Jerusalem

Image
02

Bethlehem

Situated just 12km (7 miles) south of central Jerusalem, the town of Bethlehem lies just across the 'Green Line' in the West Bank, and is fully under Palestinian control. It is an interesting excursion if security considerations make it possible. Extreme care is required on a visit to this town, and it is very important to check the current situation before travelling there. Visitors should keep abreast through English-language daily newspapers, such as The Jerusalem Post, but also check with locals before planning a trip.

01
Bethlehem
02

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Containing the last five Stations of the Cross of the Via Dolorosa, this is the holiest Christian site in Jerusalem. Upon entering the church, the little stairway to the right lead to the Chapel of Golgotha and three Stations of the Cross - where Jesus was stripped, crucified and removed from the cross. The Sepulchre itself is at the centre of the church and marks where Jesus is believed to have been buried and resurrected. Downstairs is the Angel's Chapel , where the resurrected Christ made known himself to Mary Magdalene. The site of the church was first chosen in the fourth century by Queen Helena and the existing structure dates mainly from the period of the Crusades. It is divided into sections, which are each under the jurisdiction of a different Christian denomination. Protestants do not accept that this was the site of the Crucifixion or Resurrection.

01
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
02

Ein Gedi_Dead Sea

Located on the western shore, the Ein Gedi Resort offers a chance to float in the Dead Sea, relax in its sulphur pools and enjoy its excellent restaurant. Bathers can be covered in black mud before going for a dunking in the sea, which, at some 400m (1,320ft) below sea level, is the lowest point on earth. Famous for its curative powers, the Dead Sea is the saltiest and most mineral-laden body of water in the world.

01
Ein Gedi_Dead Sea
02

Mount Olives

Rising beyond the city walls, to the east of Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives is part of the range of hills surrounding Jerusalem. The olives that gave the place its name were cut down in Roman times and the western slope is now covered by the white tombs of the largest Jewish cemetery in the world. Tragically, it was badly vandalised during the Jordanian occupation (1948-1967), when the stones were smashed and defaced and many were removed to be used for construction. Among both Jews and Christians, the traditional belief is that the resurrection of the dead will begin on the Mount of Olives. The mountain has added religious significance for Christians, as the place Jesus came on the night before his arrest and trial.

01
Mount Olives
02

Western Wall

The Western Wall, known to non-Jews as the Wailing Wall, is a 488m (1,601ft) stretch of wall which is all that remains of the Second Temple of Jerusalem. The wall was built more than 2,000 years ago under King Herod, and has been under Israeli control since 1967. It is also sacred to Muslims who believe that the wall marks the place where the prophet Mohammed tied up his winged horse, al-Burak, before ascending to heaven. It has been divided into two sections of prayer, the left for men and the right for women, and forms part of a larger wall surrounding the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque.

01
Western Wall
Share facebook twitter gplus

Related Slideshows