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Descriptive Geography and Brief Historical Sketch of Palestine

By Rabbi Joseph Schwarz, 1850

The Fort Kallai

Is situated on the west side of the city, near the Jaffa gate, not far from Mount Zion, wherefore it is universally supposed to be the Tower of David, Migdal David מגדל דוד; the Fort of David, Mezudath David מצודת דוד; or the City of David, Ir David עיר דוד; which is nevertheless an error, as I have said already that the Tower of David must have been situated not far from the Siloah spring. The Kallai is a strong castle, with a deep ditch and strong towers, and is situated on the highest elevation in the city. The stones in the foundation wall do indeed denote a most ancient structure; but the superstructure is evidently far more modern, and could not have been erected before the European princes came into the Holy Land and conquered it, as I shall more fully discuss in the historical part of this work. There are documents which state that this fort was built by men of Pisa, in Italy, who passed into Palestine in 4999 (1239). It appears to me that the ancient foundation walls of this structure are the remains "of the house of the heroes" בית הגבורים of Nehemiah 3:16, or of the "corner of the armory house" המקצוע עלות הנשק of ibid. 19.