I visited Israel this year for the first time from February 11th to the 25th. It was a mind-blowing experience.
One of the top, if not THE top, “must see” sights is the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
This is the view most people have in mind when they think of the Western Wall.
What most people fail to realize is that section of the Western Wall is only about the top 55 feet or so. It continues down underground for another 100 feet! This is because the section of the Western Wall Plaza you see above was built on a series of arches extending up from true ground level.
In order to more fully appreciate all of the Western Wall, you really need to take what is known as the Tunnel Tour.
Once you get underground, you can see how the Plaza above rests on top of huge arches leading up to the Wall.
The first thing you encounter when you reach the Wall is what is known as the Western Stone.
It’s big. REALLY big. The stone is 13.6 meters (44.6 feet) long and 3 metres (9.8 feet) high and has an estimated width of 3.3 meters (10.8 feet).
This single stone is about the size of a modern day bus. It is one of the largest building stones in the world. It weighs 570 tons!!
It starts here at the right…
… continues on… and on… for almost 45 feet..
And ends at the left of this frame.
No one knows how the Jews were able to place a block this big in this spot!
There is not a crane in modern day Israel today that is capable of lifting this stone.
So if you are ever looking at The Wall from the Plaza, think of the depth (in all senses of the word) of that structure.
May the Temple be rebuilt, speedily and in our time.
All photos taken by Daniel Ventresca using a Canon PowerShot A2400 IS digital camera. Last image taken by Tomer Aharon.