The Hurva was the main Ashkenazi synagogue of the Old City and stood as a landmark for almost 100 years until it was blown up by the Jordanian Legion after they had captured the Jewish quarter on May 27, 1948. It took until 2005 to decide to rebuild the synagogue which was completed in March 2010. I visited it shortly afterwards on a Shabbat morning for services. Make sure to go down into the basement (by the washrooms) to see the discovery of a mikveh (ritual bath) from the Second Temple period and an east-west Byzantine street. The second time I joined a weekday tour of the synagogue but we weren’t allowed into the main sanctuary. The guide was only able to show us the inside of the synagogue from the women’s balcony but we were allowed to go up to the roof. The Hurva synagogue is the only site that I am not permitted to bring people (therefore I skip the Hurva and tell its fascinating story outside) – that privilege goes to local guides that work for the Western Wall Heritage Foundation and you have to reserve a place in advance.
One of the highlights was the view of Jerusalem from the balcony around the dome. Here are 5 photos (shooting clockwise) taken from the height of the dome: 1) looking towards the Christian quarter, domes and bell tower of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, bell tower of German Church of Redeemer and dome of Alexander Nyevsky Church, 2) view over the Jewish and Muslim quarters with Mount Scopus in the background, 3) Dome of the Rock, Mormon University and Augusta Victoria, 4) dome of Al Aqsa Mosque and Jewish cemetery on Mount of Olives 5) view towards Armon HaNatziv, Mount Zion, Dormition Abbey, Armenian quarter.