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Jerusalem - Places to visit


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Old City
At Jerusalem's heart is The Old City, which is surrounded by a wall and divided into four quarters: The Jewish, Armenian, Christian, and Muslim. Inside the walls are the important holy sites of the three major religions... Show more

The Western Wall

( Ha-Kotel Ha-Ma'aravi ) is part of a big renovation project initiated by King Herod. In the year 37 BCE, Herod was appointed king in Jerusalem and he soon initiated a huge...
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renovation project for the Temple He hired many workers who toiled to make the Temple more magnificent and to widen the area of the Temple Mount by flattening the mountain peak and building four support walls around it. The Western Wall is the western support wall built during this widening of the Temple Mount Plaza. The Second Temple was destroyed in the year 70 CE. Despite the destruction that took place, all four Temple Mount support walls remained standing. Throughout the generations since the Temple's destruction, the Western Wall was the remnant closest to the site of the Temple's Holy of Holies that was accessible to Jews. Therefore, it became a place of prayer and yearning for Jews around the world. When Jews expressed their longing for Jerusalem through song, Judaica, jewelry, and prayer, the image of Jerusalem was conveyed via the image of the Western Wall. The Old City of Jerusalem, and the Western Wall within it, was not in Jewish hands from the War of Independence in 1948 until the Six Day War in 1967.

The Western Wall Tunnels

- In the nineteenth century, the most distinguished Jerusalem scholars were already trying to determine the precise measurements of the Western Wall and...
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describe the methods used in its construction However, their information was incomplete, mainly because they were unable to discover the wall's entire length. Nevertheless, British researchers Charles Wilson, in 1864 and Charles Warren, in 1867-1870, uncovered the northern extension of the Western Wall Prayer Plaza. The shafts that Charles Warren dug through Wilson's Arch can still be seen today. Immediately after the Six Day War, the Ministry of Religious Affairs began the project of exposing the entire length of the Western Wall. It was a difficult operation, which involved digging beneath residential neighborhoods that had been constructed on ancient structures from the Second Temple period and were built up against the Western Wall. Some residents used underground spaces as water holes or for sewage collection. The excavations required close supervision by experts in the fields of structural engineering, securing subterranean tunnels, archeology, and of course, Jewish Law.

The Davidson Center

- The newly constructed Ethan and Marla Davidson Exhibition and Virtual Reconstruction Center is situated at the entrance to the Jerusalem Archaeological...
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Park, one of the largest, most significant archaeological sites in the country. It is some 100 meters south of the Temple Mount complex, in the recently excavated and restored underground storage complex belonging to a seventh century CE Umayyad Palace. The new center offers the visitor an in-depth archaeological and historical introduction to the Jerusalem Archaeological Park by means of an exhibition of archaeological objects, augmented by visual, textual and audio information. One of the highlights of this modern facility is a real-time virtual reality reconstruction of the Herodian Temple Mount as it stood prior to its destruction by Roman troops in the year 70 CE. Real-time technology allows users to interact with the computer environment, enjoying freedom of movement as in the physical world.

The Jewish Quarter

of the Old City of Jerusalem incorporates many holy and historical sites, and is an outstanding starting point for any tour of Jerusalem, from family tours through to...
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guided study tours. In the Jewish Quarter, between the alleyways of the Old City, you will find sites that are both well known and new, restaurants, and other surprises that will turn your outing into something special. The Western Wall, the City of David, the Temple Institute, the Herodian Quarter, the Courtyard of the Old Yishuv, The Hurva Synagogue and other interesting sites are all easily accessible in the Jewish Quarter, and will make you tour of Jerusalem colorful and easy to plan. "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee" (Psalms 122).

David's Citadel

( The Tower of David ) is an ancient citadel located near the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. The citadel was built to strengthen a strategically weak...
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point in the Old City's defenses, the citadel that stands today was constructed during the 2nd century BCE and subsequently destroyed and rebuilt by, in succession, the Christian, Muslim, Mamluk, and Ottoman conquerors of Jerusalem. It contains important archaeological finds dating back 2,700 years, and is a popular venue for benefit events, craft shows, concerts, and sound-and-light performances.

The name "Tower of David" is due to Byzantine Christians who believed the site to be the palace of King David.

City of David

- The story of the City of David began over 3,000 years ago, when King David left the city of Hebron for a small hilltop city known as Jerusalem, establishing it as the unified...
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capital of the tribes of Israel. Years later, David's son, King Solomon, built the First Temple next to the City of David on top of Mount Moriah, the site of the binding of Isaac, and with it, this hilltop became one of the most important sites in the world. Today, the story of the City of David continues. Deep underground, the City of David is revealing some of the most exciting archeological finds of the ancient world. While above ground, the city is a vibrant center of activity with a visitor's center that welcomes visitors for an exciting tour to the site where much of the Bible was written.


The Dome of the Rock

is the oldest Islamic monument that stands today and certainly one of the most beautiful. It also boasts the oldest surviving mihrab (niche indicating the direction...
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of Mecca) in the world. The sacred rock over which the Dome of the Rock is built was considered holy before the arrival of Islam. Jews believed, and still believe, the rock to be the very place where Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac (an event which Muslims place in Mecca). In addition, the Dome of the Rock (or the adjacent Dome of the Chain) is believed by many to stand directly over the site of the Holy of Holies of both Solomon's Temple and Herod's Temple. The Dome of the Rock was built by the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik from 688 to 691 AD. It was not intended to be a mosque, but a shrine for pilgrims. According to tradition, the Dome of the Rock was built to commemorate Muhammad's ascension into heaven after his night journey to Jerusalem (Qur'an 17). But there seems to have been more to it than this, since the Dome of the Ascension was later built nearby.

The Christian quarter

was built around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which is the heart of the quarter. Around the church there are other churches and monasteries. In general the...
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quarter contains few houses, which are mostly concentrated in the southern-eastern part of the quarter near Jericho Gate. It contains mostly religious tourists and educational buildings, such as the Lutheran school and St. Pierre school. Christian buildings stand on much of the quarter. Besides the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which occupies most of the land, the Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox, the Franciscan monastery, San Salvatore and the Latin Patriarchate take up large areas as well. The quarter also contains souvenir shops, coffee houses, restaurants and hotels. The shops are mostly concentrated in the market street, David Street, and along the Christian Road. Some of the hotels (such as the Casa Nova hotel and the Greek Catholic hotel) were built by the churches as places for visitors to stay. Others are private hotels. The quarter also contains some small museums (such as the museum of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate). In the southwest part of the quarter there is a pool called Hezkiyahu's Pool that was used to store rain water for the area.

Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Originally built by the mother of Emperor Constantine in 330 A.D., the Church of the Holy Sepulcher commemorates the hill of crucifixion and the tomb...
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of Christ's burial. On grounds of tradition alone, this church is the best candidate for the location of these events. The Garden Tomb was not identified as such until the 19th century. The original Byzantine church was destroyed by the Persians in 614 A.D. Rebuilt shortly thereafter, the Egyptian caliph al-Hakim destroyed the church in 1009 and had the tomb hacked down to bedrock. The Crusaders rebuilt the church and much of what is standing today is from that time period. The ladder in the upper right window has been there since at least 1860, a testimony to rivalries between the church's factions. Inside the church is a rocky outcropping which is the traditional place where the cross was placed. Archaeological excavations have demonstrated that this site was outside the city but close to one of its gates and thus would have been a good location for a crucifixion. Today this chapel is controlled by the Greek Orthodox Church.

Via Dolorosa

- The Via Dolorosa(Latin for Way of Grief or Way of Suffering) is a street, in two parts, within the Old City of Jerusalem, held to be Jesus' final path, which according to Christian...
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tradition led from the courthouse to Golgotha Hill, where he was crucified and buried. The current route has been established since the 18th century, replacing various earlier versions.
It is today marked by nine Stations of the Cross; there have been fourteen stations since the late 15th century, with the remaining five stations being inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The route starts in the Muslim Quarter, at Lions' Gate, and passes the 14 stations of the cross, ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Many Christian pilgrims come to Jerusalem every year to follow Jesus' footsteps along the route.

Mount Zion and Dormition Abbey

- Southwest of the Old City is Mt. Zion, where the Dormition Abbey was built on the site Christian tradition believes Mary spent her last...
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night. The abbey was built about 100 years ago and in the basement there is a statue of the sleeping Mary. Beside the abbey is the Room of the Last Supper, where Jesus ate his last meal. This complex was constructed by Kaiser Wilhelm II beginning in 1900. The church was built in response to a request to have a German Catholic church in the city following the Kaiser's support for the construction of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in 1898.
The modern Mt. Zion is a misnomer applied by Byzantine pilgrims who thought that the larger, flatter Western Hill must be the original City of David. Archaeological evidence has shown that this hill was only incorporated within the city's fortifications in the 8th century B.C. but the name has stuck. The Hinnom Valley borders this hill on its western and southern sides.

Mount of Olives

is the hill on the eastern side of Kidron Valley which facing the Old City of Jerusalem. Its name came from the olive trees that once grew on its hillside from ancient...
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times. According to Jewish tradition, the Messiah will appear here and bring the dead back to life. Therefore, the hillside became the most holiest cemetery, and the hillside is covered by thousands of grave stones. In Mount of Olives there are also many other important Christian sites, and several churches:
New Jerusalem
The construction of the new city's Jewish neighborhoods began in the late 19th century. Some of the neighborhoods have retained their original picturesque charm, and wandering among the houses is a real pleasure... Show more

Yemin Moshe

was established in 1891 by Moses Montefiore outside Jerusalem's Old City as a solution to the overcrowding and unsanitary conditions inside the walls, and eventually named...
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for him. Few people were anxious to live there at the time, because the area was open to Arab marauders. The original houses were built with a wall around them and a gate that was locked at night. Mishkenot Sha'ananim, as the first houses were known, consisted of two rows of buildings. The first was completed by 1860 and contained 28 apartments of one-and-a-half rooms. The compound also had a water cistern with an iron pump imported from England, a mikveh and a communal oven. The second row of houses was built in 1866 when a cholera epidemic was at its height in the Old City. Some of the people who took up residence in the new neighborhood refused to stay there at night, but that year, the demand for apartments rose as illness spread.

The German Colony

(Ha-Moshava Ha-Germanit) is a neighborhood in Jerusalem, established in the second half of the 19th century by members of the German Temple Society. Today...
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the Moshava, as it is popularly known, is an upscale neighborhood bisected by Emek Refaim Street, an avenue lined with trendy shops, restaurants and cafes.
The Arab residents of Katamon fled in 1948, in the wake of fierce battles for control of the area during the Israeli War of Independence. The abandoned homes in the German Colony and other parts of Katamon were used to house new immigrants. Since the end of the 20th century, the neighborhood has undergone a process of gentrification. Efforts are being made to restore old landmark buildings and incorporate some of their architectural features, such as arched windows and tiled roofs, in new construction. Numerous cafes, bars, restaurants, and boutiques have opened in the neighborhood, and many affluent families have moved there, pushing up the price of real estate. The German Colony has a large English-speaking population, with the English speaking community comprising both families and singles, permanent immigrants and visitors. The neighborhood is home to the Smadar Theater, Jerusalem's arthouse cinema and a perennial gathering place for the artisterati.

Nachlaot

is a cluster of neighborhoods in central Jerusalem, Israel known for its narrow, winding lanes, old-style housing, hidden courtyards and many small synagogues. The...
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neighborhoods that make up the Nachlaot (plural of nachala, lit. "homestead") district were established outside the walls of the Old City beginning in the late 1860s as the Jewish Quarter became increasingly overcrowded and unsanitary. Mishkenot Yisrael was built in 1875. The name comes from a biblical verse (Numbers 24:5): "How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob/Thy dwellings, O Israel." Mazkeret Moshe was founded by Sir Moses Montefiore in 1882 as an Ashkenazi neighborhood. Ohel Moshe is a Sephardi neighborhood established alongside it. Former Israeli president Yitzhak Navon grew up in Ohel Moshe, and the neighborhood served as the inspiration for his play Bustan Sephardi (Sephardi Orchard). The Banai family, a famous family of actors and singers, lived in Nachlaot. A Syrian Jewish community settled in Nachlaot in 1900 and built the Ades Synagogue, which was completed in 1901. Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda outdoor market is located next to Nachlaot. Rabbi Aryeh Levin, known as the "prisoners' rabbi" for his visits to members of the Jewish underground imprisoned in the Russian Compound, lived in Mishkenot Yisrael. Nahalat Ahim, south of Rehov Bezalel, was founded in 1925 for the Yemenite community.

Mahane Yehuda Market

, often referred to as "The Shuk", is an outdoor marketplace in Jerusalem, Israel. Popular with locals and tourists alike, the market's more than 250 vendors...
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sell fresh fruits and vegetables; baked goods; fish, meat and cheeses; nuts, seeds, and spices; wines and liquors; clothing and shoes; housewares, textiles, and Judaica. In and around the market are falafel and shawarma stands, juice bars, cafes and meat restaurants. The color and bustle of the marketplace is accentuated by vendors who call out their prices to passersby. On Thursdays and Fridays, the marketplace is abuzz with shoppers stocking up for Shabbat.


Ben Yehuda Street

is a major street in downtown Jerusalem, known as the "Midrachov". It is now a pedestrian mall and closed to vehicular traffic. The street is lined with souvenir and...
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Judaica shops and sidewalk cafes, and street musicians play there throughout the day. Your stroll down the Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall is a good chance to meet Israelis from all walks of life, especially on Saturday night as stores and cafes re-open after the Sabbath ends and it becomes especially popular with the teenage and young adult crowd.
Ben Yehuda Street is named after the founder of Modern Hebrew, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda.


Nahalat Shiv'a

is a neighborhood in central Jerusalem, Israel. Nahalat Shiv'a was the third neighborhood built outside the Old City of Jerusalem in the 1860s. Today it is a crowded...
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pedestrian promenade lined with sidewalk cafes. Shiv'a was the second residential neighborhood built outside the city walls. It was founded in 1869 as a cooperative effort by seven Jerusalem families who pooled their funds to purchase the land and build homes. Lots were cast and Yosef Rivlin won the right to build the first house in the neighborhood. In 1873, milk cows were imported from Amsterdam and a dairy was opened in Nahalat Shiv'a. A carriage service to Jaffa Gate was inaugurated that summer.

YMCA

The cornerstone for the Jerusalem YMCA was laid in 1928 by Lord Plumer, the British High Commissioner for Palestine, on a plot of land in the West Nikephoria section of Jerusalem...
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purchased from the Greek Orthodox Church Patriarchate. When the building opened on April 18, 1933, the event was attended by YMCA leaders from around the world. Every detail of the building, with its elegant arches, domes and tower, was described in the world press, which hailed it as a wellspring of cultural, athletic, social and intellectual life. Until 1991, the YMCA stadium was the only soccer stadium in Jerusalem. The building, still standing today, was designed by noted American architect Arthur Loomis Harmon of Shreve, Lamb and Harmon. The stadium was razed by developers to make way for a luxury housing project known as King David's Court.

Monastery of the Holy Cross

is Greek-Orthodox monastery, built as a fortress, located in the Rehaviah valley (Cross valley). According to tradition it is the site of the tree that was used to build...
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the cross of the crucifixion. The monastery was initially built in the Byzantine period, during the 5th C AD. It was repaired by Caesar Justinian in the mid 6th C. The Monastery was destroyed during the Persian invasion (614AD). In 796 the Arabs butchered all the residing monks. It was rebuilt in the 11th C by a Georgian Monk, and enjoyed better times during the times of the Crusaders. The site was a large center in the 13-14th C, and hosted a hundreds of Georgian monks, scholars and poets. After the Crusaders left the city (1267AD) the site was under the control of the Mamelukes, who added a mosque inside the complex. During the times of the Mamluk ruler Baibars (1260-1277) the Church was demolished and the monks removed, but were permitted to return on 1305 after pressure from Byzantine.

Ein Karem

(Ein Kerem - Spring of the Vineyard) is an ancient village of the Jerusalem District and now a neighbourhood in southwest of Jerusalem. According to Christian tradition, John the...
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Baptist was born in Ein Kerem, leading to the establishment of many churches and monasteries. In 2010, the neighborhood had a population of 2,000.It attracts three million visitors a year, one-third of them pilgrims from around the world.
Ein Karem, so close to the city and yet with such a different atmosphere, is also a great draw for Israeli visitors, whom you'll find strolling along the lanes with you, exploring the churches, browsing the little shops, savoring a cup of coffee or a meal, and just like you, enjoying a perfect interlude.

The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

stretches across an area of 250 dunams (25 hectares or 62 acres) in a lovely valley surrounded by green hills and new neighbourhoods. The zoo encircles...
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a small lake situated near the main gate. The lake is fed by a series of pools and waterfalls that flow one into the other. Spacious lawns and shady beauty spots surround the lake and pools. The water system is artificial, and relies on recycled water. The zoo is built on two main levels that house most of the animal exhibits. One main, circular route extends the length of both levels and connects most of the sites on the zoo grounds. Additional side paths also connect the two levels, and exhibits are situated along these paths as well.

The Knesset

is Israel's legislature. The Knesset first convened on 14 February 1949, following the 20 January elections, succeeding the Assembly of Representatives that had functioned...
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as the Jewish community's parliament during the Mandate era.
The term "Knesset" is derived from the ancient Great Assembly or Great Synagogue which according to Jewish tradition was an assembly of 120 scribes, sages, and prophets, in the period from the end of the Biblical prophets to the time of the development of Rabbinic Judaism about two centuries ending c. 70 CE. There is, however, no organizational continuity and aside from the number of members little similarity, as the ancient Knesset was an essentially religious, completely unelected body. The Knesset sits on a hilltop in western Jerusalem in a district known as Sheikh Badr before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, now Givat Ram. It was financed by James A. de Rothschild as a gift to the State of Israel. It was built on land leased from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Before the construction of its permanent home, the Knesset met in the Jewish Agency building in Jerusalem, the Kessem Cinema building in Tel Aviv and the Froumine building in Jerusalem.

Sacher Park (Gan Sacher)

The first thing one notices when presented with the expanse of west Jerusalem's Gan Sacher (Sacher Park) is a simple plant common in much of the world but rare in the big cities and...
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towns of Israel: grass. Jerusalem, for all its venerable charm, is not a particularly verdant city, with only its parks offering any large amount of green space. But the parks are impressive, and Gan Sacher is the best of the lot, a kilometers-long stretch of space separating Nachlaot and Rechavia from the government complex housing the Knesset and the Supreme Court.
The park's amenities include two play areas for children (one large and modern, the other old, wooden and emblematic of a more austere Israel), basketball courts, tennis courts, soccer pitches, a skateboarding park, a dog area, a walking/running path, and two tunnels which seem to serve as the communal canvas of Jerusalem's graffiti artist community. The park is often host to huge concerts during holidays and yearly festivals, and every inch of it is covered by grill-bearing families committed to having fun the only way they know how on Independence Day.
Nightlife areas in Jerusalem
People who like to go out in the evenings will love Jerusalem's main night life regions which include coffee shops, restaurants, bars, dance clubs, theaters, cinemas, street concerts and more different activites for all ages... Show more

The German Colony

(Ha-Moshava Ha-Germanit) is a neighborhood in Jerusalem, established in the second half of the 19th century by members of the German Temple Society. Today...
Read more
the Moshava, as it is popularly known, is an upscale neighborhood bisected by Emek Refaim Street, an avenue lined with trendy shops, restaurants and cafes.
The Arab residents of Katamon fled in 1948, in the wake of fierce battles for control of the area during the Israeli War of Independence. The abandoned homes in the German Colony and other parts of Katamon were used to house new immigrants. Since the end of the 20th century, the neighborhood has undergone a process of gentrification. Efforts are being made to restore old landmark buildings and incorporate some of their architectural features, such as arched windows and tiled roofs, in new construction. Numerous cafes, bars, restaurants, and boutiques have opened in the neighborhood, and many affluent families have moved there, pushing up the price of real estate. The German Colony has a large English-speaking population, with the English speaking community comprising both families and singles, permanent immigrants and visitors. The neighborhood is home to the Smadar Theater, Jerusalem's arthouse cinema and a perennial gathering place for the artisterati.

Ben Yehuda Street

is a major street in downtown Jerusalem, known as the "Midrachov". It is now a pedestrian mall and closed to vehicular traffic. The street is lined with souvenir and...
Read more
Judaica shops and sidewalk cafes, and street musicians play there throughout the day. Your stroll down the Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall is a good chance to meet Israelis from all walks of life, especially on Saturday night as stores and cafes re-open after the Sabbath ends and it becomes especially popular with the teenage and young adult crowd.
Ben Yehuda Street is named after the founder of Modern Hebrew, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda.


Nahalat Shiv'a

is a neighborhood in central Jerusalem, Israel. Nahalat Shiv'a was the third neighborhood built outside the Old City of Jerusalem in the 1860s. Today it is a crowded pedestrian...
Read more
promenade lined with sidewalk cafes. Shiv'a was the second residential neighborhood built outside the city walls. It was founded in 1869 as a cooperative effort by seven Jerusalem families who pooled their funds to purchase the land and build homes. Lots were cast and Yosef Rivlin won the right to build the first house in the neighborhood. In 1873, milk cows were imported from Amsterdam and a dairy was opened in Nahalat Shiv'a. A carriage service to Jaffa Gate was inaugurated that summer.


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