Jerusalem is the universal city, the capital of two peoples, the shrine of three faiths; it is the site of Judgement Day and the battlefield of today’s clash of civilisations. How did this small, remote town become the Holy City, the ‘centre of the world’ and now the key to peace in the Middle East? Drawing on new archives and a lifetime’s study, Simon Sebag Montefiore reveals this ever-changing city through the wars, love affairs and revelations of the men and women – kings, empresses, prophets, poets, saints, conquerors and whores – who created, destroyed, chronicled and believed in Jerusalem.
From King David to the twenty-first century, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict, this is the epic history of 3,000 years of faith, slaughter, fanaticism and coexistence. This is how Jerusalem became Jerusalem, and the only city that exists twice: in heaven and on earth.