Jerusalem is a very old city. It has great importance for three religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Bible says King David, the second king of Israel, took this city from pagans and settled his palace there. King Solomon, David's son and the next king, built the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. Later, as capital of Judah, Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar II, the king of Babylon. The Palace of King David and the Temple of Solomon were burned, and the Jews were captured and taken to Babylon. Seventy years later, the Persian King
Cyrus allowed them to return to Jerusalem and to rebuild the Temple.
Later the area was occupied by Romans. King Herod the Great, who ruled for the Roman Emperor, made the Temple larger to try and win Jewish favor. The Temple was famous for its greatness and beauty.
Jesus died in Jerusalem around 33 CE. In 70 CE, the Jews rebelled against the Romans, but the Romans destroyed the city and the Temple. Jewish people who lived in Jerusalem were caught and became slaves. The Romans renamed Jerusalem with a Latin name. Since then, the Temple has not been rebuilt, and only a part of its wall remains until today.
After the Roman Empire was split into two, the Byzantine Empire ruled Jerusalem. Later, Muslims took over the city from them. The Muslims believed Muhammad went to heaven from Jerusalem.
Later, the Pope in Rome sent the Crusaders from Western Europe to try and take Jerusalem back. They succeeded for a while, but eventually the city fell again to the
Saracens. Until the 20th century, Jerusalem was a part of the Ottoman Empire. There were some Jews in Jerusalem all along, even though they were ruled by other people.
The "New City" of Jerusalem is the part outside the old stone walls. People started building the new city in the 1800s. Mishkenot Sha'annanim, Mea Shearim, and the Bukharan Quarter are some of the first neighborhoods in the new city.
In 1949, at the end of the first Arab-Israeli War, Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan. Israel controlled the western part of the city. Jordan controlled the eastern section, including the Old City, a walled section of Jerusalem dating from Biblical times. Israel took control of the entire city during the Six-Day War in 1967.
Jerusalem today is claimed by the state of Israeli as its capital. The United Nations does not agree to Israel saying that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.