The Western Wall is one of the most holy places in Judaism. One of the many retaining walls built by King Herod the Great when he refurbished the Jewish Second Temple on a grander scale, it is one of the last standing remnants of Herod's Temple, dating from the destruction of Jerusalem during the First Jewish-Roman War in 70 AD. It is also referred to as the Wailing Wall. Unlike the Temple and the other Temple structures, it was not destroyed
by the Romans as it seemed too insignificient to them and it was not even part of the Temple itself, just an outer wall surrounding the Temple Mount. Today it is one of the most holy sites for the Jewish people.
Throughout the centuries Jews have prayed at the Western Wall since the Temple's destruction, even after the Jewish exile the small numbers of Jews left in Jerusalem continued to pray at the wall. When Jerusalem was later conquered by Muslim armies, some Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem to pray at the Western Wall and even the Temple Mount at one point but soon radical Muslims banned them from the holy city and even used the Western Wall as a rubbish dump.
In 1948, after the horror of the Holocaust, a Jewish home was needed. A Jewish state in Palestine was created, the first Jewish country to exist since Rome conquered Israel in the year 70. Thousands of Jews from around the world returned to their ancient homeland. Jews returning to Jerusalem were denied access to the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. In 1967 Israel recaptured the Western Wall and it has been in their hands ever since.