The Tower of David (Hebrew: מגדל דוד, Migdal David, Arabic: برج داود, Burj Daud), also known as the Jerusalem Citadel, is an ancient citadel located near the Jaffa Gate entrance to western edge of the Old City of Jerusalem.
The citadel that stands today dates to the Mamluk and Ottoman periods. It was built on the site of a series of earlier ancient fortifications of the Hasmonean, Herodian-era, Byzantine and Early Muslim periods, after being destroyed repeatedly during the last decades of Crusader presence in the Holy Land by Ayyubid and Mamluk rulers. It contains important archaeological finds dating back over 2,000 years including a quarry dated to the First Temple period, and is a popular venue for benefit events, craft shows, concerts, and sound-and-light performances.
Dan Bahat writes that the original three Hasmonean towers were altered by Herod, and that “The northeastern tower was replaced by a much larger, more massive tower, dubbed the “Tower of David” beginning in the 5th century C.E.” The name “Tower of David” is due to Byzantine Christians who believed the site to be the palace of King David. They borrowed the name “Tower of David” from the Song of Songs, attributed to Solomon, King David’s son, who wrote: “Thy neck is like the Tower of David built with turrets, whereon there hang a thousand shields, all the armor of the mighty men.” (Song of Songs, 4:4)