Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Aerial shot of the Temple Mount (from Yediot) shows the location of the Western Wall, al-Aqsa mosque, and shaky Southern wall. Yahoo unfortunately made the picture smaller.

Yediot also provides the following background:

Like other parts of the wall, the Southern wall was built by King Herod in the first century CE. In the course of years, parts were destroyed, and the most recent repair was carried out by the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Great in 1517.

The south-east portion of the wall is one of the highest segments of the Old City Wall, and its foundation reaches several tens of meters underground. The protrusion that was discovered is found in the Ottoman section of the wall. Adjacent to the inside face [near the protrusion] is an area called "Solomon's Stables", which was renovated in 1996 and became the large roofed mosque that bears the name "Almoosa Almarwani" - a mosque that was renovated and built by the Arab-Israeli "Islamic Movement".

Jews were accustomed to pray at the south part of the wall in previous centuries because of prohibtions against praying at the Western Wall. In the Second Temple period, stairs were erected on the south wall which led to Hulda Gates (the Double Gate). These wide steps, still visible today, led to the gates.

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