The government of Israel is advancing a plan to build a cable car in Jerusalem from Derech Hebron road to the Old City. The cable car would dramatically change the landscape south of the Old City including the areas of the Hinnom Valley, Mt. Zion, Silwan/City of David, the skyline and the landscape of the Old City walls.

We are conducting a walking tour of the Hinnom Valley, following the route of the planned cable car and the ancient landscapes it will undoubtedly alter. The tour will reveal the cultural wealth of the valley over which the cable car is slated to be built, its’ importance to the history of the city and the ancient traditions associated with the place. The tour will also present the latest plans for the area including a suspension bridge and the cable car and the political and economic interests that underlie them.

The length of the tour is two hours.


Meeting place Gan Hapa’amon Parking lot
Start 14:00
Guiding Maps
Walking trail
Not included
Entrance fee to sites (we will not enter sites that charge a fee)
End Jerusalem Cinematheque

The First Station Site

We will visit the place where the first station of the cable car is to be built. We will present the main points of the cable car program – routes, stations, railroad cars, infrastructures and more. We will discuss the economic, transportation, tourism and political interests behind the project and try to understand whom the cable car will serve and who are the bodies promoting it.

The Blind Garden

We will walk to Hebron Road and from there to the Blind Garden in the Abu Tor neighborhood. We will speak about Abu Tor and the border that passed through here, dividing between Israel and Jordan from 1948 until 1967. We will proceed to walk to the Mount Zion observation point and discuss the importance of this mount in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and about the many and varied cemeteries located at its hillside. We will trace the meaning of the name “Guy Ben Hinnom” (The Hinnom Valley) and its biblical sources.

The Karaite Cemetery

We will descend the steps to the Karaite cemetery, speaking about the Karaite community and its connection to Jerusalem.

Burial caves from the Judean Kingdom period

We will descend towards rock-cut caves that are located down the valley. We will learn about the burial practices of the 6th to 8th centuries BCE and will follow the changes in the way caves were used for thousands of years. Finally, we will discuss the importance of protecting the ancient green valley surrounding the Old City as an open area and as a multicultural space.

The Café of the El'ad Foundation

We will pass by the location where the El’ad Foundation plans to build a coffee shop in the Valley of Hinnom, and mention other tourist development plans by the foundation in the valley.

Sambursky cemetery and lookout point towards the Old City

We will walk to an observation point overlooking the Old City. Here we will tell the story of the Sambursky cemetery, which served the poor of Jerusalem in the 19th century. We will get to know the Palestinian neighborhoods and the sites surrounding the Old City. We will discuss the efforts of the settler organizations El’ad and Ateret Cohanim to purchase properties and Judaize Silwan’s neighborhoods, and examine the role of the cable car in the political struggle taking place in the Old City and in the historic basin.

The Bones House, the Monastery of Onuphrius and the Field of Blood ''Hakl Dama''

We will descend on foot towards the ‘Bones House’ and the border of the Monastery of Onuphrius. We will hear about the history of Monk Onuphrius and the Field of Blood, which according to Christian tradition is located here and is the piece of land purchased in return for Jesus’ handover to the Romans. We will visit the Bones House and hear about its use as a burial place for pilgrims during the Crusader period. Next to it are burial caves from the time of the Second Temple and we will discuss the changes that occurred in the burial traditions from the time of the Kingdom of Judah to the Second Temple period. We will recall the ancient custom of Jews who lived outside the Land of Israel to come and be buried in Jerusalem during the Second Temple period.

A-Sham'a Neighborhood

We will walk towards the Cinematheque to look at the Jerusalem Music Center, which used to be the synagogue of the a-Sham’a neighborhood. We will tell the history of the neighborhood and its residents and talk about what happened to it.

The cable car from 1948

We will return to the Mount Zion Hotel and tell about the historic cable car that was operated by Israeli fighters during the War of Independence and reached Mount Zion. We will compare the two projects and dwell on the advantages and disadvantages of the cable car, alternatives, and the ways in which the Old City can be accessible without compromising its historical character and without harming some of its residents.

Tour Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Leave a Review