational tours to discover the sites, people and treasures of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem’s ancient fortifications are displayed in the courtyard and archaeological gardens of the citadel and comply with meticulous conservation practices.
The Tower of David Museum is located
near the Jaffa Gate in the
Old City of Jerusalem
*Please note: Due to ongoing construction at the Tower of David there may be changes in the accessbility of parts of the site. Please call *2884 for up to date information.