Ermak Travel Guide

 

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Feel free to leave your comments below. If you want to share your knowledge, additional information or experience in a particular place your input is more than welcome.

 

 

Jerusalem (יְרוּשָׁלַיִם‎‎, القُدس)

 Jerusalem

Jerusalem is probably the most important city in Western Civilization. It is considered sacred by Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The control over Jerusalem is still a subject of disputes yet it is safe to visit and thousands of tourists visit it annually. For easier orientation Jerusalem is divided into three parts: West Jerusalem, East Jerusalem and the Old City. The Old City contain the historic quarters and are divided even further into Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Armenian quarters. Bringing a map along is a really good idea because you can easily get lost in narrow and disorganized streets of the Old City. Maps don't have to be very detailed. It would be even better if it will show only locations of major sites, what they are and where can you find them in relation to your location.

 

 

 

 

Travel Destinations in Jerusalem

Temple Mount or Haram esh- Sharif ("Noble Sanctuary") (Jerusalem)

Temple Mount or Haram esh- Sharif ("Noble Sanctuary") of Jerusalem is a historical and religious center of the city. According to widely accepted beliefs this was the mount Moriah where Abraham almost sacrificed his son Isaac. After Jews returned from the Egyptian slavery as it was described in the Exodus they came to a site of future Jerusalem. This was once the site for the First Temple of Solomon build in 967 BC. Inside the Holiest of Holy ancient Hebrews kept their Ark of the Covenant with inscription of Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses. Ironically the holiest relic in the Old Testament disappeared before Jerusalem by taken and temple destroyed in 586 BC by the Babylonians. The Ark apparently disappeared from the Jerusalem long before the siege. Although the Bible is silent on this some legends claim that Menelik, son of Solomon and Queen of Sheba, stole it from the Temple Mount and fled to Ethiopia, where it was kept ever since in Axum. The Second Temple was erected in Jerusalem in 516 BC and reconstructed by Herod the Great in the first century BC. It was finally destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Today most prominent feature of Temple Mount is the Dome of the Rock.

 

 

Dome of the Rock (Jerusalem)

Dome of the Rock was constructed in Jerusalem between 685 and 691 AD making it the oldest Muslim structure. It was constructed on a former site of the Temple that was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. If you make it inside you can clearly see part of the natural rock that was cut to make way for the walls that once belonged to the Temple. You can still see a part of the temple that was called Holy of Holiest. The Ark of the Covenant once stood here in the niche dug in the rock. You can tell its former location by the shape of the impression left here.

 

El- Aqsa Mosque (Jerusalem)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jewish Quarter (Jerusalem)

 

 

The Cardo (Jerusalem)

 

Dating back to Byzantine times, Cardo of Jerusalem was busy trading street running in North- South orientation. It divided the city in its full length and judging by many mosaic depictions from the time period was a prominent feature of the city at the time. It was constructed in the 2nd century AD by the Roman during their massive reconstruction after fall of Jerusalem. Byzantines increased its width to 12.5 meters (41 feet). Today only few remaining sections are visible in the Jewish Quarter of the Jerusalem. It still gives an impression of size and scale. Artist depiction of the reconstructed time period can be found here.

 

Hurva Synagogue (Jerusalem)

 

Hurva Synagogue takes its name from a word Hurva which means "ruins". It might seem an odd choice to name your house of prayer by this non- original name unless you know the history of this building. Original structure was burned down in the 18th century by arsons. It was restored in 1864, by less than a century later it was virtually destroyed during war between newly found Israel state and Arabs in 1948. For a long time ruins were a popular destination for tourists. If you look at the pictures from a time period you will see nothing but few boulders and an arch. However in 2006 a construction of a new synagogue began that finished with re- dedication on March 15, 2010.

 

The Sephardic Synagogues (Jerusalem)

 

Ha- Tupim Street

Tel. (02) 628 0592

Open: 9:30am- 4pm Sun- Thu, 9:30am- 12:30 Fri

 

The Sephardic Synagogues of Jerusalem is a group of four synagogues that date to the 17th century. It was formed by Sephardim, descendants of Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492 and Portugal 1497. Refugees moved to lands under control of the Ottoman Empire. Eventually many moved to Palestine and Jerusalem. Ottoman Turkish law prohibited other religions to construct their temples above the height of mosques, so Jews constructed their synagogues below the level of the street to reach required height. The Ben Zakkal Synagogue was constructed in 1610. The Prophet Elijah Synagogue was a former study hall constructed in 1625, but it was transformed into a separate temple in 1702 due to growing number of local population. Central Synagogue was later added in 1830's and Istambull Synagogue was built in 1857.

 

Wohl Archaeological Museum (Jerusalem)

 

1 Ha- Karaim Street

Tel. (02) 628 3448

Open: 9am –4:30pm Sun- Thu, Closed Fri- Sat

Cost: 35 shekels, 25 shekels for students

 

Wohl Archaeological Museum is devoted to archaeological finds from the time of Jesus Christ and king Herod the Great. Since the city was burned in 70 AD during Jewish revolt against the Roman authority, its everyday artefacts and buildings were covered by newer structures. It offers an unique view of everyday life. Fees for the entrance also cover The Burnt House found adjacent to the museum. Be aware that photography is not allowed in the museum.

 

The Burnt House (Jerusalem)

Josephus Flavius, War VI 8 5:

"... set fire to the houses whither the Jews were fled, and burnt every soul in them, and laid waste a great many of the rest"

 

Tiferet Yisrael Street
Tel. (02) 628 7211
Open: 9am- 4:20pm Sun- Thu
9am- 12:20pm
Fri

 

The Burned House is a Jewish homestead that was destroyed by the invading Roman army during Jewish revolt of 70 AD. As Josephus Flavius notes in his historic work much of the ancient city of Jerusalem was laid to waste. At the same time it gave us a rare chance to witness the lives of common people since their lives and their physical surroundings got covered by subsequent archaeological layers. The house contained kitchen, several rooms and a Mikvah. Furthermore many coins were found on the site. Some date to the time of the Roman rule, while others were issued by the rebels. An interesting detail in the house was a finding of a stone weight that is just 4 inches (about 10 cm) in diameter. In contained Hebrew inscription of "Bar Kathros" or "Son of Kathros". So it is logical to assume that the house belonged to the Kathros family. According to the story found in Talmud written centuries later this family was a religious family with a position of priesthood held by its members. However they abused it and eventually lost this honour.

 

The Broad Wall (Jerusalem)

 

Isaiah (22:10) And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall.

Plugat ha- Kotel Street

 

The Broad Wall is a section of the wall that remains from the ancient fortifications built by King Hezekiah in the 8th century BC. It was constructed by the Israelites to defend increasing numbers of refugees from around the city following the Assyrian invasion in 722 BC. You can clearly see that many older residence were torn down to make way for the new wall that cut through them. It was discovered in 1967 during modern reconstruction projects. Due to its importance it was left as it was found without new construction covering it. It is well hidden and you might stumble on it accidentally as you explore confusing maize of city streets. The easiest way to find it is simply ask for directions.

 

 

Western (Wailing) Wall (Jerusalem)

 

Western Wall Plaza

Bus: 1, 2, 38

Western Wall Tunnel

Tel. (1-599) 515 888

Open: 8am- evening Sun- Thu

8am- 12:30 pm Fri

Closed: Jewish holidays

www.thekotel.org

Chain of the Generations Centre

Tel. (1-599) 515 888

Open: 8am- 8pm Sun- Thu

8am- 12pm Fri

Closed: Jewish holidays

 

Western or Wailing Wall of Jerusalem is known as Ha-Kotel Ha-Ma'aravi (הכותל המערבי) in Hebrew. This is largest preserved part of the Second Temple. However you can see distinct stones on Southern and Eastern sides of the former complex of the Temple. It is open 24 hours 365 days a year. Upon destruction Romans kept the retaining walls of the Temple to demonstrate their incredible tenacity to capture such a citadel. It gets its name from the sorrow all Jews  feel upon seeing the destruction that befell their most important shrine. Please, respect traditions and dress accordingly if you choose to come to a wall. Covering arms and legs is preferable. The left side of the wall is for men who get plastic kippah if they don’t have one. The right side is reserved for women.

 

The whole temple complex looked like a large box put on the mountain peak. Retaining walls are visible, but inner passages are assessable by a Western Wall Tunnel. It leads inside subterranean passage way of the religious complex. However there is limited number of people that can fit inside temple's foundation. Make sure you can book the visit in advance.

 

Ophel Archeological Museum (Jerusalem)

 

Batei Makhase Street

Tel. (02) 627 7550

www.archpark.org.il

Open: 8am- 7pm Sun- Thu

8am- 2pm Fri

 

Ophel Archeological Museum is situated just south of the Western Wall. The museum is one of the most interesting sites in Jerusalem even if you are not a big fan of archaeology and certainly largest in the city. It covers ruins from the David's time to the Ottoman period. Audio guide is available for another 6 shekels.

 

 

Ramban Synagogue (Jerusalem)

Hurva Square

 

Jewish community that constructed Ramban Synagogue was the first settlement since Jewish Exile by the Romans in 135AD. First diaspora was organized by Spanish Rabbi Moses Ben Nahman (Nahmanides) in 1267. First temple was constructed near the tomb of King David. Current site was settled in the 15th century, however in 1523 it had to be rebuilt after a collapse. Ramban Synagogue was the closed by the Muslim authorities in 1599. The building was transformed into a workshop. Only after 1967 war Israel captured the whole city of Jerusalem and reinstated the Synagogue to its former use.

 

Ariel Centre for Jerusalem in the First Temple Period (Jerusalem)

Bonei Hanomah Street

Tel. (02) 628 6288

Open: Sept- June 9am- 4pm Sun- Thu

July- Aug 9am- 6pm Sun- Thu

9am- 1pm Fri

www.ybz.org.il

 

This museum is devoted to the history of the ancient Jerusalem as it existed in the 7th and 6th century BC. This includes a large model of the whole city with a reconstructed First Temple that was erected by a legendary Israeli king Solomon.

 

 

Old Yishuv Court Museum (Jerusalem)

 

Open: 10am–3pm Sun–Thu, 10am–1pm Fri

 

Old Yishuv Court Museum is a former private residence constructed in the 15th century. Today it houses a museum devoted to the life of a Jewish community from the 19th century to 1917 when Ottoman Empire lost control over Holy Land. The top floor of the building holds 18th century Ashkenazi synagogue. It was closed briefly between 1948 when Israel was formed to 1967 when Israeli forces captured this part of the city.

 

Israelite Tower (Jerusalem)

"Then all the officials of the king of Babylon came and took seats in the Middle Gate: Nergal-Sharezer of Samgar, Nebo-Sarsekim a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer a high official and all the other officials of the king of Babylon." Jeremiah 39:3

 

Shonei Halakhot Street and Plugat ha Kotel Street

Open: 9am- 5pm Sun- Thu, 9am- 1pm Fri

 

Israelite Tower are remains of the defensive fortifications that date back to the 7th century. Most of the tower was destroyed. Today it reaches a height of 26 feet (8 meters) with a thickness of 13 feet (4 meters). Part of the ancient wall is currently covered by a modern apartment building so archaeologists were unable to uncover the section in full. However it was theorized to guard the defences of one of the gates of the ancient Jerusalem from the time of the First Temple. Further digs uncovered arrow heads of Israelite and Babylonian production further supporting a theory that it was a key stronghold in the defence of the city in 586 BC when it was finally captured by the invading Babylonians.

 

Saint Mary of the Germans (Jerusalem)

Misgav la- Dakh Street

 

 

Saint Mary of the Germans is a medieval Christian church that dates back to the 12th century. It was part of the large complex that were run by the Knights Hospitallers. It included a church, hospital for sick pilgrims and a hospice. Most of workers here were pilgrims from Germany, which is responsible for the name of the church. Most of the medieval walls are destroyed, but a section of the temple is still visible today.

 

 

Christian Quarter (Jerusalem)

 

Church of Holy Sepulchre (Jerusalem)

Tel. (02) 627 3314
Open: summer: 5am- 9pm daily
Winter: 4am- 7pm daily

 

For most Christians this is the holiest site on Earth since it is believed that on this place Jesus Christ died on a cross and subsequently buried. Golgotha at the time of crucifixion was a small hill just outside of walls of Jerusalem. It strange resemblance with a head is due to human activity that quarried stone for construction of buildings inside the city. Its remains are clearly visible in the subterranean portion of the church. Additionally its close proximity to city walls and major road leading to the city (roughly correlates with David Street today), made sure that everyone saw what can happened to anyone who opposed the power of the Roman Empire. Soon after the events described in the Gospels, city expanded and temple of Venus was build on the site. However Christians did not forget the place and came here to pray in secret. It was emperor Constantine with his mother Helena who finally tore down the pagan temple and established Christian Church in its place. Empress Helena started the construction by carrying out archaeological digs on the site of the former Golgotha. She discovered remains of the cross that was probably used for execution of Jesus as well as many other criminals over expanse of several decades.

 

Alexander Hospice (Jerusalem)

Souk el- Dabbagha

Tel. (02) 627 4952

Excavations: 9am- 1pm and 3- 5pm Mon- Sat

 

Alexander Hospice is an important site of the Russian Orthodox church was constructed in 1859 to house sick Eastern Orthodox pilgrims. During reconstruction in the 19th century parts of the layers were removed. Workers accidentally stumbled upon remains of the Herodian city walls and a Judgment Gate. This was the city limits of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus Christ. He undoubtedly passed through this gate on his path to Golgotha. Here people condemned to death were stopped. The guards could ask the surrounding people for the fate of the criminal. It was possible to save his life if a man of 18 years and above would ask for forgiveness of the fugitive. Since all apostles left the side of their teacher and Saint John was probably too young to legally voice his request Jesus passed the gate without much delay. All the women who stayed with Jesus couldn't save him since they had no right of voice in these matters. Along with a Judgment Gate there was a smaller gate known as a Eye of the Needle Gate. At the sunset the main door was closed and a smaller gate was the only way to get inside the city. It is possible that this was the actual Eye of the Needle that the Jesus mentioned when he said: "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" Matthew 19:23- 24. Additionally there are remains of the Roman Forum that was constructed here in the 2nd century AD by emperor Hadrian after the Jews were expelled from a city as a punishment for their rebellion.

 

Lutheran Church of the Redeemer (Jerusalem)

 

Location: Muristan Rd.

Open: 9am–1pm & 1:30pm–5pm Mon–Sat

 

Lutheran Church of the Redeemer was constructed on the orders of a German Emperor Wilhelm II in 1898. You will recognize by a distinct bell tower and if you chose to sleep in the proximity of the Church you will certainly hear its bells. If you manage to climb all 177 stairs of the bell tower you will get the best panorama view of the Old City and its surroundings.

 

Muristan (Jerusalem)

 

Muristan Street

 

Today Muristan is a small area South of Church of Sepulcher. It is lined by European styled buildings, several shops and a fountain. The name of the place is derived from Persian and means hospice for pilgrims. In the early medieval times this area was dotted by several hospitals and hospices for the Christians pilgrims who came to the site to pray. The first hospice was constructed here by Emperor Charlemagne in the 9th century after he got permission from the caliph Haroun el- Rashid. Later three churches were added including Saint John the Baptist that was reserved for the poor pilgrims. It still stands today in a good state of preservation. Other included Saint Mary Major of the Latins that was reserved for men and Saint Mary Minor that was reserved mostly for women. During medieval times a complex of hospitals and hospices houses over 2000 people, but over time the site was abandoned and many structures were torn down or reconstructed for private purposes.

 

 

Church of Saint John the Baptist (Jerusalem)

 

Christian Quarter Road

 

Constructed in the 5th century AD it is one of the oldest churches in the city. It was later reconstructed in the 11th century as part of the hospice complex intended to help pilgrims who came to pray to Jerusalem. After Crusaders took the city after a violent siege many knights were wounded in the battle. They were brought here with a hope of recovery. Needless to say the level of medicine at the time was really low and survival was nothing short of a miracle. Those lucky ones that survived battle wounds and medical treatment. dedicated themselves to helping other people. They found an monastic order of knights that became known as the Knights of the Hospital of Saint John also known as Hospitallers. This eventually became one of the largest orders in the medieval Europe. Unfortunately the interior is closed to the public.

 

Museum of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate (Jerusalem)

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate Road

Tel. (02) 628 2048

Open: 8am- 3pm Mon- Sat

Greek Catholic Patriarchate

Tel. (02) 627 1968

Open: 8am- 12pm Mon- Sat

 

 

Armenian Quarter (Jerusalem)

 

The Citadel (Jerusalem)

     

Near Jaffa Gate
Tel. (02) 626 5333
Open: 10am- 4pm Sun, Thu & Sat
10am- 2pm Fri

 

The Citadel of Jerusalem was constructed in the 2nd century BC for protection of the city from enemy attacks. Herod the Great further increased the defences of the fortress. He also added a massive tower that became known as a Phasael's Tower after king's brother Phasael. It was largely destroyed by Roman emperor Hadrian and reconstructed during medieval times. The Citadel is occasionally referred to as a Tower of David, although it was constructed much later after the death of a legendary king. Although much of the structure that is visible today date back to the 14th century with further improvements made in 1532 by Suleyman the Magnificent. Today it houses the Tower David Museum of the History of Jerusalem.

 

Saint Mark's Church (Jerusalem)

 

Location: 5 Ararat Street

Tel. (02) 628 3304

Open: 8am- 5pm

winter 8am- 4pm

 

This small and seemingly modest church has a long and interesting history. It is said to be constructed on a site of the house of Mary, mother of John Mark. In the Acts 12:12 this housed is mentioned as a sanctuary where apostle Peters flees after being liberated from prison by an angel. Syrian Orthodox Church also have an oral tradition that states Mary, mother of Jesus was baptized here. Furthermore it served as a gathering place of Pentecost.

 

A Walk on the Roofs (Jerusalem)

 

A Walk on the Roofs of Jerusalem begins at the corner of Khabad Street and Saint Mark's Road. An iron staircase leads to the roofs of Jerusalem houses. If you feel lost you can locals for directions.

 

Mardigian Museum (Jerusalem)

Armenian Patriarchate Road

Tel. (02) 628 2331

Open: 10am- 4:30pm Mon- Sat

Saint James' Cathedral (Jerusalem)

 

Armenian Patriarchate Rd.

Tel. (02) 628 2331

Open: 6:30–7:30am and 3–3:40pm Sun–Fri

6:30–9:30am Sat

 

 

 

 

Muslim Quarter (Jerusalem)

 

Saint Anne's Church (Jerusalem)

 

2 Shaar ha- Arayot Street

Tel. (02) 628 3285

Open: 8am- 12pm & 2- 6pm daily (2- 5pm)

 

Saint Anne's Church is a medieval church constructed between 1131 and 1138 replacing an older Byzantine church. A Christian tradition considers this to be the site where Saint Anne and Joachim, parents of Virgin Mary, used to live. The underground remains of their house are situated in the crypt of the church. Arabic inscription at the entrance states that great Arab leader Saladin turns the building into a theological school after he conquered the city from the Crusaders. Eventually it was abandoned and fell in disrepair.  The Ottomans turned possession of the medieval structure to the France in 1856 that subsequently reconstructed it.

Part of the Roman temple are found just outside of the walls of the church.  Additionally two cisterns from 8th and 3rd century BC are situated here. In the ancient times they were used to collect water for the residents of the city and its surroundings. These were turned into curative baths in the 1st century BC by Herod the Great.

 

Virgin Mary Birth Place (Jerusalem)

 

Virgin Mary Birth Place is located inside city walls near Lion's Gate. It was a former residence and birth place of Mary, future mother of Jesus Christ. The levels of the house above ground were destroyed during suppression of the Jewish revolt by the Roman army, but its underground levels have been preserved in its pristine original form. Watch your head as you descend below ground. People were very short at the time and their houses definitely reflect that.

 

Pool of Bethesda (Jerusalem)

 

Monastery of Flagellation (Jerusalem)

 

Via Dolorosa

Tel. (02) 627 0444

Open: 8am- 6pm (8am- 5pm in winter)

Studium Museum: Open: 9- 11:30am Mon- Sat

 

Monastery of the Flagellation is a Roman Catholic Franciscan monastery on a site traditionally believed to be the site of flagellation of Jesus Christ by the Roman soldiers on a last day of his physical life just before Crucifixion. A Chapel of Flagellation was constructed in 1920's and designed by Italian architect Antonio Barluzzi who also designed Dominus Flevit Chapel on the Mount of Olives. The monastery also contains ruins of the older medieval chapel that once stood here. Remains from the Byzantine and Crusades times were collected in the Studium Museum of this religious complex. Additionally it houses Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, an institute of Biblical studies.

 

Ecce Homo Arch (Jerusalem)

  

John (19:5) "Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!"

Via Dolorosa

Convent of the Sisters of Zion

Tel. (02) 643 0887

Open: 9am- 12pm & 2- 6pm Mon- Thu (2- 5pm winter)

 

 

Ecce Homo Arch clearly stands on the road of Via Dolorosa. Ttradition states that this is the site where Pontius Pilate presented beaten Jesus Christ to the crowd with words "Ecce Homo" or "Behold this Man" in Latin. The arch itself dates back to 70 AD when it was used as part of a huge siege ramp for the Roman Army that tried to take Anthonia Fortress. After reconstruction of the city this arch became part of the Triumph arch constructed in 135 AD to commemorate the victory of Rome over Jewish rebels. Additionally two smaller arches were added. One of these arches were incorporated as a main entrance in a church of Convent of the Sisters of Zion. The central arch spans Via Dolorosa.

 

Via Dolorosa (Jerusalem)

Via Dolorosa is a Latin term that means "Way of Grief" or "Way of Suffering". It is the path that Jesus Christ took in his last hours of his physical life. The road was drawn by the Roman Catholic monks in the 12th century upon conquest of Jerusalem by the Crusaders. The base of their knowledge was an oral tradition that existed here for centuries. Actual archeological digs were undertaken in the 19th and 20th century linking description in the Gospels to actual historic sites. It is broken into fourteen stations that describe certain events that took place on Good Friday. These stations are marked by Roman signs.

 

 

Station I- Jesus is condemned by Pontius Pilatus to death.

Station II- Jesus Christ is given his cross to carry to his crucifixion place of Golgotha

Station III- on the corner of modern via Dolorosa and El Wad Street Jesus falls for the first time. The path take a turn here to follow the shape of the Temple Mount

Station IV- Jesus meets Virgin Mary, his mother. Here you can see distinct Roman stones that stand out with its size and rounded corners polished by generations of people who walked these streets

Station V- Simon helps Jesus Christ carry his cross. Tradition goes that this is the site where Jesus fell and left an imprint of his hand on the stone. Here you can find that stone inserted into a wall

Station VI- At this place Saint Veronica comes to an aid of Jesus and wipes sweat off his face.

Station VII- Jesus Christ falls for the second time under a weight of his cross

Station VIII- This is the place where Jesus spoke to a Jerusalem woman. "But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children" (Luke 23)

Station IX- Here Jesus fell for the third time. This is the final station within the walls of the ancient Jerusalem. He left the city through Judgment Gate. It was uncovered in the 19th century during remodeling of the Russian mission that is adjacent to the Holy Sepulcher.

Station X- Roman soldiers undress Jesus before his execution and divide them between the guards. "And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take" (Mark 15:24)

Station XI- Jesus Christ is nailed to the cross

Station XII- Jesus Christ dies on the cross

Station XIII- Jesus is taken down

Station XIV- Jesus is laid in his tomb

 

Lady Tunshuq's Palace (Jerusalem)

El- Takiya Str

 

 

 

Lady Tunshuq's Palace is a small private residence that belonged, as the name suggested, to Lady Tunshuq who was of Turkish or Mongolian origin.  She was wife or mistress of a Kurdish nobleman in the 14th century. She lived here in a relative quiet from the busy streets of Jerusalem. After she died, she was buried across the street.

 

 

Central Souk (Jerusalem)

 Chain Street and David Street

Open: 8am- 7pm Sat- Thu

 

The Central Souk is a central market situated between Chain Street and David Street. In the Ancient times it formed part of the Roman Cardo, central market road of the Roman Jerusalem. Today it is still of the busiest markets in the city. It sells species, butcher meat and many presents and souvenirs.

 

Zedekiah's Cave (Jerusalem)

 

The entrance to the cave is situated underneath a city wall between Herod's gate and Damascus gate. It was used in the ancient times to quarry stone for various construction sites around ancient Jerusalem.

 

 

 

 

Jerusalem Walls And Gates

 

The Old City is surrounded by impressive walls that stretch for 4 km (2.5 mi) and reach at places height of 20 meters. They were constructed in 1536- 39 by Suleiman the Magnificent. His workers did not bother too much with the material and often used stones from earlier structures that were destroyed previously. The gates of the city include that of Damascus, New, Jaffa, Zion, Dung, Lion Gate or Gate of Saint Stefan and Herod's Gate. The eight gate is a Golden Gate that is situated in the Eastern Wall of the city in direction of the Hebron Valley.

 

Map of Jerusalem Gates and City Walls

 

Damascus Gate (Jerusalem)

 

Bus: 1, 2, 23

Roman Square Excavations

9am- 5pm Sat- Thu

9am- 3pm Fri

 

Damascus Gate was constructed by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1537- 42 during his huge fortification project of the city. The Arabs call this gate Bab el- Amud or Gate of the Column as a reference to a column that once stood here. The statue of Emperor Hadrian once stood on top of the column, but it was torn down long time ago. Jews called it Shaar Shkhem or Gate of Shechem after a city Shechem, known also as a Nablus in Arabic. It stood at the beginning of a road that led to Nablus.

 

Many tourists pass these beautiful gates without noticing a small entrance just below today's street surface. This arch is a smaller of the three Roman arches that once stood here. Constructed in the 2nd century AD by emperor Hadrian these remnants of the ancient Roman Jerusalem were uncovered only in the twentieth century by the archaeologists. It is worth a visit. Cool and somewhat gloomy remains are very well preserved having being buried by centuries of debris. And interesting and somewhat disturbing feature of the mortar that was used to connect the stones is presence of bones and other junk that was mixed.

 

Lion's Gate (Jerusalem)

Lion's Gate or Saint Stephen's Gate were constructed by Suleuman the Magnificent in 1538. Arabs call it Gate of the Virgin Mary or Bab Sitti Maryam as a reference to a tomb of Virgin Mary situated outside of the city. The name of Lion's Gate or Shaar ha- Arayot is a reference of a relief of lions that are situated just outside of the entrance to the Old City. During Medieval times the gate was renamed to Saint Stephen Gate after a first Christian martyr who was stoned here. However other sources claim that he was actually killed outside of Damascus Gate not far from here. Whatever might be the case it was here that Arab Legion entered the city in 1948 during Independence War and the same place where Israeli paratroopers entered in 1967 war. It is a nice starting point for Via Dolorosa since it was here where Jesus Christ started his path to Golgotha.

 

Jaffa Gate (Jerusalem)

 

Zion Gate (Jerusalem)

 

The damage around Zion Gate is not weathering. These are bullet holes.

 

Golden Gate (Jerusalem)

Golden Gate is currently is non- functional since it was closed by bricks during Turkish rule. Officially it was done for military purposes, but most likely it had religious purpose. In New Testament this gate was passed by Jesus Christ and his followers on a Palm Sunday. For Jews it is a an entrance that will be used by their Messiah who is yet to come.

Herod’s Gate (Jerusalem)

Herod’s Gate also is known by the Arabic Bab as- Zahra (Flower gate) and Hebrew Sha’ar HaParahim. Herod's Gate got its name from mistaken identity of the ruins nearby for the palace of Herod the Great. During fall of Jerusalem to the Christian army of the First Crusade on 15th July, 1099 breach in the wall was occurred just 100 meters east of the gate.

 

 

Dung Gate (Jerusalem)

 

Dung Gate is the smallest entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. Original ancient gate Shaar ha- Ashpot was intended to take out ash from the religious rituals in the Temple. Arabs who conquered the city renamed it to Bab Salwan since a road from Dung Gate led to the village of Salwan. In 1948 Jordanian enlarged the entrance to allow vehicles to pass inside the city. It is still remains the smallest gate in the historic walls.

 

New Gate (Jerusalem)

 

 

 

The Mount of Olives (Jerusalem)

 

The observation deck on the Mount of Olives offers the best view of the Whole Jerusalem. Mount of Olives itself stands at a height of 793 meters and it is the highest mountain surrounding Jerusalem. The name of this prominent geologic feature is given due to a fact that olives were cultivated here for at least 30 centuries. Directly in front of a lookout you can see a huge Jewish cemetery. First tombs here appeared as early as a period of the First Temple. Later generations added and expanded the burial site. According to a religious beliefs when the Messiah ascend the Mount of Olives He will begin resurrection of the dead from the dead who are buried here. The most prominent feature on the Mount of Olives is the Orthodox Church of the Ascension. Its 60 meter high white bell tower known locally as a Russian Candle stands on the highest point of the mountain. Nearby chapel of Ascension was constructed on a spot where according to tradition Jesus Christ ascended to heaven forty days after his crucifixion.

 

Tomb of Mary or Tomb of the Virgin also known as Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Jerusalem)

 

Jericho Road, Outside of Lion's Gate

Tel. (02) 628 4054

Bus: 99

Open: 8am- 12pm and 2:30- 5pm daily

Cave of Gethsemane

Open: 8:30am- 12pm and 2:30- 5pm

winter 8:30am- 12pm and 2:30- 3:30pm

 

Tomb of Mary or Tomb of the Virgin also known as the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a small church just outside of the Lion's Gate. It is believed that Mary, mother of Jesus Christ was buried here. First church was erected here in 326 by the orders of Empress Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine. She came to the Holy Land and Jerusalem on a first official archaeological expedition to search for artefacts tied to the New Testament. You will reach a basement of the church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary by descending by following a staircase down. The main room contains a  tomb where the apostles had laid the body of the Virgin Mary after her death. The tomb was opened by the decision of the Sixth Ecumenical Council. Nothing was found except a woman's belt and a burial shroud that allegedly belonged to mother of Jesus Christ. Additionally Church of the Assumption contains burial tombs of Mary's parents Joachim and Anna who were laid to rest on the right side of the altar. Joseph the Betrothed who married Mary is buried on the left side of the altar.

 

Garden of Gethsemane (Jerusalem)

 

Garden of Gethsemane is located on the Western slope of the Mount of Olives overlooking valley across Jerusalem. Only part of the original garden survived to our days, but you still can see eight blooming olive trees that were planted here in the 1st century BC so they were around when Jesus Christ walked these lands with his disciples. Garden of Gethsemane is famous among Christians as a place where Jesus Christ prayed a night he was betrayed by apostle Judas and where he was arrested. Gospel say that Judas handed over his teacher, led warriors to him in the garden and identified him by kissing him on a cheek. In the garden of Gethsemane you can still see a grotto where according to the New Testament he prayed. Local legends also claim that a drop of sweat and blood fell on the ground and melted the stone. In the 5th century a Christian Byzantine basilica was erected on the alleged site where it happened. Since 1681 the Garden of Gethsemane is under the control of Roman Catholic order of Franciscans.

 

Russian Church of the Ascension (Jerusalem)

Ruba el- Adawiya Street, Mount of Olives

Tel. (02) 628 4373

Open: 9am- 12pm Tue and Thu

Russian Church of the Ascension is the most prominent site on the Mount of Olives. Its bell tower that is locally known as a Russian Candle is the tallest structure on the mountain. Its bell that weights 8 tons was hauled here from Jaffa by Russian pilgrims. The church is part of the active Russian Orthodox Convent located here. It was constructed between 1870 and 1887.

 

Mosque of the Ascension (Jerusalem)

 

Ruba el- Adawiya Street, Mount of Olives

Mosque of Ascension is constructed on a site where Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven by Christian tradition. The first Christian church was constructed here in 380 AD with donations granted by a Roman noblewoman Poemenia who was a devout Christian. Later it was replaced by an octagonal church constructed by the Crusaders. remains of the columns are still visible outside of the original mosque. Underground tomb that is located near the site is considered to be the final resting place of prophetess Huldah by the Jews, Saint Pelagia by the Christians and holy woman Rabia el- Adawiya by the Muslims. The last also gives the name of the street where the site is located.

 

Church of the Pater Noster (Jerusalem)

 

Mount of Olives

Tel. (02) 626 4904

Open: 8:30am- 12pm and 2:30- 4:30pm Mon- Sat

Church of the Pater Noster was constructed on a site where Jesus Christ taught his apostles and disciples Lord's Prayer or Pater Noster ("Our Father"). This prayer is written in many languages on walls around the complex.

 

Lord's Prayer

Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Amen.

 

Church of All Nations (Jerusalem)

 

Jericho Road, Mount of Olives

Tel. (02) 626 6444

Bus: 99

Open: 8am- 12pm and 2:30- 5pm

summer: 8am- 12pm and 2:30- 6pm

Church of All Nations was constructed in 1919- 1924. It got its name since it was dedicated to 12 Catholic communities that donated money for its construction. Walls of the church is covered by mosaics of "Prayer of Gethsemane", "Betrayal of the Savior" and "The taking of Christ into custody". On the floor before the central altar the crown of thorns encircles a rock that is said to be the place there Jesus Christ prayed before being arrested. The windows of the Church of All Nations have blue stained windows. It gives an impression of calm night as a representation of the last night that Jesus Christ spend on Earth.

 

Church of St. Mary Magdalene (Jerusalem)

 

Mount of Olives

Tel. (02) 628 4371

Bus: 99

Open: 10am- 12pm Tue, Thu, Sat

Church of Saint Mary Magdalene is a Russian Orthodox Church that was constructed in late 19th century by the orders of Russian Emperor Alexander III. He dedicated this church to Saint Mary Magdalene in memory of his mother Mary or Maria. This church contains a coffin with the remains of Saint Elisabeth. She was sister of the last Russian Empress who came to Russia with her sister. Upon the death of her husband from the hands of political terrorists she became a nun. When Russian Revolution of 1917 struck Elisabeth with several members of the Royal Romanoff family were shot and thrown down an abandoned shaft. According to eyewitnesses she along with several members survived the execution and a fall. Apparently she tried to take care of the wounded relatives by ripping her dress and covering wounds. Her body was transferred to the Holy Land where she rests next to an altar on the right side. An area just outside of Church of Saint Mary Magdalene has benches and a fantastic view of Jerusalem below. The best time to see the beauty of this city is late in the evening when the sun sits behind the horizon, giving a a city yellow orange color.

 

Dominus Flevit Chapel (Jerusalem)

 

Mount of the Olives

Tel. (02) 626 6450

Bus: 99

Open: 8am- 5pm daily

 

Tombs of the Prophets (Jerusalem)

 

Mount of Olives

Open: 9am- 3:30pm Mon- Fri

 

Tombs of Zechariah (Jerusalem (Jerusalem)

 

Valley of Jehoshaphat

 

Mount Zion (Jerusalem)

 

Stepped Stone Structure (Jerusalem)

 

Stepped Stone Structure is a general name that is given to one of the oldest parts of the city. It was constructed during Iron age around 1100- 900 BC. At some point it served as a defensive wall of Israelite royal palace that was used from the 10th century to 586 BC and was probably destroyed during Babylonian invasion. Several terraces were constructed to support ancient fortifications. Subsequent additions of private residences were constructed on top of pre- existent structures. It was uncovered by R.A.S. Macalister in 1920's, Kathleen Kenyon in the 60's and Yigal Shiloh in the 70s and 80's of the 20th century. Excavation and preservation of the site continues to this day under supervision of Eilat Mazar.

 

Caiaphas House and Saint Peter in Gallicantu (Jerusalem)

 

Mlkj Tsedek Rd

Tel. (02) 673 4812

Bus: 38

Open: 8:30am- 5pm Mon- Sat

 

Saint Peter in Gallicantu is really well prominent in this part of the Jerusalem. It sits near ruins of the former house of priest Caiaphas or Caiaphas. According to New Testament Jesus Christ spent his last night here before crucifixion. It is also the place where Apostle Peter rejected any affiliation with Christ and His movement. Once he did it the third time the roosters cry marked the beginning of the day. Thus prediction of Jesus Christ during Last Supper came true.

 

Underground part of the ancient home did not change since the time Jesus Christ was imprisoned here. The actual place where he was imprisoned is believed to be a large cistern with a single entrance at the top. This was the only way in and out. Stairs that lead from the palace to the Kedron valley below were the one that Jesus Christ walked to a trial of Pontius Pilate.

 

 

King David's Tomb (Jerusalem)

Mount Zion

Tel. (02) 671 9767

Bus: 1, 2

Open: 8am- 8pm Sat- Thu, 8am- 2pm Fri

winter: 8am- sunset Sat- Thu, 8am- 1pm Fri

King David was said to be buried in Jerusalem. He is recognized as a prophet and a holy man in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. In the 4th century AD Christians constructed a small church over an alleged last resting place of the great Israeli king. However it was demolished by invading Persians. Muslims who took control of the city from the Crusaders constructed a mosque here that they named El Daoud. Its minaret or a prayer tower is still visible today. Today Tomb of King David is situated in an active synagogue. As you enter this small and narrow compound you will be asked to put on ritualistic Jewish cap. Small burial room is divided by a wooden fence. Men pray on the right side, while women pray on the left side. King David is buried in a large stone sarcophagus that is covered with a veil. Words from the Book of Kings is embroidered on the veil. Legends claimed that hidden treasures of the First Temple were buried inside the sarcophagus, so many conquerors of Jerusalem broke into it every time they took the city. This included Persians, Crusaders, Mamelukes and many others. As far as we know no one discovered any valuables.

Church of the Dormition (Jerusalem)

Mount Zion

Tel (02) 671 9927

Bus: 38, 20

Open: 9am- 12pm & 12:30pm- 6pm Mon- Thu

9am- 12pm & 2- 6pm Fri

10:30am- 12pm & 12:30- 6pm Sun

 

Hall of the Last Supper (Jerusalem)

Mount Zion

Open: 8am- 8pm daily (8am- 6pm in winter)

 

Oscar Schindler's Tomb (Jerusalem)

Mount Zion

 

 

 

Outside of the City of Jerusalem

 

The Garden Tomb (aka Gordon's Calvary) (Jerusalem)

 

Conrad Schick Street, not far from Damascus Gate

Tel. (02) 627 2745

Bus: 1, 3

Open: 2- 5:30pm Mon- Thu

www.gardentomb.com

 

The Garden Tomb is located just outside of the Damascus Gate. Many protestants believe that this is a true spot of crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ. It was "discovered" by General Major Charles George Gordon. He believed that the shape of a mountain in the outskirts of the Old City reminded of human skull. Existence of the tomb in the base of the cliff made his conviction more compelling. However certain facts don't quiet add up. For once the location of the tomb is too far from a city walls. Crucifixion was quiet grotesque and violent death that was intended to teach Roman citizen and subjects alike that the law of the Empire should not be broken. Killing someone this far from a city made little sense. Secondly the tomb that was called "The Tomb of Jesus" existed several centuries before the birth of Christ since the times of King David. Thus it wasn't exactly "new" as the New Testament claims it was. And lastly there is absolutely no oral tradition that associate this place with the events described in the Bible. Nevertheless it is a nice place surrounded by a garden. It is a nice hideout from a busy city.

 

 

Modern Jerusalem

 

King David Hotel (Jerusalem)

23 King David Str

Tel. (02) 620 8888

Bus: 7, 8, 30, 38

 

King David Hotel was constructed in 1930's. It was designed by as Swiss architect Emile Vogt for a Jewish- Egyptian Mosseri Family. It was named after after an ancient Israelite king and its general appearance has architectural elements from ancient civilizations. King David Hotel became World famous after one of the bloodiest terrorist acts in the Middle East. In 1946 hotel was used by many prominent British officials and military, thus it was chosen by the Zionist paramilitary group Irgun as their target. Take in consideration that Jewish terrorism unlike Muslim terrorism is not viewed as negatively. In fact many Israelis consider them as heroes.

 

Russian Compound (Jerusalem)

Khesh Street

Bus: 13, 18, 20, 23

Underground Prisoners' Museum

Tel. (02) 523 3766

Open: 9am- 5pm Sun- Thu

 

King's Tomb (Jerusalem)

Salah ed- Diri Str

Bus: 23, 27

Open: 8am- 5pm Mon- Sat

King's Tomb is a deceptive name given in the modern times by travelers who assumed that it belonged to a family of king David's family. In reality it was cut in the solid rock in the 1st century AD. Queen Helena of Adiabene from Mesopotamia moved to Jerusalem, converted to Judaism and was buried here.

 

Italian Synagogue (Jerusalem)

27 Hillel Street

Tel. (02) 624 1610

Bus: 18, 21, 22, 30

Open: 9am- 5pm Sun, Tue, Wed

9am- 2pm Mon

9am- 1pm Thu, Fri

Closed: Jewish religious holidays

www.jija.org

 

Solomon's Quarries (Jerusalem)

Sultan Suleyman Street

Bus: 23, 27

Open: 9am- 4pm Sun- Thu

9am- 2pm Fri

 

Saint George's Cathedral (Jerusalem)

53 Nablus Road

Tel. (02) 628 3261

Bus: 6, 23, 27

Visit by appointments only

 

Saint Etienne Monastery (Jerusalem)

Nablus Road

Tel. (02) 626 4468

Bus: 23, 27

Open: daily

 

Rockefeller Museum (Jerusalem)

27 Sultan Suleyman Street

Tel. (02) 628 2251

Open: 10am–3pm Sun, Mon, Wed,Thu

10am–2pm Sat

YMCA (Jerusalem)

24 King David Street

Tel. (02) 569 2692

Bus: 7, 8, 30, 38

Tower Open: 8am- 6pm daily

 

New City Hall (Jerusalem)

Jaffa Road

Tel. (02) 629 7777 and (02) 629 6666

 Bus: 6, 13, 18, 20, 27

Open: 8:30am- 4pm Sun- Thu

8:30am- 12pm Fri

 

Ticho House (Jerusalem)

9 Ha- Rav Kook Street

Tel. (02) 624 5068

Bus: 11, 13, 18, 20, 35, 48

Museum: Open 10am- 5pm Sun, Mon, Wed, Thu

10am- 10pm Tue

10am- 2pm Fri

Closed: Jewish holidays

 

Jerusalem Time Elevator (Jerusalem)

Beit Agron, 37 Hillel Street

Tel. (2) 625 2227

Open: 10am- 8pm Thu- Sun

 

Italian Hospital (Jerusalem)

Ha- Neviim and Shivtei Yisrael Streets

Bus: 27

Closed to public

 

Mea Shearim (Jerusalem)

Bus: 1

Mea Shearim is an interesting neighbourhood within borders of the modern Jerusalem. It is settled exclusively by Ultra conservative Orthodox Jews from Eastern Europe. Residents here wear clothes traditionally worn in Europe in the 19th century. Coming here is a lot like traveling back in time to the narrow streets of Eastern European Jewish settlements. However tourists should take in consideration that dressing provocatively or taking photographs might lead to aggressive behaviour from the locals. Make sure you dress appropriately if you want to visit the streets of the neighbourhood. And ask for permission if you want to take a picture of someone or some location.

 

American Colony Hotel (Jerusalem)

2 Louis Vincent Street

Tel. (02) 627 9777

Bus: 23, 27

 

Outskirts of the City of Jerusalem

 

Biblical Zoo (Jerusalem)

Manahat

Tel. (02) 675 0111

Bus: 26, 33, 99

Open: Sept- May 9am- 5pm

Jun- Aug: 9am- 7pm

 

Monastery of the Cross (Jerusalem)

Shalom Street

Neve Granot

Tel. (02) 679 0961

Bus: 18, 31, 32

Open: 10am- 4pm Mon- Sat

Monastery of the Cross was found in the 4th century by Eastern Orthodox monks who came here from Georgia in Caucasian mountains region. Monastery of the Cross is situated in the Western suburbs of modern Jerusalem. According to local legends monks chose new location in a cave where a tree once grew. Locals believed that it was the tree that was planted by Lot mentioned in the Old Testament. He escaped here with his two daughters after his native town of Sodom (along with Gomorrah) were wiped off the map for their wickedness, while his wife was turned into a pillar of salt after she disobeyed God's order and turned around to look at the destruction of the cities. Local beliefs also claim that this tree was cut down to make a cross for crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This legend also gave Monastery of the Cross its name. The tree is now gone, but the cave is still preserved under the altar of the monastery Church.

In the 5th century the monastery was expanded with the funds provided by Empress Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine who legalized Christianity in the Ancient Roman Empire. Dangerous position close to borders of the shrinking Byzantine Empire forced monks of the monastery to increase its defences. However it didn't prevent sacking and destruction of the monastery in 614 AD during Persian Invasion. Life in this religious complex soon was revived after the enemy left these lands. Monastery of the Cross grew and flourished in the 11th and 12th centuries. Additionally it held a theology school that was considered one of the best in the Christendom.

Monastery of the Cross was protected by thick walls, but even that couldn't save this Christian religious compound from violence in this unstable region. Muslims captured the monastery in the beginning of the 14th century and turned it into a mosque. In the 16th century the monastery was returned to the Christians and later transferred to the Greek Orthodox Church.

The interior of the Monastery of the Cross is well preserved despite many attacks, sieges and destruction. Its walls are still covered by frescoes from the 12th and 13th centuries. One of the depiction allegedly carries a portrait of a famous Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli, who lived here at the time these paintings were made. He is also buried in the main abbey church.

Yad Vashem (Jerusalem)

Mount Herzl

Tel. (02) 644 3400

Bus: 13, 21, 23, 27

Open: 9am- 5pm Sun- Thu

9am- 2pm Fri

www.yadvashem.org

 

LA Mayer Museum of Islamic Art (Jerusalem)

2 Ha- Palmakh Street, Talbiya

Tel. (02) 566 1292

Bus: 13, 15

Open: 10am- 3pm Sun, Mon, Wed, Thu

10am- 6pm Tue, 10am- 2pm Fri and Sat

 

Bible Lands Museum (Jerusalem)

25 Avraham Granot St, Givat Ram

Tel (02) 561 1066

Bus: 9, 17, 24, 99

Open: 9:30am–5:30pm Sun–Tue and Thu

9:30am–9:30pm Wed, 9:30am–2pm Fri and evenings of Jewish holidays

Closed: Sat and Jewish holidays

 

Supreme Court (Jerusalem)

Shaarei Mishpat Street, Givat Ram

Tel. (02) 675 9612

Bus: 9, 24, 99

Open: 8:30am- 2:30pm Sun- Thu

 

Knesset (Jerusalem)

Rothschild Street, Givat Ram

Tel. (02) 675 3333

Bus: 9, 24, 99

Open: 8:30am- 2pm Sun and Thu

 

Mount Herzl and Herzl Museum (Jerusalem)

Mount Herzl

Tel. (02) 643 3266

Bus: 13, 17, 18, 20, 23

Open: 9am- 3:30pm Sun- Thu

9am- 12:30pm Fri

 

Israel Museum (Jerusalem)

Ruppin Road, Givat Ram

Tel. (02) 670 8811

Bus: 9, 17, 24

Open: 10am- 4pm Mon, Wed, Sat and public holidays

4- 9pm Tue, 10am- 9pm Thu, 10am- 2pm Fri

Closed: Sundays, Yom Kippur

www.imj.org.il

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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