Palestinian Cultural and Religious Heritage in Jerusalem


The Old City of Jerusalem is distinguished from any other historic city for its universal value. It is home to the most sacred religious shrines in the world, including Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif, Al-Buraq Wall also known as the Western Wall, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Within its walls, one can find numerous mosques, churches, convents, zawayas and mausoleums sacred to many believers worldwide.

Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List (at the request of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan) since 1981, the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls have a unique and valuable historic, religious and cultural heritage and identity, that was skillfully built over centuries, and demonstrates the diverse urban and architectural styles developed over centuries. UNESCO’s 1982 listing of the Old City as “World Heritage Site in Danger” is a testimony to the international concerns about the conditions threatening the integrity and survival of this outstanding spiritual place and its unique social composition.

This Bulletin endeavors to give an overview of the rich cultural and religious heritage in Jerusalem, the efforts that have been made to protect it and finally the challenges and threats that endanger the survival of the city’s distinct Palestinian identity.