6 PICTURESQUE PALESTINE.
Haram esh Sherif. The surface of the Haram enclosure is studded with cypress and olive,
and its sides are surrounded, in part, by the finest mural masonry in the world, capable, even
in its decay, of affecting men's minds more strongly than any other building of the ancient
world. At its southern end is the Mosque el Aksa and a pile of buildings formerly used by
the Knights Templars. Nearly in the centre is a raised platform paved with stone, from the
centre of which rises the well-known "Dome of the Rock" (Kubbet es Sakhra) (see vignette,
title-page). Within this sacred enclosure stood the Temple of the Jews, but all traces of it
have long since disappeared, and its exact position has for years been one of the most fiercely
contested points in Jerusalem topography.
Beyond Mount Moriah and the Valley of the Tyropoeon, which can be plainly distinguished running down from the Damascus Gate, is the western hill, now known as Zion. The
ancient city extended over the entire hill, but the southern end is now bare. Within the
modern walls the ground is thickly covered with houses, except on the west, where there is an
open space occupied by gardens. At the north-west corner, where the road from Jaffa enters
the town, is the Citadel with its massive towers, and adjoining them on the south are the
principal barracks of the Turkish garrison.
From the Jaffa Gate on the west, a street, following apparently the direction of a small
lateral branch of the Tyropoeon Valley, runs eastward, along the northern side of the Zion of
to-day, to the Haram esh Sherif. North of this line stretches the Christian quarter of the town,
rising gradually to the north-west till it reaches the corner of the modern wall at Goliath's
Castle (Kalat Julud), a ruined castle, supposed by some writers to be the tower Psephinus
mentioned by Josephus. Nearly in the centre of this quarter lies the Church of the Holy
Without the walls towards the north-west is the great Russian establishment, consulate,
cathedral, and hospice, which, like some great fortress or barrack, overshadows and
completely dominates the Holy City. In the same direction are the less pretentious buildings
of the German orphanage for girls, and the Syrian orphanage for boys, as well as the
church of the native Protestant community.
Jerusalem is entirely surrounded by a massive wall built by Sultan Suleiman in a.d. 1542.
It is provided with numerous flanking towers, and protected on the north by a ditch partly
cut in the rock. The form of the city is that of an irregular quadrangle, and the total extent
of the walls is about two and a half miles. There are ten gates in the walls, five of which are
open and five closed. Of the former, the Jaffa Gate is on the west, the Damascus Gate on the
north, St. Stephen's Gate on the east, and the Zion and Dune Gates on the south; of the
latter, the Gate of Flowers or of Herod is on the north, the Golden Gate on the east, and
the Single, Double, and Triple Gates on the south. From the Jaffa Gate the street of
David runs eastward to the " Gate of the Chain," the principal entrance to the Haram esh
Sherif. From the Damascus Gate one street traverses the city from north to south, passing
near the eastern end of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and through the bazaars to the