Susan C. Anthony

The Petra HotelThe Petra Hotel

We expected to have difficulty finding affordable accommodations. It was the 50th anniversary celebration of the modern nation of Israel. We were fortunate to find a room at the Petra Hotel, just inside the Jaffa Gate in the Old City.

It is actually more of a hostel than a hotel. Adventurous travelers can sleep on the roof for $5.00. There was one private room with a bath available for $50 a night and we took it. From our balcony on the second floor, we could sit and watch a fascinating array of people walk by, in every kind of exotic dress. It was within easy walking distance of most places we wanted to see.

The Petra is the oldest hotel in Jerusalem. It was built in 1830. American author Mark Twain stayed there during his travels to Israel. Herman Melville conceived the idea for his book Moby Dick while staying at this hotel.

The photo of the Petra Hotel was taken from atop one of the towers in the citadel, built by Herod the Great. A citadel is a castle built into city walls. The citadel is one of the only structures in Jerusalem not destroyed by the Romans after the city was conquered in 70 A.D. They used it for 60 years to house garrisons whose duty it was to prevent re-entry of Jews into the city.

Go on to read about the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Source:, ┬ęSusan C. Anthony