1. The Western Wall is not the wall of the temple but the western supporting wall of the temple mount
2. The Western Wall was mostly built by king Herod when he rebuilt the second temple
3. The Western Wall is not the only wall left of the temple mount but all four wall still exist today
4. The Western Wall is much longer than what is seen in the western wall plaza. In the plaza we see about 57 meters or 187 feet of the wall whereas the entire western wall is 488 meters or 1600 feet long!
5. The original height of the Western Wall was about 60 meters or 200 feet. Today we see in the plaza only 19 meters or about 60 feet which is only a third of it’s original height!
6. The northern part of the Western Wall is covered by structures that were build by the Mamelukes about 700 years ago and can be seen in the western wall tunnels.
7. In the time of the second temple no one prayed in front of the Western Wall because we had the temple and people could access the temple mount. so along the Western Wall was a long street that served as the main marketplace of Jerusalem!
8. The Western Wall is NOT the holiest place in the world for the Jewish nation. The foundation stone, which is the peek of mount Moria and where the holiest part of the temple was is still the holiest place in the world for the Jewish nation.
9. The reason why we pray in front of the Western Wall today is because it is the closest wall from all four walls of the temple mount to the foundation stone. So the Western Wall is the holiest place where a jew can pray today.
10. The closest spot to the foundation stone in the Western Wall, or the holiest spot, is not in the plaza but in the Western Wall tunnels.
11. Parts of the Western Wall were destroyed by the Romans in the destruction of the second temple about 2000 years ago and then rebuilt by the Muslims about 1300 years ago before they built the dome of the rock and the elaksa musk.
12. The original stones of the Western Wall have a beautiful frame bordering them.
13. The Western Wall is not straight but has a slight angle inwards. Each row of stones in the Western wall is pushed back about 2 centimeters (about an inch) from the row under it. This was done purposely to give more stability to the Western Wall that supports the temple mount.
14. In the Western Wall you can find one of the heaviest and largest building stones in the world today with an estimated weight of over 500 tons!
15. The Western Wall plaza was not always a plaza but used to be a narrow street. In 1967 after the 6 day war the street was made into a plaza.
16. Ever since the destruction of the second temple, whenever they were permitted, Jews came to pray at the Western Wall. A few hundred years ago they started placing notes with their names and wishes in the cracks between the Western Wall stones, a custom that is still very popular today.
17. Some took this custom a step forward and actually wrote their name on the Western Wall!
18. The notes in the Western Wall are carefully collected twice a year and are then buried in a cave in mount olives.
19. There is an indentation in the Western Wall where there was once the street sign of the narrow Western Wall street.
20. The bottom part of the Western Wall visible in the western wall plaza is darker than the top because the plaza level was lowered from the narrow street level when the plaza was created.
21. In the inner part of the public praying area you can see a big arch coming out of the Western Wall. This arch is called Wilson arch and is supporting a bridge that was connected to the western wall in the time of the second temple.
22. about 10 million people visited the Western Wall last year, making it the most visited site in Israel.
23. In the time of the temple there were four gates in the Western Wall leading to the Temple Mount, two on the level of the Temple Mount and two under it, leading to a tunnel with stairs at the end to the Temple mount.
24. Today, there are 6 gates in the Western Wall leading to the temple mount but only one of them – the mugrabim gate which is on top of the Western Wall plaza – is accessible to non Muslims.