Imagine being able to glide your hand over stone walls built by King Solomon, or walk through an ancient gatehouse used as a pulpit by Isaiah and other biblical prophets. Imagine being able to visit King David’s palace, or walk through the 1,740-foot tunnel carved from stone by King Hezekiah, or peer into the pit Jeremiah the prophet was cast into.
Thanks to the work of Dr. Mazar and colleagues, as well as the efforts of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the City of David Foundation, visitors to ancient Jerusalem can now experience all this biblical history and much, much more!
As part of its mission to share ancient Jerusalem’s biblical history, the Armstrong Institute of Biblical Archaeology provides personal tours of the City of David and the Ophel.
Your tour will be led by either Brent Nagtegaal or Christopher Eames. Both men live with their families in Jerusalem and worked extensively with Dr. Eilat Mazar from 2006 until her death in May 2021. The standard tour takes roughly three hours. However, the tour can be tailored to meet specific needs, interests or time constraints.
The tour starts on the Ophel, or what Dr. Mazar liked to call “King Solomon’s royal quarter.” Here, you will walk through a massive gatehouse and by walls constructed during the reign of King Solomon, and visit the exact location where the personal seals of King Hezekiah and Isaiah were discovered.
From the Ophel, you will take the short walk to the City of David. Here, the tour guides will show you the colossal ruins of the Large Stone Structure and explain the science that led Dr. Mazar and others to conclude that these are the ancient foundations of King David’s palace. In the City of David, you will also see the impressive Stepped Stone Structure, the location of Nehemiah’s hastily constructed wall (Nehemiah 6), and the exact location where the bullae of the Judean princes responsible for imprisoning the Prophet Jeremiah were found (Jeremiah 38).
Finally, the tour will end with a visit to the Gihon Spring, Jerusalem’s only perennial water source. Hidden by fortification structures constructed during the time of Abraham, this natural spring is one of Jerusalem’s greatest attractions. From the Gihon, you can choose to walk through the 2,700-year-old water tunnel built by King Hezekiah while under threat from Assyria’s King Sennacherib.