The Ophel Garden refers to a long and narrow hill, located beyond the southern edge of the Temple Mount. The entire area is lower than the Temple Mount and there’s a need to climb up towards it. The Ophel Garden is bordered by Tyropoeon Valley, Ben Hinnom Gorge to the Valley of Hinnom, and Kidron Valley.
The City of David Hill, the ancient nucleus of Jerusalem is located in the southern part of the Ophel Garden. It is accepted among scholars that the city expanded to include the Ophel during King Solomon’s era when he built the Temple on Temple Mount. During the return to Zion era, people settled down in Ophel in order to be closer to the Temple.
The Ophel Garden Corner is the name of the south-east intersection of the Temple Mount Wall. In this area, the Herodian Wall rises to its highest – 20 meters, with an additional 20 meters penetrating the ground. The wall connects to the older, Hasmonean wall. The Ophel Corner is mentioned in the Tosefta regarding the issue of when to stop praying for rain: “Go out and see, if a man stands at the Ophel Corner and baths his feet in Kidron Valley, we pray for no rain.”
Extensive archeological excavations were performed in Ophel Garden: Benjamin Mazar and Meir Ben Dov exposed the Hulda steps leading to the double gate and a series of buildings from the Umayyad period. Plus, a system of fortifications from the first Temple was exposed. Presumably, they were built by King Solomon.
Nowadays, the site is being operated through cooperation with the Restoration and Development of the Jewish Quarter Company which operates the adjacent Davidson Center.
The Mikveh compounds from the Second Temple period, at the foot of the southern wall and Hulda steps, were used by the pilgrims to ascend to the Temple Mount.
The site is suitable for hosting special events.
The entrance requires a fee, paid at Davidson Center checking points.