100 gates - Me'a She'arim
There is a neighborhood in Jerusalem called Me'a She'arim (100 gates in english).
The residents of this neighborhood are ultra orthodox jews.
If you will enter this neighborhood try to wear long clothes (or not too short) , don't take their pictures because most of them don't like it and you don't know how they will react and if you want to visit on friday or saturday you should know that you cannot enter with a vehicle only by foot , because it is forbidden.
- Religious Travel
Everything owned or operated by jews in Jerusalem closes at sundown on Friday and doesn't open again until Saturday after sundown, as this is the Jewish day of rest (Shabbat). Even the buses stop running as well as the sheruts from the airport so make sure you are settled in during this time as transportation, shopping, and dining are at a minimum.Related to:
- Religious Travel
- Historical Travel
Another security issue
Because of the Jewish-Arabic conflict there are a lot of security all over the city , not just holy places but also restaurants , the mall and places like that.
You will find a guard that will check your bag or use metal detector so don't be nervous , just let him do his work and enter the place.
The procedure is because the arabs sent a lot of people to explode themselves in public areas with Jews or to stab people with a knife.
Soldiers all around
Because Jerusalem is holy place and very sensitive because of the Jewish-Arabic situation you will see a lot of Israeli soldiers around the important places.
Don't be afraid but still , don't behave in a strange way.
Those soldiers are friendly and i am sure that if you will be nice and polite they will laugh with you or talk to you.
Respect the place
Jerusalem is a holy city for the 3 religions - Judaism , Christianity and Islam.
There are a lot of holy places for those religions so try to respect the place - wear clothes that are not too short , be quiet in those places.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Religious Travel
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Under Renovation - Very Crowded
We visited mid October, 2010 and the Church of the Nativity was being renovated. Scaffolding was everywhere which made it difficult to see the true beauty of this church. Good photos were hard to obtain.
Crowds and waiting times are to be expected. However the pushing, shoving and queue jumping was standard for the day. Very disappointing!
Be careful when entering the Grotto, there are 2 flights of stairs, very compact and people doing anything to get there first.Related to:
- Religious Travel
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
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Fires and earthquakes
Fires and earthquakes damaged the Church of the Holy Sepulcher many times.
A fire severely damaged the structure again in 1808, causing the dome of the Rotunda to collapse and smashing the Edicule's exterior decoration. The Rotunda and the Edicule's exterior were rebuilt in 1809–1810. The Russian Emperor Alexander 1 paid 4,5 million rubles for the renovation.
The dome was rebuilt and decorated once again after the 1927 earthquake.
The shrine is supported by scaffolding on the outside due to earthquakes.
The scaffolding on the outside of the structure was put in place to avoid earthquake damage.
The Jerusalem Syndrome
Its a medically recognised illness! Overwhelmed by the proximity of the Christian and Biblical references, approx 200 people per year suffer from Jerusalem Syndrome! In a nutshell, they believe they are a biblical character (Jesus is the favourite, but the Virgin Mary and Samson have been known to traipse the streets). It is more common among men and tend to be between the ages of 20-35 (and usually from a strong religious background). Luckily it tends to be temporary! Usual treatment is to leave the country.....Israel was on high alert for the year 2000 and the feared (many) 2nd (or in Jewish terms, the 1st) coming of the Saviour. It never materialised.
Wailing wall the Temple mount
During the friday prayers the Muslim people get often angry while their Imam (leader of prayer in a mosque) inflame them about the Jews.
It is recommended not to get very close to the wailing wall because they can throw things from the Temple mount.
You will often see policemen and soldiers near the place.
You should not be scared to visit be you should know there an option see Muslims disturbing the peace.
Entering Israel with a Syrian stamp
If you have a Syrian stamp in your passport, you will likely be under greater scrutiny when entering Israel. Relations between the two countries are hostile as Israel has occupied Syria's portion of the Golan Heights since 1967.
As an American who visited Syria, I was detained in a room and questioned for about 30 minutes. (If they did this to me, they will certainly no hesitate to do it to someone of a different nationality.) The Israelis find it hard to believe that someone would actually visit Syria as a bona fide tourist. They asked me where I live, my occupation and all sorts of other questions. I think they even called my work to verify the number I gave them.
If you have nothing to hide, do not panic. Just prepare your information (room reservations, itinerary, etc.) ahead of time. If you have any inconsistencies in your story they will give you problems. If you think you are being unfairly treated, request to speak with someone from your embassy.
The woman soldiers of course...
Well, I guess there are many subjects that can be written about safety in Jerusalem, but I am not the right person to tell you about it, my self, I never had any problems in Jerusalem, in the west side, east side or the old city. The only problems my Finnish friend has was with the women soldiers of course, they are so beautiful that he was in shocked and did not knew with whom to speak first.
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Do NOT avoid the "Yad Vashem-Shock"!
Located on the Mount of Remembrance, in Jerusalem, Yad Vashem is a vast campus with parklike walkways leading to museums, exhibits, archives, monuments, sculptures, and memorials.
Yad Vashem, was founded 1953 by the Israeli Knesset. Since its inception, Yad Vashem has been entrusted with documenting the history of the Jewish people during the Holocaust period, preserving the memory and story of each of the six million victims, and imparting the legacy of the Holocaust for generations to come through its archives, library, school and museums.
Watching the exhibits in the grandious architecture of Yad Vashem creates kind of a shock in each visitor, that must not be avoided. It will lead to the deep conviction, that similar crimes must never happen again and everybody is personally liable to contribute to the achievment of this goal.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Not a City of Peace, but not so dangerous
Jerusalem is sometimes called the City of Peace, and according to some it is the origin of the name Jerusalem. However, throughout the years it has more been a City of War, Fighting and Struggling. And it still is far from a City of Peace.
Despite this, I would not call Jerusalem an unsafe city. Yes, there are bombs and terror acts, but the chance of becoming a victim of this is very small. And yes, in places like Damascus Gate and Haram al Sharif, a little spark can set fire to the place, but as a tourist you will not be an aim of anger.
To be honest, I dont think Jerusalem is more dangerous than Amsterdam, London or Paris. And definitely (like most cities in Arab countries) more safe when you think of pickpocketing, robbery and other cruel crimes.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
CODE RED, REPEAT CODE RED - NEED FULL LOCKDOWN!
jerusalem shuts down like the whole city is in mourning around four or five on friday afternoon until saturday night. about 85% of the restaurants are closed and all the shops and stores are closed. there's noticably very few people on the streets and worst of all, there are no busses in the city or out of the city. you will have a lot more fun if you spend friday night somewhere other than jerusalem. on the other hand, jerusalem has a different feeling about it on saturdays when there's no one about.Related to:
- Family Travel
- School Holidays
Ok, this is a important tip.
As soon as I told everyone that we were going to Israel, everyone got worried about us, some call us crazy and other just told us to be careful (well that is good, it means they really care about us and appreciate us hehehe) but seriously I never felt so safe (except on the road driving, not sure who learn to drive here, if people of Madrid teached them or Madrilians learned from them hehehehe just kidding lol)
The imagines we see on Tv are from certain areas that most of the tourist do not reach (Palestine occupied territory), I am not going to makes comments of who is right or wrong, as for any history there are always two sides of the history. And with the years we all know, that nothing is white or black, and none of us is right 100% ...
Tourist have never been targeted by terrorism here, and I found that most of the places I had been were very safe.
So I really recommend people to visit this country.
By sure I will be back (yes Martin, I have to try your wonderful bbq lol)
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