jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world - it has been inhabited for 5000 years. its first true king was david. jerusalem has been conquered many times and ruled by, among others, egyptian, assyrian, roman, arabic (in 638 a.d.), european (very briefly) and ottoman empires. from 1917 to 1948 it was part of the "british mandate", then 1948-1967 ruled by israel and jordan, and since then by israel, which occupies arabic east-jerusalem. israel claims, and uses, jerusalem as its capital, while palestine claims east-jerusalem as its capital. jerusalem is a holy city for jews, christians and muslims. the old part of jerusalem within the historic city walls (see the map, created 1541) abounds with eminent buildings, especially temples, churches and mosques.
the biggest arabic building is the al-aqsa mosque.