Lecture entitled “Jerusalem in the Ottoman Era” C2

Lecture entitled “Jerusalem in the Ottoman Era” C2

(The video at the bottom of the article)

Economic and social life in the Ottoman era
An administrative apparatus for the economic system was built in Jerusalem, known as the artisanal communities, and the population fluctuated during the Ottoman era due to natural human causes.




Industry is of high importance, Being responsive to the basic needs of the population, The food, textile, metallurgical and leather industries… Etcetera An administrative apparatus for the economic system has been built in Jerusalem, known as the artisan communities. It is to appoint a sheikh for each sect who works to manage its affairs and regulate its relations, Among the professions that have been included in these sects are confectioners, tanners, weavers, and goldsmiths, … etc.
Among the most prominent industries that were widespread in Jerusalem was the soap industry, textile industry, It was so popular that it was exported to neighboring countries, especially Egypt and Cyprus.


Markets & Boxes


It is a group of shops lined up on both sides of some streets within the city, with ceilings knotted and interspersed with openings for light to enter, For the kindness of those who roam in it in summer and winter, Each market had two entrances that closed at night, As for the markets of Jerusalem in this era, they are:
Traders Market, Algokh Market, vegetable market, exchange market, Market. Cooks Attarin Market, Pride Market, The big market.
Khan: It is a large building consisting of a number of architectural elements, each of which has an architectural and construction function, Among them: Khan al-Zayt, Khan al-Ghadriyya, Khan al-Amara al-Amerah, Khan al-Fahm, Khan al-Wakala .


He continued in a lecture entitled “Jerusalem in the Ottoman Era” part 2

Qattanin Market

Social Conditions:


The population of Jerusalem in the sixteenth century was 14,000 people, The population fluctuated during the Ottoman era due to natural human causes, including the spread of diseases, the low level of medical services, as well as the disasters that struck the region from time to time.
It is noteworthy that the largest imbalance in the population was in the last years of Ottoman rule, when the First World War, drought, locust outbreaks and diseases that killed large numbers of people.


Foreign Competition:


Foreign Competition in Jerusalem: It appears at the end of the Ottoman era that the pace of foreign penetration began to accelerate remarkably, as this represented the beginning of the opening of foreign consulates in Jerusalem, the first of which was the British consulate in 1838 AD after Muhammad Ali Pasha allowed them to do so, who was then in control of all the Levant, Other countries have been tempted to open consulates, including Russia. The activities of these consulates focused on taking care of the interests of their country in Jerusalem. Obtaining intelligence about these countries as well as monitoring the activities of other countries.


The position of the Ottoman Empire on foreign activity in Jerusalem:


  • The Ottoman Empire initially kept pace with the political pressures exerted by the ambassadors of foreign countries and appeased their military build-ups. Moreover, economic problems caused the Ottoman Empire to delay in issuing its position on foreign policies. But it procrastinated or even prevented the issuance of consulates and permits to purchase land for the construction of consulates, It also supported the population in the face of the policies of foreign countries.
  • World War I was an opportunity for the Ottomans to prevent foreign infiltration activity in Jerusalem in light of its alliance with Germany. It froze consular activity except for the consulates of America and Germany, which are its allies.


Architectural elements in Jerusalem


The Ottomans maintained the integrity of Al-Aqsa Mosque, And work to provide all the necessary reconstruction, repairs, bedding, lamps and others, The Jerusalem Wall, which is considered an Ottoman architectural painting, was built and in the second half of the nineteenth century urban activity began outside the city walls.


Jerusalem Wall:


The Jerusalem Wall is an Ottoman architectural painting par excellence, According to what is recorded in the founding plaques installed on its wall, it is proven that the one who ordered its construction was Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the period (944-947 AH / 1537-1541 AD).
It seems that the Sultan wanted to reviving Jerusalem and restoring its glory after a recession at the end of the Mamluk era. The security concern was another reason for the construction of this wall, where security is necessary as an important need for stability. The religious status of Jerusalem also makes the construction of this wall urgent.


Construction outside the city walls:


  • Urban spread outside the walls began in the second half of the nineteenth century and one of the most important reasons that prompted the population to do so was the increase in population due to natural increase and immigration. Security conditions and hence higher standards of living have been improved by improved income levels as well as the use of modern building materials imported from foreign markets.

He continued in a lecture entitled “Jerusalem in the Ottoman Era” part 2

The section of the Jerusalem wall at Damascus Gate


The doors of the Jerusalem Wall:


  • Column Door: ، Also known as the Nablus Gate, And the gate of Damascus, It is the main gate of Jerusalem and is located in the northern wall of Jerusalem.
  • Bab Al Sahira: Located in the north wall, It reaches Al-Saadia Lane and Bab Hatta Alley.
  • Lions Gate: It is the only open door in the eastern wall of Jerusalem, connecting the city to the Jericho road through the valley of hell.
  • The Gate of the Prophet David, the Gate of Hebron and the Gate of the Moroccans in the western wall of the city, As well as the new door, which was introduced in the wall in 1899, It was intended to facilitate movement between the city and the new neighborhoods established outside the wall.

Jerusalem Citadel:


The castle is located on a slightly elevated rock in the southwestern part of the city between the Jaffa Gate and the Gate of the Prophet David, where it overlooks the southwestern part.
The commemorative inscription on the door of the castle indicates that the castle was built by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, While the Turkish traveler Ulia Çelebi pointed out that it was built by Sultan Selim Al-Ottoman, This shows that the renovation of the castle was in Ottoman times, While previous sources for this trip indicated that it was built by Sultan Isa Al-Ayyubi, It is noteworthy that the castle has witnessed more than one stage of its reconstruction.
As it is known that there is a difference between the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the gates of Medina, The gates of Al-Aqsa are: Asbat, Dodariyya, Ghawanmeh, Qattanin, Nazer, ablution, iron, tranquility, The chain and the door of the Moroccans, All of them are on the north and west side of the sanctuary, There are closed doors in the eastern wall, including the Gate of Mercy and the Golden Gate.


Jerusalem Citadel




Saraya (seat of local government): It is located in the center of the city towards Bab al-Nazer, where it was the seat of the government and its executive and military organs, headed by the mutasarrif, In 1914, the Ottoman war commander made Jerusalem his headquarters instead of Damascus, where the battlefront with the Allies. He took the German architecture on the Mount of Olives as his headquarters, known as the insider, which was built by the German Emperor in 1910 in honor of his wife. As soon as the war entered, Jerusalem witnessed the establishment of its first airport near Jabal Mukaber, where the first plane landed with a Turkish officer and a German officer. The second airport was Qalandia Airport, which opened in the twenties of the last century.


The first railway in the Middle East was between Jaffa and Jerusalem in 1892.


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