The Israel Trivia Quiz

The Famous Wailing Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem – History and Significance

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Welcome, trivia enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into the historical treasure trove of the Old City of Jerusalem and the famous Wailing Wall.

As part of our exploration, we’ll be unraveling a popular question from The Israel Trivia Quiz that has stumped many quiz-goers. So, buckle up and get ready to unearth some remarkable insights!

Here’s Our Question of the Day

See if you can answer this question from The Israel Trivia Quiz before reading on.

The Wailing Wall or Western Wall

The famous wall in the Old City of Jerusalem is known by two names: the Wailing Wall and the Western Wall.

The term ‘Wailing Wall’ is derived from the people’s practice of lamenting the destruction of the ancient Jewish temples that once stood on the Temple Mount adjacent to the wall.

On the other hand, the name ‘Western Wall’ refers to its location on the western side of the Temple Mount.

This significant structure is a remnant of the retaining wall that once surrounded the Second Temple, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. Even today, it serves as a place of prayer and pilgrimage for people of the Jewish faith.

Historical Importance

The Wailing Wall is one of the most sacred sites in Judaism and holds great historical and religious significance for Jewish people around the world.

Following the Jewish exile, the collective yearning for Jerusalem and the Temple was expressed through prayers and rituals at the Wailing Wall, making it a symbol of Jewish continuity and resilience.

Visiting the Site

The Wailing Wall is visited by millions of people from various countries each year. Visitors can witness the devout prayers and the insertion of written prayers into the cracks of the ancient stones.

The divided sections of the wall provide separate prayer areas for men and women, reflecting the traditional gender divisions in Jewish religious practices.

Misconceptions About the Name of the Famous Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem

Northern Wall

Contrary to popular belief, the Northern Wall is not the name of the famous wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. In fact, the Northern Wall refers to the side of the Temple Mount, also known as the Noble Sanctuary. It is a significant area in Jerusalem’s Old City, but it is not where the Wailing Wall or Western Wall is located. The Western Wall is actually the western support wall of the Temple Mount. Visitors to the site often mistake the Northern Wall as the location of the famous Western Wall, leading to this common misconception.

Southern Wall

Many people believe the Southern Wall is the name of the famous wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, but this is not the case. The Southern Wall, also part of the Temple Mount, holds immense historical and religious significance. However, it does not bear the title of the iconic Wailing Wall or Western Wall. The Southern Wall is home to the southern steps of the Temple Mount and is a site of pilgrimage for many. Despite its importance, it is distinct from the well-known Western Wall.

Eastern Wall

While the Eastern Wall is an integral part of the Old City of Jerusalem, it is not the famous wall in question. The Eastern Wall runs along the eastern side of the Temple Mount, enclosing the area and contributing to the city’s historical significance. However, it is not the location of the revered Western Wall, where people from all over the world gather to pray and contemplate. The Western Wall, or Wailing Wall, is situated on the western side of the Temple Mount, distinct from the Eastern Wall that encloses the area.


In the end, the famous wall in the Old City of Jerusalem is known as the Wailing Wall or the Western Wall. It holds great significance for the Jewish faith and is a revered site for visitors from around the world.

If you found this information insightful, why not put your knowledge to the test by taking the Israel Trivia Quiz? See how much you know about the diverse and storied history of this remarkable region. Challenge yourself and discover even more about the world around you!

Professor Leonard Whitman