Where to go Guide
The Western Wall (Wailing Wall), or as it is known in Arabic, Ha’it Al-Buraq, is a section of the walls surrounding Haram As-Sharif that dates back to Herod’s Second Temple (20BC). The upper levels of the walls were repaired first by the Umayyads, and later, after a devastating earthquake in 1033, by the Fatimids.
In Islamic tradition, it was on this wall that Mohammed tied the heavenly steed, Al-Buraq (meaning ‘lightening’), after being transported from Mecca to Jerusalem during the ‘Night Journey’ (Lailat al Mi’raj). The reference to the wall as the Wailing Wall, or el-Mabka, refers to the Jewish tradition of gathering at the spot to mourn the destruction of the Second Temple.
The area adjacent to the Ha’it Al Buraq was historically the Maghrebi Quarter of the Old City and the site of the Al-Buraq Mosque. In 1967, the Israeli authorities took control of the site and demolished the homes of the Maghrebi Quarter, as well as the Al-Buraq Mosque, to make way for the Western Wall Plaza, which is now used for religious and nationalist gatherings.
Currently, there are two entrances to the area, controlled by the Israeli authorities. Visitors will need to go through security screening and present their passports in order to enter the plaza.