Jerusalem is a city located on a plateau in the Jewish mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. One of the oldest cities in the world, it is considered a holy city in the three great Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
The part of Jerusalem called the City of David was installed in the 4th millennium BC. In 1538, walls were built around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent. Today, these walls define the old town, which has traditionally been divided into four neighborhoods – known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian, Jewish and Muslim quarters. The old town became a World Heritage Site in 1981. Modern Jerusalem has grown beyond the boundaries of the Old City.
According to biblical tradition, King David conquered the city of the Jebusites and established him as the capital of the United Kingdom of Israel, and his son, King Solomon, commanded the construction of the First Temple. The holiness of Jerusalem in Christianity, preserved in the Septuagint which Christians have adopted as their own authority, has been strengthened by the New Testament account of the crucifixion of Jesus there. In Sunni Islam, Jerusalem is the third most sacred city, after Mecca and Medina. In the Islamic tradition in 610 CE, he became the first qibla, the focal point for Muslim prayer (salat), and Muhammad made his nocturnal journey there ten years later, ascending to heaven where he speaks to God, according to the Koran. Despite an area of only 0.9 square kilometers, the old town is home to many sites of religious seminal importance, among them the Temple Mount with its western wall, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Outside the old town stands the tomb of the garden.
All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset (Israeli parliament), the residences of the Prime Minister and the President, and the Supreme Court. Jerusalem is also home to some Israeli non-governmental institutions of national importance, such as the Hebrew University and the Israel Museum with its Book Sanctuary.