The heart of Jerusalem is in the square-mile walled Old City, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site containing the holy places of the three monotheistic faiths, and at its heart is the Temple Mount. Beneath the turquoise-tiled, golden-domed Dome of the Rock is where Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac, and atop the First and Second Temples constructed.
The Second Temple, destroyed by the Romans, led to the expulsion of Jews from their homeland.
Down the ensuing centuries, Jerusalem became holy to both Christians and Muslim, but it was the western retaining wall of the Temple Mount enclosure that became the focus of Jewish pilgrimage for close to 2,000 years -The Wailing Wall.
The Old City’s historic Armenian, Christian, Jewish and Muslim neighbourhoods are divided into four residential quarters and retain much of their heritage.
The Jewish Quarter, restored since the city’s unification in 1967, is home to thousands of Jewish Israelis, yeshivas, museums, ancient shopping streets and the grandly rebuilt Hurva Synagogue.
The present-day city began its growth in the mid-19th-century, and the early 20th-century buildings of central New Jerusalem are evocative of small-town and Bauhaus Europe. The modern town now dwarfs the ancient walled city - elegant boulevards lead to dozens of residential neighbourhoods, shopping areas, museums, the government complex including the Knesset or Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum.