A day in Jerusalem
An ancient city with a history that goes back to more than 3000 years ago- Jerusalem is the Religious capital of 3 monotheistic religions that have all their important shrines inside the 1 sq km territory of old city.
The old city of Jerusalem is a UNESCO heritage site, it consists of 4 quarters in which 4 different religious communities live.
We will start our day with a beautiful panoramic view from Mt. of Olives.
Mount of Olives is the highest mountain in Jerusalem, it is the boundary between Jerusalem and the Judean Desert.
Many Biblical Prophesies mention Mount of Olives and it is widely believed that "The Last Judgment" will happen right here.
Most of the mountain is covered today by an Ancient Jewish Cemetery and a Muslim neighborhood, but in ancient days it was the main site where the people of Jerusalem chose to grow their sacred olives, today only a few olive groves can be seen on the mountain, the oldest among them are in The Garden of Gethsemane.
The Sacred Garden and the Basilica next to it are the site where Jesus Christ prayed for the last time before his crucifixion - "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless not as I will, but as you will....".
It is time to go ahead and explore the Old city, we will enter through one of its gate- Jaffa Gate.
We pass by David's Citadel - a Fortress that served as the strategic and military headquarters of the city for the past 2000 years, and we continue through the narrow streets of the Armenian Quarter to Mt. Zion.
Zion is another name that was given to Jerusalem by King David more than 3000 years ago. King David conquered the former City of "Jebus" and on its grounds he built his own city - The city of David, aka Jerusalem. The Builder King of Jerusalem relocated the holy shrine of the Israelites to Jerusalem and since then the city is wrapped with the holy atmosphere that we feel today.
He was buried inside the city walls and today his tomb is identified by a large tombstone located inside a synagogue that is called - The Tomb of King David. We enter to the synagogue to pay respect to the Great king.
When finished we climb along the stairs around the corner to a Christian shrine that is above the tomb- The Upper Room. This site commemorates "The Last Supper" that Jesus Christ had with his Disciples, although the real room was destroyed, it is still a great celebration site during Easter.
We continue through the bustling area of the Jewish Quarter, walk along The Cardo- a main street of Jerusalem from 6th cent. AD, cross the main square where The Hurva Synagogue is located, and get to the most important synagogue in the World –The Western Wall.
After we placed our wishes in the Western Wall we continue through the Arabic Bazaar of the Muslim Quarter to The Via Dolorosa- which means the "way of the grief".
According to the Christian tradition this way is paved on the route which Jesus walked while carrying the cross from the judgement hall to the place of the Crucifixion. There are 14 stops along the way, we walk along and see some pilgrim processions following the stops, each carrying a cross, until we reach to the climax of the way- The Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre .
The majority of the Christian world agrees that the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre is the site of Jesus's Crucifixion and tomb, it is a huge complex with remains that go back to some 1700 years ago, divided between various Eastern and Western Christian communities- it is interesting to see the diverse folk that fill in the holy spaces, although they speak different languages they come to one understanding in this sacred shrine.
When finished we will start our way back to Jaffa Gate trough the Christian quarter.