The Western Wall Heritage Fund
Facts and Figures
  • The Western Wall
  • The Length of the Western Wall
  • The Western Wall Plaza
  • Exposed Sections
  • The Height of the Wall
  • The Stones of the Western Wall
  • The Western Wall Tunnels
  • Ancient Gates
  • Entrance Gates to the Temple Mount
 
The Western Wall
The Western Wall is the western retaining wall of the Temple Mount, the one that was closest to the Holy of Holies when the Temple stood. Traditionally, it is regarded as the only remnant of the Temple. Since the destruction of the Temple, the Western Wall has served as an inspiration to the Jewish people. Since the Six Day War (June, 1967), the Western Wall Plaza has returned to being a place of prayer.
The Length of the Western Wall
The entire Western Wall is approximately 488 meters (1,600 feet) long. In the past, it stood as high as 60 meters (about 197 feet); it now stands only 40 meters (131 feet) tall at its highest exposed point, with the rest remaining underground. The Western Wall Plaza of today is 56.5 meters (187 feet) long and the Wall at the plaza stands approximately 19 meters (62 feet) high.
The Western Wall Plaza
For many generations until the Six Day War, the prayer area in front of the Western Wall consisted only of a narrow alleyway in the Moslem (Moghrabi) neighborhood of the Old City, measuring just 3.6 meters (11.8 feet) wide and 28 meters (92 feet) long. After the Six Day War, the Western Wall Plaza, was greatly expanded and renovated for the many people who come to visit and pray there.
Exposed Sections
Apart from at the Western Wall Plaza, there are two other exposed above-ground sections along the length of the Western Wall: the Southern Section of the Western Wall, and the Small Western Wall in the Muslim Quarter.
The Height of the Wall
At the Western Wall Plaza, the height of the Western Wall from its foundation underground to its top consists of 45 stone courses, 28 of them above ground, and 17 underground.

The height of this section of the Western Wall, from its foundation underground to its peak height, is estimated at 32 meters (105 feet).
The Stones of the Western Wall
The stones of the Western Wall that are exposed at the Western Wall Plaza, as well as those to the south of it and those in the Moslem Quarter, date from different periods. They teach us about the changes that occurred at the Western Wall from the time of the Temple's destruction. The stone courses that are underground, as well as some of the courses that are above ground, are the original Western Wall stones from the time of Herod. Other
stones were placed on top of them during various periods of time. It is possible to distinguish between the original Western Wall stones and the others by their size and the manner in which they were
chiseled. A chiseled outer edge frames every stone hewn in the Herodian style. These original stones are of different sizes. They range from 80 centimeters to 13.6 meters in length, and from 1.1 to 3.5 meters in height. The depth of the stones is approximately 4.6 meters.
The Western Wall Tunnels
In the Western Wall Tunnels, visitors can see the "Master Course", the name given to a row of huge stones in the tunnels. The stones in the "Master Course" are the largest building stones ever found in Israel.
The largest stone is 13.6 meters (44.6 feet) long and approximately 3.3 meters (10.8 feet) wide. It weighs 570 tons.
Ancient Gates
The remains of four ancient gates, described by Josephus, can be found along the Western Wall: Barclay's Gate, Warren's Gate, and the gates above Wilson's Arch and Robinson's Arch. These gates and arches are named for prominent nineteenth-century researchers of Jerusalem.
Entrance Gates to the Temple Mount
Today, there are six entrance gates along the Western Wall leading to the Temple Mount. These gates date from the Early Muslim period until the Ottoman period.
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