Fun things to do in Jerusalem

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    The Ramparts (City Walls)

    by antistar Updated Feb 26, 2014

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    A great, and often overlooked, introduction to the city is to walk along the Old City walls. From here you can look in, to the Old City, and out, to Arab East and Jewish New Jerusalem. It offers a quiet and relaxing stroll, and gives you the chance to get your bearings before you enter the maze of crowded, hectic streets below. It also allows for some great views, especially of the Temple Mount from Damascus Gate.

    It costs a few shekels to access the walls.

    Jerusalem Ramparts East Jerusalem from the Ramparts Dome of the Rock from the Ramparts Dome of the Rock from the Ramparts

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    Christian Quarter

    by traveloturc Updated Oct 23, 2013

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    For many Christian, pilgrims to Jerusalem, the most important and meaningful thing they will do while in the city is walk the "Via Dolorosa", The route that Jesus took between his condemnation by Pilate and his crucifixion and burial. The Via Dolorosa pilgrimage is followed by Christians of many denominations, but especially Catholics and Orthodox.
    The best way to follow the Via Dolorosa, or way of suffering, is to enter Lion's Gate (St. Stephen's Gate) from the eastern side of the City (beside the Temple Mount). This is the route, Christians believe Jesus traveled carrying the cross from his trial to the place of his crucifixion and burial. The 14 stations commemorate incidents along the way. The first seven stations ,wind through the Muslim Quarter. The last five, are inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The tradition of following the Via Dolorosa dates to the Byzantine period.

    Via Dolorosa
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    Milk Grotto Church (Bethlehem)

    by machomikemd Written Oct 15, 2013

    The milk grotto is a Roman Catholic Grotto with a Chapel topside which is under the custody of the Francisan Order and lies parallel to the Church of the Nativity along Milk Grotto Street in Bethlehem with access at the Manger Square. The site is sacred as it is purpoted to be the site that the holy family hid during the slaughter of the of the Innocents that King Herod ordered then to destroy the Messiah. and while feeding the baby Jesus Christ, a drop of milk fell to the ground and the ground became white. the site is just beside the Church of the Nativity, lying parallel to the huge church. the grotto sits on a previous 5th century byzantine church and The Franciscans erected a church around the Milk Grotto in 1872 and extended a chapel in the underground grotto in 2007. expectant mothers also bought the Milk Grotto stone fragments with Prayer and you can buy them in the front of the Chapel above at 10 NIS per pack.
    Open: 8am-5pm (Sun closed noon-2pm)

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    Mosque of Omar (Bethlehem)

    by machomikemd Updated Oct 15, 2013

    Like what I've said, there are two Mosques of Omar fronting Christianity's famous sites, one is fronting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and one facing the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, both inspired by the Late Islamic Caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate in the 7th century after he defeated the Byzantine empire and conquered the levant (Israelm Jordan, Syria, Lebanon).

    It is ironic that Bethlehem is now a Muslim Majority Town but it only has one mosque. The Only mosque of Bethlehem is the Mosque of Omar, situated just a stone's throw away from the Church of the Nativity across Manger Square. The Mosque was built by the in the late 1800's in 1860 to commemorate one of the Rashidum (holy men after mohammed) of the Umayyad Caliphate, Omar Ibn Al Kattab (also was head of the Umayyad Caliphate at that time), who traveled to bethlehem in the 6th century to issue a law that would guarantee respect for the shrine and safety for Christians and clergy in it , and, in order to keep the Christian site intact, he instituted the Pact of Omar preventing Muslim prayer assemblies at the church. The Mosque is the site where he prayed. The land where the Mosque was built was donated by the Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem in the 1850's.

    the mosque facing manger square the mosque from the church of the nativity from manger square
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    Sheperd's Fields: Helena Cave

    by machomikemd Written Oct 15, 2013

    This will be my tips and pictures of Restored Cave Like Chapel inside the Roman Catholic Part of the Biblical Sheperd's Fields in the Town of Bait Sahour, which was built among the ruins of a Byzantine Church by Saint Helena. It is 3 kilometers south from Nativity Square in Bethlehem and lies just across the Jesuralem Kibbutz of Ramat Rachel but access is via the Rachel's Crossing from Jerusalem to Bethlehem There are actually two competing sites and the other site is under the custody of the Greek Orthodox Church.

    On the Roman Catholic Part of the Shepherd's Field in Beit Sahour, there is a large chapel and a cave of which there are ruins of an ancient Byzantine Church where Saint Helena built and upon the church ruins are the cave where there are Dioramas of the Shepherd's field with nativity scenes. The Cave and the Chapel are under the Custody of the Franciscan Order of the Roman Catholic Church. There is also a large chapel at the front of the Cave where you can sing Christmas Carols like silent night as the Chapel has a high dome with good acoustics.

    Catholic Shepherds' Fields Church:
    Mornings Daily — 8:00 am - 11:30 am
    Afternoons Daily — 2:30 pm - 5 pm

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    Sheperd's Fields Chapel in Bethlehem

    by machomikemd Written Oct 15, 2013

    This will be my tips and pictures of the Roman Catholic Part of the Biblical Sheperd's Fields in the Town of Bait Sahour, 3 kilometers south from Nativity Square in Bethlehem and just beside the Ramat Rachel Kibbutz of Jerusalem of which there is no acces gate as you need to cross the Rachels Crossing to Bethlehem near Har Homa Distict to go here.. There are actually two competing sites and the other site is under the custody of the Greek Orthodox Church.

    On the Roman Catholic Part of the Shepherd's Field in Beit Sahour, there is a large chapel and a cave of which there are ruins of an ancient Byzantine Church where Saint Helena built and upon the church ruins are the cave where there are Dioramas of the Shepherd's field with nativity scenes. The Cave and the Chapel are under the Custody of the Franciscan Order of the Roman Catholic Church. There is also a large chapel at the front of the Cave where you can sing Christmas Carols like silent night as the Chapel has a high dome with good acoustics.

    Catholic Shepherds' Fields Church:
    Mornings Daily — 8:00 am - 11:30 am
    Afternoons Daily — 2:30 pm - 5 pm

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    Mosque of Omar

    by machomikemd Written Oct 15, 2013

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    there are actually two mosques of Omar, both of which were founded by the early Rashidun Caliphate after they conquered the Levant from the Byzantine Empire in 678, the first Moque of Omar lies across the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem and was built in 683 and the fairly recent Mosque of Omar just across the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, both were built by Omar bin Al Khatab as Omar knew that if he prayed at both churches, they would be converted to mosques. He knew that if he prayed in the church, it would set a precedent that would lead to the building's transformation into a mosque. He instead prayed on the steps outside, allowing both churches to remain a Christian holy place.

    Mosque of Omar in Jerusalem is just across the maint entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

    It is open to Muslims Only.

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    East Jerusalem

    by machomikemd Written Oct 11, 2013

    East Jerusalem is formerly part of Jordan as it captured the area in the 1948 war and lost it to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War. East Jerusalem is the more famous part of Jerusalem as it hast almost all the attractions in Jerusalem and contains all the holy sites in Judaism, Christianity and Islam like the Temple Mount, Al Aqsa Mosque, Dome of the Rock, Mount Zion, Mount of Olives, Western (Wailing) Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Chapel of Ascension, Garden of Gethsemane, etc.

    according to wikipedia:

    Aftermath of 1948 war[edit]

    Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Jerusalem was divided into two parts. The western portion, populated primarily by Jews, came under Israeli rule, while the eastern portion, populated mainly by Muslim and Christian Palestinians, came under Jordanian rule. Arabs living in such western Jerusalem neighbourhoods as Katamon or Malha either fled or were in some cases forced out; the same fate befell Jews in the eastern areas, including the Old City and Silwan. The only eastern area of the city that remained in Israeli hands throughout the 19 years of Jordanian rule was Mount Scopus, where the Hebrew University is located, which formed an enclave during that period and therefore is not considered part of East Jerusalem.

    Following the 1967 Six-Day War, the eastern part of Jerusalem came under Israeli occupation, along with the entire West Bank. Shortly after the Israeli takeover, East Jerusalem was annexed to West Jerusalem, together with several neighboring West Bank villages. In November 1967, the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 was passed, calling for Israel to withdraw "from territories occupied in the recent conflict" in exchange for peace treaties. In 1980, the Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law, which declared that "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel",[2] thus formalizing Israel's unilateral annexation. This declaration was determined to be "null and void" by United Nations Security Council Resolution 478.

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    West Jerusalem

    by machomikemd Written Oct 11, 2013

    West Jerusalem is the Capital of Israel and although Israel has control of both east and western areas of Jerusalem since the 1967 six day war, most of the administrative and modern housing and shopping areas are located in west jerusalem, while most of the historical sites like the temple mount, western wall, mount of olives, church of the holy sepulchre, etc. are located in East Jerusalem. West Jerusalem hosts the Israeli Parliament, the knesset, the bible lands museum, wohl park, many modern hotels (where we stayed), Hebrew University of Jerusalem and more.

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    Chords Bridge of West Jerusalem

    by machomikemd Updated Oct 11, 2013

    Once you enter West Jerusalem from the highway that starts at the west bank near the Dead Sea, you would see a Bridge that is shaped like a hanging chord (Gesher HaMeitarim) and is appropiately named chords bridge which was built in 2008 to spruced up the West Jerusalem Skyline but you could not see the beauty of the bridge from all angles as some of the buildings nearby blocks the view. The Chords Bridge connects between Herzl Avenue and Jaffa Street and A striking feature of the bridge is a single 118-meter high mast supported by 66 steel cables. length is about 400 meters, the length of its steel cables is 150 meters and its weight is 4,500 tons.

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    Mount Zion

    by machomikemd Written Oct 10, 2013

    the Biblical Mount Zion (also known as Mount Moriah) is just across the Western Side of the Old CIty and is nearest to the Dung Gate and Zion's Gate to the Western Wall and Jewish Quarter. The mountain is the location of the first temple, while the temple mount (dome of the rock) inside the walls is the location of the second temple. Mount Zion Today hosts a number of attractions like the Cenaculum (Last Supper) was held here, the Dormition Abbey, King David's Tomb, on the east side is the Church of Peter in Gallicantu, it also has the first holocaust museum (smaller then the Yad Vashem) and Oskar Shindler (remember him from Schindler's list) is buried at the Catholic Cemetery Here.

    I will have separate tips on some of the attractions in Mount Zion.

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    Pope's Road (Ma'ale HaShalom)

    by machomikemd Written Oct 10, 2013

    when East Jerusalem was stil in Jordan's Possesion, Pope Paul VI visited Jerusalem and to honor the visit, The Jordanians paved the Dirt Road along the Passage to Mount Zion, where the Last Supper was located, from the old city walls and the road in Kidron Valley and hence the road is now known as the Pope's Road or Ma'ale HaShalom in jewish. The road ends at the steps going to the Dormition Abbay and at the Last Supper and David's Tomb.

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    Pater Noster Church (2)

    by machomikemd Written Oct 10, 2013

    Part two of my pater noster tips with more pictures around.

    Just a Stone'e throw away in the top of mount of olives in al tur neighborhood from the Chapel of Ascension is the Pater Noster Church. This was the biblical site where Jesus Christ Taught the Lord's Prayer (latin: Pater Noster) to his disciples before ascending at the chapel of ascension nearby. The Present Site is from the remains of the previous Byzantine Church built by empress helena in the 4rth century around the cave where the prayer was taught and also of the remains of a Crusader church. At Present, the church and the cave is under the custody of the Carmelite Order of the Roman Catholic Church. The highlights of the site is the cave where Jesus taught his disciples on his last journey, and a large collection of ceramic tiles that are displayed on its walls, bearing the Luke 11:2-4 Pater Noster prayer written in over 70 languages.

    Opens: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm everyday
    admission is Free

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    Pater Noster Church (1)

    by machomikemd Written Oct 10, 2013

    Just a Stone'e throw away in the top of mount of olives in al tur neighborhood from the Chapel of Ascension is the Pater Noster Church. This was the biblical site where Jesus Christ Taught the Lord's Prayer (latin: Pater Noster) to his disciples before ascending at the chapel of ascension nearby. The Present Site is from the remains of the previous Byzantine Church built by empress helena in the 4rth century around the cave where the prayer was taught and also of the remains of a Crusader church. At Present, the church and the cave is under the custody of the Carmelite Order of the Roman Catholic Church. The highlights of the site is the cave where Jesus taught his disciples on his last journey, and a large collection of ceramic tiles that are displayed on its walls, bearing the Luke 11:2-4 Pater Noster prayer written in over 70 languages.

    Opens: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm everyday
    admission is Free

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    Chapel of The Ascension (2)

    by machomikemd Written Oct 10, 2013

    Part two of my chapel of the ascension tips with more pictures

    due to the convuluted history of the middle east and the various wars and conquest during the ages, the Chapel of the Ascension here in the Al Tur District at the Top of Mount of Olives was formerly a Byantine Church in the 4rth century(where empress helena consturcted the church on the spot where Jesus acended into heaven), then a Crusader Church in the 11th century (rebuilt the byzantine church which was destroyed in the 7th century) which was then destroyed and then became a mosque during the conquest of Saladin and then at present, the mosque is situated outside the main walls of the Chapel but the Islamic Waqf of Jerusalem Still owns the Chapel of Ascension and collects NIS 5 per Christian Pilgrim who will enter inside and pray for a maximum of 3 minutes per tour group to pray. To the right of the entrance is the tower of the adjacent mosque and to the left of the gate are remains of the Crusader church. In the center of the floor, inside the chapel dome, is a stone with a cavity. According to tradition, it is an imprint of the foot of Jesus when he made the ascent to heaven. Visitors come here to cherish the last spot of Jesus on earth, read passages from texts and sermons, chant and light up candles.

    The Chapel of the Ascension was believed to be the site where Jesus ascended into heaven and nearby is where he taught the lord's prayer (at the Pater Noster Church Nearby).

    Opens: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm everyday
    admission is NIS 5 per person


    according to wikipedia:

    After the fall of Jerusalem in 1187 the ruined church and monastery were abandoned by the Christians, who resettled in Acre. During this time Salah ad-Din established the Mount of Olives as a waqf entrusted to two sheikh's, al-Salih Wali al-Din and Abu Hasan al-Hakari. This donation was registered in a document dated 20 October 1188.[4] The chapel was converted to a mosque, and a mihrab installed in it. Because the vast majority of pilgrims to the site were Christian, as a gesture of compromise and goodwill Salah ad-Din ordered the construction, two years later, of a second mosque nearby for Muslim worship while Christians continued to visit the main chapel. Also around this time the complex was fortified with towers, walls, and guarded by watchman.[5] The shrine and surrounding structures saw periods of non-use and disrepair over the next 300 years. By the 15th century the destroyed eastern section of the octagonal outer wall was separated from the rest by a dividing wall and was occupied by peasant houses and animal stables.[6] Though still under the authority of the Islamic Waqf of Jerusalem, this mosque is currently opened to visitors of all faiths, for a nominal fee.[7]


    The Chapel of the Ascension
    Interior[edit]

    The main structure of the chapel is from the Crusader era; the octagonal drum and stone dome are Muslim additions. The exterior walls are decorated with arches and marble columns. The entrance is from the west, the interior of the chapel consists of a mihrab indicating the direction of Mecca in the south wall. On the floor, inside a stone frame, is a slab of stone called the "Ascension Rock".[8]

    Ascension rock[edit]

    The main octagonal ædicule surrounds the Ascension rock, said to contain the right footprint of Christ., the section bearing the left footprint having been taken to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Middle Ages. The faithful believe that the impression was made as Jesus ascended into Heaven and is venerated as the last point on earth touched by the incarnate Christ.

    Burial crypt[edit]

    The grounds also contain a burial crypt near the chapel that is revered by three separate monotheistic religions, although opinion differs on the occupant. Jews believe it contains the 7th-century BC prophetess Huldah, Christians believe it to be the tomb of the 5th-century saint Pelagia of Antioch; while Muslims maintain that the 8th-century Sufi mystic and Wali, Rabi'a al-Adawiya is buried there.

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