A small, ancient city that is accessible only by foot, it contains four distinct communities (Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Armenian,) and carries huge cultural and religious history inside its walls. The Old City consists of a maze of pedestrian alleyways that open onto squares paved in light-coloured slabs of stone; on either side of the pathways are often apartments, two- or three-storeys high, old enough that they seem to lean over the alleyway along with the arches that are part of the ancient architecture.
It is possible to see much of the Old City by stepping across the rooftops, which are mostly flat or domed, and look down at the streams of people, living, working, shopping and visiting, in the streets below. The shuk with its myriads of little stalls, is filled with the noise and energy of any marketplace, but is somehow brighter and more colourful, trailing down wide, shallow steps.
On our most recent visit, I stumbled across this beautiful sight: a loom, minding its own business outside a artisanal shop. The weaver was evidently taking a stroll through the sunny streets, allowing me an ogling opportunity that I took full advantage of. Enjoy.