Unique Places in Jerusalem

  • Outside the City
    by machomikemd
  • Outside the City
    by machomikemd
  • Outside the City
    by machomikemd

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Jerusalem

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    Ramparts Walk

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Dec 18, 2012

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    A great way to see the new city of Jerusalem is the Ramparts Walk, which allows you to walk the city walls from the Jaffa gate to the Lion's gate. The views of the old city are not particularly great from this vantage point but you get great views of the surrounding city.

    ramparts walk ramparts walk ramparts walk ramparts walk ramparts walk
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    Alliance Church International Cemetery

    by iblatt Updated Nov 23, 2011

    We entered this cemetery almost by mistake, looking for the adjacent Templer Cemetery. A tour was just going to start, and we joined it. The guide was Miro Aharoni, who has dedicated a large part of his life to this cemetery. People of different denominations are buried here, some of them Jews who believe in Jesus ("Messianic Jews", as they call themselves), and others are non-Jews who tied their destiny with Israel.

    What these people have in common is that they led unusual lives in the Holy Land, and their life story is often exciting and extraordinary. Miro Aharoni knew some of them personally, and tells their story with a lot of excitement and dedication.

    We learned about Rev. John Stanley Grauel, who in 1947 helped the Hagana organization to purchase the ship "Exodus" to bring Jewish Holocaust refugees to the British-ruled Land of Israel as illegal immigrants. On his tombstone you can read the phrase: "He who saves a single life is as if he had saved the whole world".

    Another illustrious figure interred in this cemetery is Derek Prince, a world-renowned Bible teacher who reached many millions all over the globe with his radio broadcasts in several languages, with the motto: "Reaching the unreached and teaching the untaught".

    Another tomb contains the remains of Dola Ben-Yehuda, daughter of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda who revived the Hebrew language, and her husband, the German industrialist Max Wittman; in the 1930s the couple left Nazi Germany to the US and then to Israel, where they donated everyhthing they had to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

    Patricia Ann, a volunteer from New Zealand, is now painting a mural telling the Bible stories on the inner wall of the cemetery, a project she calls "The Jerusalem Wall of Life".

    This cemetery, definitely "off the beaten track", is another place where you can capture the special spiritual experience of Jerusalem.

    Miro Aharoni guiding a tour of the cemetery Alliance Church International Cemetery, Jerusalem The Star of David and the cross Alliance Church International Cemetery, Jerusalem
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    Wall Separates Isreal & Palestine

    by Mikebb Updated Feb 10, 2011

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    When we drove to Bethlehem, approx 12 miles from Jerusalem, we saw a recently erected concrete wall along the border. Heavily fortified with barbed wire it prevented people from crossing the border without permission.

    When we crossed the border we were stopped for 20 minutes whils officals checked our passport. In fact I believe a visa is required, however as we were on a day tour organised by ou cruise, we did not have to arrange individual visas, as we were on a group visa.

    Israel / Palestine Border Wall Israel / Palestine Border Wall Israel / Palestine Border Wall
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    Church of the Nativity - Bethlehem

    by Mikebb Updated Feb 7, 2011

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    This Church is one of the oldest surviving Christian Churches having being built in 326 AD by Constantine and his mother Helena It is built over the cave where Christ was born.

    Since those times the Church has been extended , rebuilt etc by the various rulers, including the Crusaders. The decorations within the Church reflect the different periods and people who had control.

    When we visited during October, 2010 the Church was having a complete refurbishment with approximatly 70% covered by scaffolding. Through all of this the beauty of the Church and it decoration was still able to be seen.

    Be prepared to wait should you wish to view the cave. We managed to have a brief viewing of the cave, however it was a serious crush through the crowd.

    Church Of Navtivity - Under Renovation Church of the Nativity - Beautiful Decoration Church of the Nativity Bethlehem Church of the Nativity - Bethlehem Church of the Nativity - Roof Renovation
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    Manger Square, Bethlehem

    by Mikebb Updated Feb 6, 2011

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    Our visit to Bethlehem was during the middle of the day, crowds were at their worst and there were many tourists in Manager Square. The majority were there to visit the Church of the Nativity and Church of St Catherine.

    The square is totally pedestrian.

    Manger Square, Bethlehem
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    Church Of The Nativity - The Grotto

    by Mikebb Updated Feb 4, 2011

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    The entry to the Grotto is very small, with 2 flights of steps leading down. For most visitors this is the reason for their visit, to see the place where Jesus was born.

    It had taken up a little over an hour after entering the Church of the Nativity to reach the grotto. You are limited to a minute or two inside the small grotto, however some tourist groups refused to move on, the Eastern European group in front of us remained for 15 minutes which caused much unrest.

    The marble floor has 14 silver points.

    Expect to see some very emotional people.

    Jesus's Birthplace - Church of the Nativity Steps Down To The Grotto - Nativity Church Grotto Grotto Inside The Grotto - Nativity Church
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    St. Catherine's Church - Bethlehem

    by Mikebb Updated Feb 2, 2011

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    It took approximately half an hour to travel from Jerusalem to St Catherine's Church in Palestine. An interesting drive including transfer into Palestine and a short walk through some Bethlehem streets brought us to Manger Square.

    St Catherine's was built by the Franciscans in 1880's on the site of a 12th century Augustinian monestry. It is connected to the Church of Nativity and we walked through it to gain entry to the Church of the Nativity.

    Our Palestine guide would not stop to see the church as he knew we were in for a long wait to gain entry to the Church of the Nativity.

    St. Catherine's Church - Bethlehem Inside St Catherine's Church, Bethlehem Stained Glass, St Catherine's Church, Bethlehem
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    The Bloomfield Garden

    by iblatt Updated Jul 23, 2010

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    Lots of visitors to Jerusalem go to the Yemin Moshe neighborhood and admire the view from the windmill towards the Old City and Mt. Zion.

    Not many visitors, however, continue through the Bloomfield Garden which goes parallel to King David Street, and connects this spot with the German Colony. It is a very pleasant short walk, on a stone path amidst trees, bushes and cacti, and at the German Colony end there is a nice fountain with animal sculptures which kids will love.

    You are also likely to see some of the interesting faces which make up the amazing human mosaic called Jerusalem! (see photo).

    Ethiopians in Bloomfiled Garden, Jerusalem Bloomfiled Garden, Jerusalem In Bloomfiled Garden, Jerusalem Kids playing in the fountain, Bloomfiled Garden Phillipa in Bloomfiled Garden, Jerusalem
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    Erich Mendelson's Windmill in Rehavia

    by iblatt Updated Jul 21, 2010

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    This is the lesser-known windmill in the center of Jerusalem; it stands in the Rehavia neighborhood, near the very central junction of King George and Agron Streets.

    It's hard to imagine this area of the city as an agricultural area, but this is what it was like in the mid-19th century. Fields of the surrounding villages provided the wheat, and the windmill was built by the Greek Orthodox Church to help feed the masses of Easter pilgrims.
    It fell into disuse towards the turn of the 20th century, and after the first world war the Greek Orthodox Church sold those wheat fields to the Jewish National Fund, who built there the residential neighborhood of Rehavia.

    The useless windmill was then purchased by the world-renowned German Jewish architect Erich Mendelsohn in the 1930s; he liked the conical stone structure of the mill, added a one-storey building beside it, and used the windmill as his home and office until he left the country in the early 1940s. He used to entertain the social elite of Jerusalem in his windmill.

    The windmill then changed hands, and at one time (in the 1960s) was even rented out to the Dutch ambassador in Israel!

    In the 1970s the windmill was almost torn down with the commercial development of central Jerusalem, but a public struggle lef to its conservation and conversion to a small shopping arcade with a rooftop restaurant in 1987: an example of how conservation and commercial development can go hand in hand, with good will and creative thinking.

    The windmill complex in Rehavia, Jerusalem The windmill in Rehavia, Jerusalem The windmill in Rehavia, Jerusalem
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    "Bridges for Peace" Building

    by iblatt Written Sep 12, 2009

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    At the turn of the 20th century the Ethiopian royal family bought land in Jerusalem, on Today's Ethiopia Street and around it. One of the houses built in this area served as a mansion for an Ethiopian princess. Nowadays this beautiful building, like several others, is rented out: today it serves as the international headquarters of a Christian non-profit organization, "Bridges for Peace".

    We toured the house guided by the friendly volunteers participating in this project, and were impressed with all their good voluntary activities and enthusiasm. The mansion is beautiful, both exterior and interior. There is also a serene garden with water flowing through it.
    The view from the roof is unique, especially towards the dome of the neighboring Ethiopian Church.

    The "Bridges for Peace" Building is on 7 Shaul Adler Street, off Ha-Nevi'im Street.

    From Ethiopian royal mansion to View from roof towards Ethiopian Church
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    The Painter's Bench

    by iblatt Updated Aug 6, 2009

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    Beside the Jerusalem-Bethlehem road, near the Mar-Elias monastery, there is an old stone bench facing Bethlehem and the Judean Desert.
    The inscription on the bench reads; "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul. And thy neighbor as thyself. This seat is placed here in memory of William Holman-Hunt, painter in Jerusalem 1854-1902, by his wife Edith, with the permission of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem."

    Holman-Hunt was a British painter who founded the Pre-Raphaelite movement along with Dante Gabriel Rosetti. He lived in Jerusalem in the second half of the 19th century and there he got the inspiration for his Biblical paintings.
    His favorite place to sit and paint was this spot, and the memorial stone bench has been preserved to the present day. You can still sit there and be inspired by the Biblical scenery, if you ignore the traffic on the Jerusalem-Bethlehem road!

    Sitting on William Holman-Hunt's bench Inscription by Holman-Hunt's widow William Holman-Hunt's bench
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  • iblatt's Profile Photo

    "The White Valley" - "Emek Lavan"

    by iblatt Updated Jun 14, 2009

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    After visiting the busy holy sites and the crowded markets, if you wish for a hike of an hour or two in nature within Jerusalem, Emek Lavan is waiting for you. An open space near the Ir-Ganim neighborhood, in the south-western part of the city. It is called "the white valley" because of the soft, chalk-white limestone of the rocks.

    You can start the trail either near the Ora Junction gas station or in Ir-Ganim, near the community center at 1 Dahomey Street. A nature path will take you down ancient agricultural terraces, all the way to a spring (Ein Lavan) and a small pool, with fresh water you can bathe in.
    The Biblical Zoo is just a stone's throw away from the Ein Lavan spring.

    It is not clear for how long Emek Lavan will remain as it is today: there are development plans for 10,000 housing units, roads, bridges... So, enjoy it while you can!

    Near Ein Lavan spring Pines in Emek Lavan Near Ein Lavan spring
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    The old city narrow streets

    by Gili_S Written Mar 8, 2009

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    Like in any old city I visit, also in Jerusalem I enjoyed walking around the narrow streets where I didn’t know where exactly the will be ended. I enjoyed the peaceful and relax atmosphere there. But all this can be change as a lightning strike if some fundamental people will deicide that he cannot take it anymore and want to join the 72 virgins in heaven.

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    King David?

    by Gili_S Written Mar 8, 2009

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    You can never know who you might meet while in Jerusalem. Many actually go to Jerusalem with the hope of the resurrection of Jesus, but then don’t be disappointed if it’s not happened on the day you were there, it might just be tomorrow :)

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    Ma'alot Beni: Scenic climb to the Old City

    by iblatt Written Oct 13, 2008

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    When Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany visited Jerusalem he wanted to enter it like an emperor, so part of Jaffa Gate was knocked down and the opening was widened especially for his carriage.
    If you want to enter the Old City the easy way, like the Kaiser, you'd better skip this tip.

    However, if you are ready for a 10 minute walk up a scenic path, you can enter the Old City the unconventional way. The path is called "Ma'alot Beni", and it starts below the south-western corner of the Old City walls, near Sultan's Pool, at the corner of Derech Hebron and Jerusalem Brigade Streets.

    The path climbs the western slope of Mt. Zion between low green shrubs, and affords a great view of Sultan's Pool, Yemin Moshe neighborhood and the gardens leading towards the King David Hotel. The Old City walls tower above you as you climb. You reach the south-western corner of the Old City walls, and then a narrow lane will take you past the Church of Dormition to Zion Gate and into the Old City (or to Mt. Zion sites if you turn right just before the gate).

    Enjoy the climb (and don't forget to take a small bottle of water with you for the way)!

    Almost at the top of the climb: Ma'alot Beni View from the path: Ma'alot Beni The Old City walls seen from Ma'alot Beni
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Comments (1)

  • constantrip's Profile Photo
    Mar 17, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    check out the cinemateque which is situated in the gey-ben-hinom valley also known as the sultan's pool, its just next to the old city's wall, with great view, a green valley to spend a quiet evening, and the cinema itself showing artistic films and with a lovely terrace restaurant

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