In the Jewish tradition, there is at the same time Jerusalem in the heavens and Jerusalem on the ground. Jerusalem is a living city, but also the heart, the soul of the Jewish people and the state of Israel.
Jerusalem is the largest city in Israel. A holy city to three religions (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism), Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world. The City of Gold, as it has come to be known in Hebrew, is a fascinatingly unique place where the first century rubs shoulders with the twenty-first century, each jostling for legitimacy and space, and where picturesque “old” neighborhoods nestle against glistening office towers and high-rise apartments. It is one of those places which has to be seen to be believed.
History of Jerusalem
- Jerusalem is an ancient city located in ancient Judah that is now the capital of Israel. The city has a history that goes back to the 4th millennium BCE, making it one of the oldest cities in the world.
- It is the holiest city in Judaism and Christianity and has been the spiritual center of the Jewish people since c. 1000 BCE, when David the King of Israel first established it as the capital of the Jewish Nation, and his son Solomon commissioned the building of the First Temple in the city.
- The Crusaders conquered Jerusalem in 1099, massacred its Jewish and Muslim inhabitants, and established the city as the capital of the Crusader Kingdom. Synagogues were destroyed, old churches were rebuilt and many mosques were turned into Christian shrines. Crusader rule over Jerusalem ended in 1187 when the city fell to Saladin.
- The British army led by General Allenby conquered Jerusalem in 1917. From 1922 to 1948, It was the administrative seat of the British authorities in the Land of Israel (Palestine), which had been entrusted to Great Britain by the League of Nations.
Top Destinations In Jerusalem
Jerusalem has an amazing array of attractions for the traveler to see. The following are some of the must-sees.
Dome of the Rock
Dome of the Rock is one of the masterpieces of Islamic architecture. This building is one of the earliest Islamic architectural monuments that survive in its original form and is the third holiest site for Muslims, after Mecca and Medina. The place was also called Mount Moriah, which is believed to Jews, Christians and some Muslims as a prophet Abraham prepared himself to sacrifice his son Isaac AS.
Tantur theological center
Tantur theological center – a Christian theological center in Southern Jerusalem, opened for all the variation of Christianity.
St. Simeon monastery
St. Simeon monastery is a Greek Orthodox monastery (originally Crusader) in the neighborhood of Katamon, built over what believed to be the house and even the burial place of St. Simeon (Gospel of Luke)
Western Wall, Hebrew Ha-Kotel Ha-Maʿaravi, also called Wailing Wall, in the Old City of Jerusalem, a place of prayer and pilgrimage sacred to the Jewish people. It is the only remains of the Second Temple of Jerusalem, held to be uniquely holy by the ancient Jews and destroyed by the Romans in 70 ce. The authenticity of the Western Wall has been confirmed by tradition, history, and archaeological research
The Israel Museum is the largest museum in Israel. The Museum contains the “shrine of the book” where the dead sea scrolls are kept. It also has a large scale model of Jerusalem in ancient times. It has large archeology and art sections that were renovated and reopened in 2010. Entrance fee is ₪50.
Church of the Holy Sepulcher
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is the most sacred site in the world for millions of Christians. This if the site of the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The church façade was designed during the crusader area. In the past, on top of the entrance arches, there were lintels decorated with crusader embossments. For many of the tourists visiting this place, this is the highlight of their visit to the Holy Land.
Damascus Gate is the most elaborate one. The vegetable market borders it. It is also near Jaafar – Jerusalem most renowned sweets store.
The Garden Tomb
The Garden Tomb on Nablus Road, East Jerusalem marks what many believe is the location of Calvary and the tomb of Jesus. The tomb is located in a lush big garden which is a good break away from the hustle and bustle of East Jerusalem. Must do, but only open in the afternoons. Free entrance.