Whether one tries to grasp its history, contemplate its spirituality, or understand its different cultures, experiencing Jerusalem is a fascinating undertaking.
The Old City is Jerusalem's most touristic sight, with an array of religious and historical buildings. However, the newer districts, which started spreading in the 1860s, should not be missed - start with the quarters of Mishkenot Sha'ananim and Nahalat Shiva. For fashion, novelties, and nightlife, head to the Downtown triangle, between Jaffa Road, King George Street and Ben Yehuda Street, but explore further: you will find a bustling cultural scene and lively entertainment throughout the city. A wild, dusty natural landscape surrounds the urban area.
The history of Jerusalem is restless, and runs through thousands of years. The Canaanite population settled in the area 6,000+ years ago, near the Gihon Spring. After biblical king David conquered the city, his successor Solomon built a legendary Temple: the shrine was the most sacred place for Jewish people, who developed a strong and tormented bound with the land. Jerusalem then became part of the Roman empire. The Temple was definitively destroyed in 70 AD during a dramatic repression by the emperor Titus.
The site of Jesus Christ's death and alleged resurrection, Jerusalem saw the birth of a new religion; it was also the site of an important spiritual journey for Muhammad, the founder of Islam.
The country was shaken by the Crusades during the Middle Ages, and important orders such as the Templar Knights were founded there. It became part of Christian, Arab, then Ottoman Kingdoms. Since the State of Israel was proclaimed in 1947, a tortuous conflict between the state and the previous inhabitants has divided its people.