Jerusalem Museums

Living Jerusalem Museums

Praying at the Western Wall by Nitzan Levi ©
There are many places of interest in Jerusalem. Museums are buildings or sites that have been excavated. It would not be wrong to say that Jerusalem is a living museum. Such an ancient city has layers and layers of history. There are probably many more exciting finds to be made in this location. Israel has made a big effort to make the history of Jerusalem, its people and religions easy for visitors to experience.

Some of the Jerusalem museums are in in modern buildings. The architecture of these modern museums is worth seeing. Having a contrast between the modern and the ancient is very much a feature of Jerusalem.

The buildings and locations are very well managed. They are made up of exhibitions that are world standard. The city of Jerusalem has used the best technology available to make the exhibitions special.

Time Elevator

The Time Elevator is a simulated ride. Each member of the audience is given headphones. The theme of the journey is the history of the city. This is a good Jerusalem museum to start with. It may be an advantage to visit the Time Elevator before making any other stops.

The Time Elevator journey will give the visitor an overall picture of the history of the city. The visitor will actually experience fires and earthquakes and the destruction of Jerusalem. For this reason there are stationary seats. These are for those with motion sickness, pregnant women and heart patients.

The audience will see, hear and feel:
The days of King David and Solomon
The birth of Christianity
The Start of Islam
Six Day War in 1967
Aerial ride over modern Jerusalem

Time Elevator:
37 Hillel St
Tel 02-6252227
Sunday - Thursday 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. – 4p.m.
Saturday 9.40 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Web Site

Burnt House

This historical site has been turned into a Jerusalem museum that is a must to visit. The Burnt House is in the Jewish Quarter in the Old City. This part of the Old City was the Herodian Quarter. It was the area where the wealthy of that time period lived. The Herodian Quarter was burnt to the ground by the Romans. This event took place in 70 CE. The house was excavated in modern times.

What makes the Burnt House so interesting is its basement. It was used as a laboratory for producing incense for Temple rituals. The house was lived in by the Kathros family. They were a priestly family. Visitors can view an arm bone, coin mould, vessels and spearheads used in the house.

There is a drainage canal that may have been a hiding place for the family of the house. They would have died from breathing in smoke. The Burnt House is a very personal look at life in 70 CE.

Burnt House
2 Tiferet Yisrael St
Tel 02-6287211
Mon – Thurs & Sat 9 a.m. – 4.30p.m.
Fri 9 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.

Want to learn more about Jerusalem History? Please click here.

Western Wall Tunnel

Any visitor wanting to participate must book in advance. Visitors to the Western Wall Tunnel are guided through the halls. It is hard to believe that this underground structure was once visible above ground. There is the Wilson Arch that supported a bridge. The bridge connected the Temple Mount to the upper city. Visitors can view a stone block that is the largest ever used in the building of the wall.

Jerusalem Model by James Emery ©

The visitor can see huge rooms from different time periods. It is thought one of the halls was the Jerusalem Council meeting place. It would have been used during the Hasmonean period as the city archives. The information is very interesting. The guide makes use of an easy to understand audio-visual display. There are also lifelike models to help the visitor understand the layout and function of the tunnel. Any person interested in the Western Wall will enjoy this Jerusalem museum site.

Western Wall Tunnel
Tel 02-627133
Mon – Thurs & Sun 8.30 a.m. – 3.30 p.m.
Fri 8.30 a.m. – midday

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Yad Vasham

This is a memorial to the millions of Jews murdered during the time of the Holocaust. Since it was established in 1953 Yad Vasham has gathered personal information of the martyrs who were killed. Visitors will see displays of how people tried to survive in the ghettos and concentration camps. Many visitors spend at least half a day or more at the complex.

Yad Vasham houses an academic research institute. Seminars and programs for educators are sponsored. Visitors are encouraged to add information to the data base of individuals who perished. There is also an opportunity to buy books, videos, CDs and documentary videos. Light meals are served in a cafeteria. Before leaving the complex a lot of visitors spend some private time in the new synagogue. A visit to Yad Vasham is recommended. Please click here to read more.

Yad Vasham
Har Hazikaron (near Har Herzl)
Tel 02-6443400
Sun – Thurs 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Fri & eve Jewish holidays 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Web Site

Museum on the Seam

This is a museum created for dialogue, understanding and coexistence. Visitors might think it is only for Jews and Arabs. But Museum on the Seam is for the whole of Israeli society. This is a society that has other differences. A visit is a guided tour of many exhibits. The tours are carried out in Hebrew, Arabic and English. The museum has an appropriate situation. It is on the seam (ridge) between East (Arab) and West (Jewish) Jerusalem. It is also on the seam between the secular and the ultra-orthodox areas.

Many visitors have described the message of the Museum on the Seam as thought provoking. The museum uses high tech methods to promote thoughtfulness of complex situations. This is a Jerusalem museum that provides a good setting for people to concentrate on all the people that make up Israel.

Museum on the Seam
4 Chel Handasa St
Tel 02-6261248
Sun, Mon, Wed Thurs 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tues 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

The Israel Museum

Jerusalem History

This Museum is one of the largest in the world. It holds exhibitions of world cultures from different times.

Here you can view the Billy Rose Art Garden, The Ruth Young Wing, The World’s most complete collected works of Judaica and the The Shrine of the Book (The Dead Sea Scrolls). A special program for young visitors is available.

The Israel Museum
Ruppin Road
Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tues 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri 10 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Sat 10 p.m. – 4p.m.
Jerusalem Museums with all its complexities seems to reflect the life of the rest of the world. Perhaps it is a good place to end a visit to an extraordinary city.

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