Welcome back to our special edition Israel, Holy Land Part II. We hope you enjoy it. Almost all children’s party has this game called “Trip to Jerusalem”, and now I realize why such game was named after this place, since its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. (Courtesy of Wikipedia). Pretty much describes how this musical chair game is similar to the history of this place.
On our first day in Jerusalem, we joined the Sandeman Free Walking Tour of the Old City, it’s not really free since tipping was solicited at the end of the 3 hours walking tour. This is highly recommended for the first timers who want to be familiarized and get oriented with the different quarters inside the walls of the Old City.
A must do for Catholics is to join the weekly Station of the Cross (organize by the Franciscans) also known as Via Dolorosa – the way which Jesus took on his way to Calvary (Holy Sepulchre). Each stations are identified by these markers:
After knowing the major roads in and around Old City, we handled the rest of the area on our own with the help of free audio tour guide from Jerusalemp3 and a beautiful book that we got for free from Generationword.
Those who are interested to see what’s under the Old City, this Kotel Tunnel tour is highly recommended. Advance reservation is required since there are limited tickets sold per day (with specific time schedule)
Foundation stone, also known as “The Rock”, was the heart of the Holy of Holies. According to Jewish tradition, the rock marks the center point of God’s dwelling and the creation of the world. Some traditions and archaeologists locate it in the center of the Dome of the Rock
On the succeeding days in Jerusalem, we visited the Moun Zion area, and mount Olives:
To reach the top of the mounts, you can either hire a cab or take bus.
The story is as follows: Jesus was sitting with his disciples before his arrest, and doubted their loyalty. Peter declared that he will not be among them, but Jesus predicted that within that night, even before the 2nd crow of the cock, Peter will deny him 3 times. This is exactly what has happened, as Peter found out himself.
Other than the view of the Temple Mount, several biblical sites are also found around this mountain:
At the Church of Pater Noster on the Mount of Olives, Christians recall Christ’s teaching of the Lord’s Prayer to his disciples.
Tomb of Prophets
The Tombs of the Prophets is a site on the Mount of Olives that a medieval Jewish tradition identifies as the tombs of the prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, who lived in the 6th-5th centuries BC.
Luke 19:41, “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it” because “the days will come upon you when your enemies will… dash you to the ground.” (Christians believe this was fulfilled in 70 CE, when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem.) Dominus Flevit Church is believed to mark the place where Jesus’ mourning over Jerusalem occurred.
Russian Orthodox Church: Mary Magdalene
The Church of Mary Magdalene was built by Tsar Alexander III in 1888 in the traditional Russian style. Easily spotted from the Temple Mount, the Russian church’s seven golden domes have been newly gilded and sparkle in the sun.
Also buried here is Princess Alice of Greece, who harbored Jews during the Nazi occupation of Greece.
The Church of All Nations, officially named the Basilica of the Agony enshrines a section of stone in the Garden of Gethsemane that is believed to be where Jesus prayed on the night of his arrest (Matthew 26:36).
Feast and Travel will not be complete without food blogs, so watch out for the next edition about: Jerusalem’s Museums, Markets , Malls and More Meals!