Jerusalem located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, is one of the oldest cities in the world. In the ancient cuneiform, Jerusalem was called Urusalima, meaning ‘City of Peace’, during the early Canaanite period (approximately 2400 BC). It is considered a Holy city to the three major Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital, as the State of Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there while the State of Palestine ultimately foresees the city as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognised internationally.
During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. The part of Jerusalem called the City of David was settled in the 4th millennium BCE. In 1538, walls were built around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent. Today those walls define the Old City, which has been traditionally divided into four quarters (known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters). The Old City became a World Heritage Site in 1981, and is on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Modern Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old City's boundaries. Despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometres the Old City is home to many sites of seminal religious importance, among them the Temple Mount and its Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock (shown below), the Garden Tomb and al-Aqsa Mosque. Today, the status of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Nevertheless, all branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset (Israel's parliament), the residences of the Prime Minister and President, and the Supreme Court. The international community does not recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and the city hosts no foreign embassies.
Jerusalem is also home to some non-governmental Israeli institutions of national importance, such as the Hebrew University and the Israel Museum with its Shrine of the Book. In 2011, Jerusalem had a population of 801,000, of which Jews comprised 497,000 (62%), Muslims 281,000 (35%), Christians 14,000 (around 2%) and 9,000 (1%) were not classified by religion.
This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.