December 2014       
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Tower of David Museum. Photo by Pini Hemo
The Citadel courtyard after the archaeological excavations, 1982-1983. Tower of David Museum
The Citadel courtyard during restoration works, 1983-1984. Tower of David Museum
Restoration of the halls in the Citadel, 1986. Tower of David Museum

The History of the Museum

The Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem opened to the public in April 1989. Its establishment was initiated and promoted by then mayor, the late Mr. Teddy Kollek, who sought to revive a tradition dating back to the British Mandate when the site served as a cultural center housing temporary exhibitions (1921-1931) and cultural events. 

In order to prepare the citadel to house the city’s museum, archaeological digs were conducted and a large scale restoration was undertaken: the citadel’s guardrooms were restored and adapted to serve as galleries for the permanent exhibition on the history of Jerusalem; a crusader hall was prepared for housing temporary exhibitions; promenades along the citadel wall’s were restored to view spectacular cityscape views and walking paths were laid down in the citadel’s courtyard, among the archaeological findings. The restoration and adaptation of the citadel, which preserves the special character of the site, was carried out in strict accordance with preservation rules enshrined in international conventions. 

In parallel, a professional staff worked on developing the permanent exhibition of the history of Jerusalem. The decision to have an interpretive exhibition which is not based on a collection of authentic artifacts, but rather utilizes a myriad of illustrative methods in order to relate the city’s history was groundbreaking.

Ever since it’s opening day, the Tower of David Museum has ranked among the leading historical museums in the world.

The museum’s establishment was made possible with the aid of Dame Vivien Duffield and the Clore Israel Foundation through the Jerusalem Foundation.

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