Western Wall Tunnel

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Western Wall Tunnel

The long tunnel beyond the men's side of the Western Wall is not a rediscovered ancient thoroughfare, but was deliberately dug in recent years with the purpose of exposing a strip of the 2,000-year-old Western Wall along its entire length. The massive construction, part of the retaining wall of King Herod's Temple Mount, includes two building stones estimated to weigh an incredible 400 tons and 570 tons, respectively. Local guided tours in English are available and are recommended—you can visit the site only as part of an organized tour—but the times change from week to week (some include evening hours). The tour takes about 75 minutes and includes computer-generated graphics of how the area might have looked in its heyday. During daylight hours, tours end at the beginning of the Via Dolorosa, in the Muslim Quarter. After dark, that exit is closed, and the tour retraces its steps through the tunnel. The ticket office is under the arches at the northern end of the Western Wall plaza, but advance booking online is essential.

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