The Western Wall Heritage Fund

Wilson's Arch

Wilson's Arch is the largest arch of the Great Bridge that linked the Upper City with the Temple Mount. It lies adjacent to the Western Wall and now serves as the inner, covered section of the Western Wall Plaza. The arch was built during the ancient Muslim period in place of a Second Temple period arch. Josephus called the valley at the foot of the Western Wall the Tyropoeon Valley [Greek for Valley of the Cheese Makers]. In those days, it was impossible to go directly from the Upper City to the Temple Mount without crossing the Great Bridge, which also supported the last leg of the aqueduct that brought water from Solomon's Pools in the Judean Hills to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Based on the information we possess, it is impossible to determine the exact dimensions of the bridge during the Second Temple Period. It was apparently destroyed by Jewish rebels at the beginning of the Great Revolt against the Romans in an attempt to prevent conquest of the Mount. When the Muslims conquered Jerusalem, they renovated the walls surrounding the mountain and rebuilt the arches of the Great Bridge that extended over the valley.
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