The Old City Jerusalem, Jerusalem

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  • The Old City Jerusalem
    by fabrice
  • Pilgrims enjoying the views
    Pilgrims enjoying the views
    by WStat
  • View from the Austrian Hospice
    View from the Austrian Hospice
    by WStat
  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Helen’s Church and Cistern

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Mar 16, 2010

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    Helen���s Church and Cistern
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    Queen Helen Coptic Orthodox church is located near the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. It includes one of the ancient sights in Jerusalem. It's a cistern (a water well). It was hewn in the rock and later discovered by Queen Helen, Constantine's mother in the 4th century. It provided water for drinking and building the Holy Sepulcher church.

    You can watch my 1 min 54 sec HD Video Jerusalem Helen’s Cistern out of my Youtube channel.

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    Jerusalem History Museum

    by dzohar Updated Oct 12, 2008

    As you enter the Jaffa Gate on your right hand is the Citadel, mistakenly called the Tower of David (he had nothing to do with it -but it was named in his honour) which is a VERY ancient building.Its foundations go back 2300 years.Inside is the Jerusalem History Museum- well worth a visit. It is clearly signposted in English, Hebrew and Arabic and there are guided tours, some in English.
    After spending an hour or so in the Citadel you will have a much clearer idea of the complex history of this ancient city.

    24 hour information line: +972-2-6265310

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    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology

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    Birds View of the Old City

    by WStat Written May 17, 2008

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    The Austrian flag flies in Jerusalem
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    In the center of Via Dolorosa there is a hidden jewel: on number 37 the "Austrian Hospice of the Holy Family" is located, a building with about 6 stories and a wonderful, accessible roof-terrace, offering stunning views over the Old City and her buildings.
    The"Austrian Hospice" was officially opened on 19 March 1863. With some major interruptions it serves as a hostel, hotel,restaurant and haven for pilgrims from all nations.
    1987 the building was completely renovated. Pilgrimage activities resumed in January 1988,since then, guests from all over the world have been able to enjoy its hospitality.
    Hotelrooms and dormitories - in the very center of Jerusalems Old City - are available at fair prices.
    Another attraction is the "Genuine Vienna Coffehouse", serving many dishes, usually only available in Vienna.

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    • Castles and Palaces

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    More examples of Mamluki architecture

    by FruitLover Updated Jan 27, 2008

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    "The characteristic decorative elements of the Mamluk period are:

    Mukarnas - graduated, three-dimensional stone stalactites in the half-dome above the entrance.

    Ablak - striped masonry. Courses of the beautiful cream-colored local limestone are alternated with courses of differently colored stone, usually red, but also black and yellow.

    Klebo - interlacing stones in different colors, carved in a variety of profiles and laid in intertwining, puzzle-like fashion".

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  • FruitLover's Profile Photo

    Mamluki architecture

    by FruitLover Updated Jan 27, 2008

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    "The characteristic decorative elements of the Mamluk period are:

    Mukarnas - graduated, three-dimensional stone stalactites in the half-dome above the entrance.

    Ablak - striped masonry. Courses of the beautiful cream-colored local limestone are alternated with courses of differently colored stone, usually red, but also black and yellow.

    Klebo - interlacing stones in different colors, carved in a variety of profiles and laid in intertwining, puzzle-like fashion".

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    • Historical Travel

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    Ethiopia in Jerusalem

    by inuit Written Jan 1, 2008

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    Many tourists come to visit the Holy Tomb church in the old city. Most of them miss a small door on the right side of the walls; if you walk inside you will come into the Ethiopian compund where monks and piligrims from Ethiopia live. Its a very unique place and I really recommand it.

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  • FruitLover's Profile Photo

    Coptic Orthodox Queen Helen Church

    by FruitLover Updated Dec 12, 2006

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    One of the ancient sights in Jerusalem. It's a CISTERN, a water well. It was hewn in the rock and later discovered by Queen Helen, Constantine's mother in the 4th century.

    It provided water for drinking and building the Holy Sepulcher church.

    If you go down the steps to this cistern you'll find a musical surprise waiting for you. Sing your HYMN and enjoy your ECHO-SOUNDING.

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    At the top of the Holy Sepulchre...

    by tzuki Written Dec 8, 2006

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    Ethiopean monks and me. Photo by David Ben Zur
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    There are different sites inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and entering the Ethiopean part you can find other non local places and areas away from crowds and visitors.
    We were entering a top of the roof where some Ethiopean monks were just talking and resting. My friend got exited to photograph them as they looked generously to our cameras.
    Was an amazing time to live at full.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Seniors

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  • fabrice's Profile Photo

    little streets

    by fabrice Written Sep 26, 2006

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    in the jewish quarter , in the old city , you will see these tiny narrow streets, where live very religious jews , go have a walk there in the morning, you will meet almost nobody, but sometimes, through an open door, you can have a look inside at yeshivas, where pupils learn the torah

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    The Austrian Hospice

    by Bregman Written Jun 17, 2005

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    Austrian Hospice

    The hospice is right on Via Dolorosa (number 37), but it's separated from the street with a tall fence. We set there on the steps in front of the gate to change film in the camera (yes... some of us are still analog dinosaurs) when someone buzzed the buzzer and went in. Then we saw there is someting in and went in. The building used to be a hospital and is now a hotel. There is a little chapel there coloured in bright colours as can be seen here and there are beautiful tiles in the entrance. This is a nice break from the hassle of the old city. You can have a coffee in the cafeteria and go on exploring the old city.

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    The Ethiopian Village

    by Bregman Updated May 7, 2005

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    The Ethiopian Village

    While this tiny village is not really "off the beaten path" as it right next to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, but is relatively unknown. It's hard to believe that people live in these tiny houses. But I guess this is a perfect place for the Ethiopian monks as it's right on top of the church.

    This church is the source of endless stories and plots. One of them involves these monks. The Ethiopian chapel is located next to a Coptic one. One day in the 70's, the Coptic monks were away. The Ethiopian monks took advantage of that, changed the locks of the chapel and claimed it as their own. The Coptic monks could do nothing. Being Egyptians there was no one to take care of their rights. Back then Israel had no relations with Egypt and it had very tight relations with Ethiopia, so there was no attempt to fix the problem. Several years later things have changed. Israel and Egypt were negotiating a peace agreement and the Ethiopian new communist regime broke the relations with Israel. So, the interests were quite different now. Egypt added a clause to the peace agreement, demanding the return of the chapel to the Coptic monks. Who are now back in theor chapel.

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    The Damascus Gate

    by 807Wheaton Updated Feb 9, 2005

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    For a different experience, try entering the city of Jerusalem through the Damascus Gate, which is the Arab Quarter.
    There you will see fewer tourists and more real-life activity. We spent an evening wandering through the shops and enjoyed interacting with the people that were there for an evening out.

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    • Religious Travel
    • Archeology

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  • gilabrand's Profile Photo

    Kotel Birds

    by gilabrand Updated Nov 7, 2004

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    “Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare” (Psalms 124:7)

    I can still see them in my mind’s eye: dozens of black birds, their wings spread, circling the Western Wall as the sun rose over the Old City on that morning in May.

    One of my brothers was celebrating his bar-mitzvah that day (when a Jewish boy turns 13, he is ushered in as a member of the community by performing certain rites, one of them wearing tefillin – phylacteries - and being counted as an adult in a prayer quorum.)

    The whole family went with him to the wall to pray that morning. It was very early. The air was cool, and the plaza in front of the wall, usually crowded with visitors, was almost deserted. We could come right up to the wall and touch the ancient stones. They were smooth and worn. Stuck in every crack and crevice as far up as people can reach were little bits of paper (it is customary to stick a “kvitl” in the wall inscribed with a prayer or wish). Higher up, various species of plants, among them thorny caper bushes with delicate purple and white flowers, jutted out between the stones.

    But those birds – they kept hovering overhead. Around and around they went, silent and eerie.

    They appear every day at the crack of dawn, an old woman told us. They are the souls of the dead.

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    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

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    Old City Market Haggling

    by Carmela71 Updated Mar 22, 2004

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    ceramics

    Israel is a good place to buy souvenirs and as in all Middle Eastern countries, haggling is a tradition.

    Some tips are:

    Never pay in a market the first price, once they tell you the price began to haggle, try first half price or even less, as much as you offer as much they will think you can pay. (well I did not follow this rule, even if I knew it in one of my shopping lol)

    Play the game, if you go out of the shop and he follows you, you can still play it ;-)

    Even if they are aggressive, do not let your self intimidate.

    If you are just looking, do not make the seller loose his time, even if it is a game, some politeness is appreciate.

    Window shopping here lol is not recommended ;-)

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    Old City Market

    by Carmela71 Updated Mar 22, 2004

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    Spices

    The best way to visit the city is simply to head straight down David Street from Jaffa Gate into the market.

    Of course you will be accosed by the shopkeepers, that will try to convince you to enter and see their stuff (specially when you are the only foreigner around, as it happened to us)

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