These stones under the Western Wall are of impeccable craftsmanship and required seemingly superhuman handling:

Megalithic foundation stones under Western Wall

My thoughts run to:

  • Ezra-Nehemiah
  • Solomon-Hiram
  • Herod

Do we know?

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    Very interesting question; image link not working for me. Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 23:56
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    The Wikipedia entry on the Western Wall - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Wall - says the 17 courses below street level, and some above, are from Herod's time. He expanded the Temple mount and built it as a retaining wall for his upgrade to it. His stonework is recognizable because the stones(ashlars I think is the technical term) are , first, larger than the layers added later above them, and second, they usually have a "frame" or "edge" chiseled into their borders for aesthetic reasons.
    – Gary
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 0:36
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    Technically they aren't under the wall. They ARE the wall. They were built at ground level and in the last 2000 years the valley on one side of the wall has largely filled in with dirt, burying the bottom half of the wall.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 0:55
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    @Ruminator - No, IMO. Herod's other structures have the same type of edgework, as well as other common features. He used up Judea's resources pretty extravagantly, when he wasn't paying off his Roman pals. See- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herodian_architecture Oops, DoubleAA already found it..
    – Gary
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 1:12

2 Answers 2


The Western Wall in its entirety was built by King Herod. And yes the stones are quite impressive. This is one of the wonders of the ancient world (I think Josephus calls it that). The top half of the wall was destroyed with the Temple and rebuilt cheaply over the years.

For a full treatment of who built what of the Temple Mount walls, see Ritimyer's book The Quest.


My guide on the Kosel Tunnel Tours (in 2011) explained that they are the work of the simple Jews (not Neviim or leaders) who had a great love and desire to beautify the House of Hashem... He said they were each chiseled by hand and transported through some sophisticated system. I am not sure how much of a source this YU graduate is, but to the best of my recollection these were the words he used.

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    I thank you for sharing the tour guide's explanation however tour guides are notorious for making stuff up! Without a corroborating primary source I don't think that information can be counted on. Peace.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 3:32
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    @Ruminator any information is useful. it is acurate and true that this is how these stones are described by the tour guides
    – Hershy S.
    Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 14:21

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