President’s Room (Jerusalem, Israel)

President’s Room (Jerusalem, Israel)

Just south of the Old City on Mount Zion is a building that houses two holy sites. On the ground floor is the Tomb of King David; upstairs is the Upper Room, or Cenacle—the location of the Last Supper.

Less conspicuous is the small domed chamber on the roof, known as the President’s Room. From 1948 to 1967, when Jordan controlled East Jerusalem, Jews were prevented from visiting sacred places in the Old City, such as the Western Wall and the Mount of Olives. During this time, Mount Zion was one of the closest vantage points for viewing the forbidden sites. The Ministry of Religious Affairs established the President’s Room so that Israel’s first head of state, Chaim Weizmann, could keep watch over the Western Wall.

Weizmann never used the room. But his successor, President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, did. Three times a year, he would ascend the stairs to the dome and look toward the Temple Mount.

Source: Atlas Obscura

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