Israel – Journey to the Holy Land Part II

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.

Jaffa Gate is the meeting place of the free walking tour:
Jaffa Gate

While waiting for the people to gather and before starting the tour, grab some native falafel, breads and sweets beside the jaffa gate:
Jaffa Food

Walking tour starts:

Jewish Quarter
Jewish Quarter

Wall painting depicting the old city, which character in the painting is unique?
Jewish Quarter
Muslim Quarter

western wall

Along the Christian Quarter, there is the Holy Sepulchre (where the Cross of Jesus, and Burial Cave)
Christian Quarter

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:
Via Dolorosa
Via Dolorosa
Via Dolorosa

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.

Kotel Tunnel
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)

This perhaps is the most educational part of our trip with respect to Temple Mount. Because there are robotic and scale models of the Temple Mount Compound, which shows how deep the excavation is:

The lighted row is the entire length of the Kotel Tunnel.

On the right most , the lighted rectangular box is the Western Wall.

Wall nearest to the Holy of Holies structure
Kotel - Holy of Holies

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.

Mount Zion:
Just outside of Zion Gate, are some important biblical places:
Zion Gate

King David Tomb:
Is the traditional site of the tomb of King David, and one of the holiest places for Jews, located on ground level.
King David

Above the same building, is the Cenacle: Room of Last Supper:
Last Supper
Last Supper

Dormition Abbey
Commemorating the memory of Virgin Mary, is the traditional site of her death (the name means “Eternal sleep”).

Opposite the mount Zion gate across the road, is the Peter of Gallicantu:
Peter Galicantu

Gallicantu means “cock crowing” and it remembers the three denials of Peter.
Peter Galicantu

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.

Mount of Olives:
All sites in Mount Olives are navigable by walking only.
Mount Olives offers a vantage view of the Old City, and prominent structure is off course the Temple Mount:
Temple Mount

Temple mount

Other than the view of the Temple Mount, several biblical sites are also found around this mountain:
Pater Noster
At the Church of Pater Noster on the Mount of Olives, Christians recall Christ’s teaching of the Lord’s Prayer to his disciples.

On walls around the church are translations of the Lord’s Prayer in 140 languages are inscribed on colourful ceramic plaque
Pater Noster-FRPater Noster-eng
Pater Noster-Ch

Surprisingly, even dialects in Philippines were also included:
Pater Noster-PH-tag
Pater Noster-PH-il
Pater Noster-PH-pm
Pater Noster-PH-bis

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.
Tomb Prophet
Tomb Prophet
Tomb Prophet

Dominus Flevit
Dominus Flevit, which means “the cry of the Lord,” commemorates the time when Jesus was moved to tears.
Dominus Flevit

Roof shaped like tear drops (reverse)
Roof Dominus Flevit

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.
Magdalene Church
Magdalene Church

The crypt holds the remains of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth, who was killed in the Russian revolution of 1917.
Magdalene Church
Magdalene Church

Also buried here is Princess Alice of Greece, who harbored Jews during the Nazi occupation of Greece.

Church of All Nation and Garden of Gethsemene:
At the bottom of the Mount Olives, you can reach the Church of all Nation and beside it is the Garden of Gethsemene.
All Nation
Garden Gethsemene

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).
All Nation

Virgin Mary Tomb
Crossing the road beside the Church of All Nation is the traditional Tomb of Virgin Mary
Tomb Mary
Tomb Mary
Tomb Mary

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!

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3 Responses to Israel – Journey to the Holy Land Part II

  1. Great pictures! I surely like this post :)

  2. danny tio says:

    very interesting. thanks for sharing. i shall contact you for assistance before my trip.

    i am a malaysian Christian. israel is one place i must visit.
    planning to visit jordan than cross the allenby bridge to jerusalem. do you think april/may will be an appropriate time to visit. which months are the offseason period so that i can enjoy some budget rooms. i intend to spend 7 days in jordan and 14 days in israel. bye…..

  3. Gelo says:

    Hi Danny.

    We went their on August which is summer period.
    April / May should be fine as long as the Easter week does not fall on those month. Weather is colder on April/May than August. But check the Jewish holidays though, not sure if there are any during those months.

    I believe all throughout the year the price of flight seems constant. So I use some discount code from to book the EL AL Flight.

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