Sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims as the burial-place of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Hebron is notable for the superb wall that Herod the Great (37-4 BC) built round the Cave of Machpelah (Haram el-Khalil). It is perfectly preserved and the refinement of the construction technique has to be seen to be believed.
There Abraham bargained for the cave (Gen.23) in which he, his sons, and their wives were to be buried; there David reigned for seven and a half years before moving to Jerusalem; and there his son Absalom raised the standard of rebellion (2 Sam.5 and 15). Even though a city of refuge (Josh. 21:13), it suffered the same fate as others in wars throughout the centuries until Herod built the Haram, today its sole glory.
The size of the stone blocks (the largest 7.5 x 1.4 m) inspires wonder. The largest appear near the corners, imparting tremendous strength to the structure. A series of clever visual deceptions avoids the impression of heaviness. Each course is set back 1.5 cm on the one below, and the upper margin is wider than the others.
On Friday the Muslim section of the Haram is closed to visitors, as is the Jewish section on Saturday.
Source: The Holy Land by Jerome Murphy-O’Connor