Western Wall (HaKotel HaMaaravi) - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Western Wall (HaKotel HaMaaravi)

Western Wall (HaKotel HaMaaravi)

The Western Wall, known to non-Jews as the Wailing Wall, is the most sacred Jewish prayer-site in the world. Thousands of worshippers gather year-round to pray there, and to place folded written prayers into the crevices of the wall. The 1,916-foot (584m) wall is all that remains of the Second Temple of Jerusalem, built in 30BC by King Herod. It is made up of enormous stone blocks, and endures as a tribute to the scale of workmanship in past eras. Following Orthodox Jewish practice, the praying sections have been separated for men and women. Men are required to wear a skullcap (kippah) and women must be modestly dressed. On Fridays, the Jewish Shabbat or Sabbath, the men's section particularly pulsates with the songs and prayers of the faithful, for in principle, the whole area is an Orthodox synagogue. The wall is also sacred to Muslims, who believe that it is where the prophet Muhammad tied up his winged horse, al-Buraq, before ascending into heaven.

Information & Facts

Temple Mount, Old City
Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages of Israel. Most of the population also speak English.

The Israeli Shekel (ILS) is divided into 100 agorot (singular is agora). Money can be changed in the small exchange bureaux found on most main streets, or at banks and hotels. ATMs are prevalent throughout the country and linked to American systems. Most banks are open Sunday through to Friday until noon, and are open again from 4pm till 6pm on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Major credit cards are widely accepted, as are travellers cheques, though commission on these is high.

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