Jerusalem Knights and Dragons Festival

A priority for City Hall has been to encourage

 visitors to come at night to the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel.

  And the current ‘Festival of Knights in the Old City’ has done the job.

Jaffa Gate at night

Jaffa Gate is the starting point for the ‘Knights and Dragons’ theme,

Map Old City Christian Quarter

where a large map of the Christian Quarter route is displayed

 Jafffa Gate

and musicians entertain.

Jaffa Gate

Smart families got a map with the 17 station locations,

Dragon, Jaffa Gate

but does not include the many moving ‘photo ops’.

Last week I went early,

crowd at Jaffa Gate

as good photographs are hard to get at these crowded events. 

Dragon head

Near the beginning of the route was this colorful dragon head.


A cardboard castle and its defending knight were ready for photo action,

Knights Inn

near the real Knights’ Palace.

alley way

One lane was dark,

Dragon, Knight Festival Old City

but most were well-lit and many costumes added color.

actors in costume

 Actors were ready for the shows to begin.

Barber shop Old city

A barber shop was open under one of the red festival signs,

actors in costumes

which pointed to the actors getting ready in Muristan Square.

As I said, smart people took a map.

This was not the first time I got confused at Muristan Square

street Old City

and headed in the wrong direction, 

but this was the first night of Eid Al-Adha, the Muslim ‘Feast of Sacrifice’.

It was so crowded on the narrow paths

that I did not get a photo of the smelly animal being pushed in a cart.

His sad eyes seemed to know he was going to be the feast.

Arab woman and man, nijab

Following closely to an English-speaking tourist group,

I got only this one picture of a candy store.  


spotting a sign to the Via Dolorosa, I headed out of the Muslim Quarter.

men smoking water pipes

Retracing some of my route, I noticed these smokers were gone,

 the lane was dark and quiet for festival visitors.

actors in Muristan Square

The actors were in Muristan Square and so was the “EXIT” sign.

signs Knights Jerusalem, Old City shuk

I do not know if the free Jerusalem Knights Festival

brought paying customers to shops, but many more were open

than for the first night of the Festival in October 2010.

gladiators, Old City , Jaffa Gate

Back near Jaffa Gate, large crowds were watching gladiators fight

girls dancing

and dancing-girls.

kids at Jerusalem festival, Jaffa Gate

Hundreds of families, many with young children,

seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Many children were on their parents’ shoulders,

as it was very hard to see the performers.

I found a bench to stand on, 

picture children on balcony

but I think this family had the best view.

Picture Jerusalem at night

And as usual, when tens of thousands of people come,

 the Jerusalem streets fill with traffic in all directions.

photo Jerusalem festival knights

There are still two more Thursday nights in November to enjoy the festival.

If you cannot come and want to see more:

 additional photos on The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook page.

‘Jerusalem Knights’ First Night

Who could imagine that the Crusades could be so much fun?

Actors and musicians were dressed in medieval costumes.

The weather was perfect Thursday evening, October 7 in the Old City.

People had gathered in the plaza near Jaffa Gate, the unimaginable happened–

the Jerusalem Knights program started ten minutes early.

A map of 21 street performances in the Christian Quarter

was projected on a large screen near Jaffa Gate.

Visitors received a paper copy of the map with explanations in Hebrew and English.

The first performance, the Royal Reception, took place outside the walls

and just inside the walls, The Leper, was a scary sight.

The Greek Muse, hard to believe she was a real person.

It was hard to see the Fire Knight with such a large crowd around him.

The Wishing Fountain was easy to photograph, as like the Muse, she did not move.

In the Slave Market, even the slaves seemed to be having a good time.

Musicians performed in many locations along the route.

While some of the market was open,

near the end of the route, most of the shops were closed,

providing a perfect setting for peddlers


and be careful.. more peddlers and beggars.

At the end, Muristan Square was filled with color and dancers.

Jerusalem Knights  was held October 7, 14, 21 & 28.

The Jerusalem Development Authority, along with a list of other groups,

is sponsoring the performances;  there is no charge.

It takes about an hour to walk the route.

It is not good for the handicapped or baby strollers.