Jerusalem Israel is a must for any first time visitor
to the country. The importance of Jerusalem not just as
the capital of Israel but as a sacred city to three of
the world’s main religions cannot be overlooked.
The Jerusalem old city quarter is full of holy sites attracting
pilgrims and keen tourists from all over the world.
Fought over for centuries, the ancient walls of Jerusalem
mark the achievement of completing a once in a life time
pilgrimage to the holy city for many. The world over Jerusalem Israel represents the centre
of the globe. The holy city entices people from all facets
of life. Muslims, Jews and Christians have all at one
time or another lay claim to the city. Their presence
is represented by a number of holy religious monuments
sitting within the ancient walls of Jerusalem. Despite
occasional moments of violence all religious denominations
live side by side intermingling in the bustling markets
as prayer calls ring out over the city. The capital as
would expect for such a universally important religious
destination contains many a Synagogue, Mosque and Church.
Whatever your belief there is no escaping the pivotal role that Jerusalem Israel has had on world history and culture. Landmarks within the holy walls of Jerusalem are aplenty. Everywhere you go you are bound to stumble across another Jerusalem temple or ancient ruin.
The Jerusalem old city quarter is a mix of strong Jewish and Arab cultures. The Jerusalem old city district contains much of the capitals holy sites and presents the best opportunity to see the majority of Jerusalem’s top historical attractions contained among the bustling streets, Roman ruins and souvenir shops of the area. It is packed with monuments like The Tower of David and biblical paths like the Via Dolorosa, reportedly the path Jesus took to his grisly crucifixion. Tourists can also visit David’s Tomb, believed to be the resting place of King David. Archaeologists dispute this theory although it still draws the crowds.
A hub for city tours, the western wall still stands part of what was once the temple of Solomon. Destroyed in 587 BC by the Babylonians, the remaining wall is a big draw for many of Jewish faith to come and pray, leaving scribbled messages to God that are hidden between the stones of the wall. The so called ‘wailing wall’ presents a fascinating place for tourists to come and experience Jewish rituals at first hand.
With many a Jerusalem temple to choose from, tourists should not miss the Holy Sepulchre which stands on the site where Jesus was said to have been executed and buried. There are over 30 chapels on the site each dedicated to a different arm of the Christian church.
Inescapable and perhaps the most obvious Jerusalem temple is the golden topped Dome of the Rock situated on Temple Mount that dominates the view of Jerusalem and is a fine example of Islamic architecture. The monument represents one of the holiest places to the Islamic religion and is a magnificent place to visit.
Of interest the Citadel museum, the Bible museum and Israel museum are a must see to marvel at the Dead Sea scrolls and some of the most ancient artifacts in the world. There are also plenty of shopping opportunities most notably at the markets of Damascus Gate, the Ben Yehuda pedestrian street market, boutique shops of Nachalat Shiva and bustling food market of Mahane Yehuda.
Tourists are well catered for. Walking city tours and guided visits to religious sites and museums are well established. There is also a busy nightlife and many cultural festivals year round. A visit to Jerusalem old city and the ‘wailing’ western wall may well coincide with a Bar Mitzvah celebration. Particular sensitivity should be taken when visiting religious sites. Avoid wearing shorts and cover up as much as possible.