The tomb of King David is situated in a crusader building dating back 1000 years. Some believe that this is King David’s burial place, and Jews come here to pray by the tomb, with a large number of visitors coming for the festival of Shavuot – the anniversary of King David’s death. Historians and archaeologists point out that he would have been buried in the City of David, not here, around 3,000 years ago. Nonetheless, this is the spot which has been designated as his tomb. It is probably no coincidence that the very same building is said to have housed the Last Supper. According to Old Testament prophecy, the Messiah would be the direct descendant of King David, and therefore heir to the throne of Israel. It is therefore no surprise that Crusader Christians would have wanted to link the two biblical figures together by associating one of the most significant moments of the New Testament with the tomb of King David.
The first King to unite the tribes, King David built a central capital in a non-partisan area controlled then by the Jebusites before it was conquered and became Jerusalem. There are many legends associated with King David, from defeating the giant Goliath when he was a boy to playing the harp as a shepherd. Not all the stories paint him in a good light, for example when he fell in love with his best friend’s wife after watching her bathing from afar, he impregnated her and sent his friend to the front lines of battle so that he would be killed.
Interestingly, Judaism was the last of the 3 Abrahamic religions to ascribe holiness to the site, and from around the 17th century the tomb was an elaborately decorated Ottoman mosque. It was only after the War of Independence that it became a major holy site, as other sites like the Western Wall and Rachel’s tomb were on the Jordanian side of the border. Recent vandalism under suspicious circumstances has completely destroyed all remnants of the Ottoman decorations, exposing the original stone, and the site is now a functioning synagogue. Recent Jewish tradition now holds that this is also the burial place of some of King David’s descendants, including King Solomon and King Hezekiah. Whether or not the remains of the legendary king truly lie in this tomb, the site is well worth a visit.
Attractions near David's Tomb, Jerusalem
Below you can find more great places to visit within walking distance.
View on map
Questions and Answers
Have a question to our community? Leave your question here and someone will answer you shortly
What's on your mind about this?
Share your thoughts with us.
Related tours to this Attraction