Sketch of Valleys, Walls, and Gates of Jerusalem
The three valleys that almost surround the Old City are mentioned many times in the Bible. They are the Tyropean, Kidron, and Hinnom Valleys. The Tyropean Valley is located just to the west of the Ophel. It is difficult to see today because it has been filled in during construction and reconstruction in the Old City. The Kidron Valley is located between the Mount of Olives and the Temple Mount. All travelers coming to Jerusalem from the east pass through this valley. The Hinnom Valley is located just south of the Old City. This was the place where the city's garbage dump was located. Jesus made smbolic reference to the unfaithful being cast into "gehenna," thus using the Hinnom Valley as a symbol or example of a wasted or worthless life.
The present walls of the Old City were built by the Ottoman ruler Suliman the Magnificent, between 1537-1542 C.E. The walls of the time of Jesus were further to the south than the walls of today.
The Old City is divided into four sections: the Christian Quarter to the northwest, the Muslim Quarter to the northeast, the Armenian Quarter to the southwest, and the Jewish Quarter to the southeast. If you are interested in seeing images of all the gates of the Old City, see "Gates of the Old City."
[Archaeology] [Images of selected sites in Jerusalem]