Jerusalem

The capital of Israel is “united and indivisible” Jerusalem, the holy city for the three largest monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Located on a plateau in the Judean Mountains, on the watershed of the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, at an altitude of about 800 meters above sea level, about 60 km from the Mediterranean coast and 30 km east of the Dead Sea.

Region։Israel
Above sea level։754 m

“Ask peace to Jerusalem: Yes, those who love you prosper!” (Psalm 121: 6)

The capital of Israel is “united and indivisible” Jerusalem, the holy city for the three largest monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Located on a plateau in the Judean Mountains, on the watershed of the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, at an altitude of about 800 meters above sea level, about 60 km from the Mediterranean coast and 30 km east of the Dead Sea.

For millennia, pilgrims came here to worship the holy places. The shrines for Jews are the Temple Mount and its Western Wall (Wailing Wall). The Wailing Wall is a shrine for the Jews and a monument to the tragedy of the Israeli people, the only thing left of the First and Second Jerusalem Temples. For Christians of all confessions – the Church of the Resurrection of Christ (Church of the Holy Sepulcher), the Way of the Cross, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Mount of Olives and many churches built where Jesus walked. For Sunni Islam, Jerusalem is the third holiest city, after Mecca and Medina. Muslims believe that Muhammad was transferred on a magical steed from Mecca to a “hill on the edge” – a description in which interpreters of the Koran see the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. According to their interpretation, there he prayed, and then over the location of the destroyed Temple of Jerusalem, the heavens opened and the way opened, which he ascended to heaven. The sacred Muslims are the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Golden Dome on the Temple Mount, the Place on which the Temple stood and from which, according to Muslim beliefs, Muhammad ascended to heaven.

Currently, Jerusalem is a modern metropolitan city, where the Knesset (Israeli parliament), the presidential residence, the office of the Prime Minister, many interesting and unique museums, galleries of applied and visual arts, Christian churches, cathedrals and monasteries, synagogues and mosques are located. Founded in 1925, Hebrew University in Jerusalem is among the top 100 educational institutions in world rankings. Such outstanding Jewish intellectuals as Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud were members of the university’s board. The university has released several Nobel laureates; Among the last recipients of the award related to the Hebrew University are Avram Hershko, David Gross, and Daniel Kahneman. The world famous Museum of Israel attracts almost a million visitors a year, about a third of which are tourists. The museum complex of 81,000 square meters. Includes several buildings featuring special exhibitions and extensive collections of Judaica, archaeological finds, Israeli and European art. The scrolls of the Dead Sea, discovered in the middle of the 20th century in the Qumran caves near the Dead Sea, are housed in the Temple Books of this museum. The museum also has a large outdoor sculpture garden and a miniature model of the Second Temple.

The city has many places of recreation and entertainment, hotels and restaurants, countless cafes, where both international and national cuisines are presented.

Literally a few kilometers from Jerusalem, the city of Bethlehem is located, where David was anointed to the kingdom, and Jesus Christ was born 2,000 years later. Empress Helen ordered to build in the city the Basilica of the Nativity.

It is clear that hundreds of thousands of tourists arriving in Israel, first of all, want to visit its capital – Jerusalem. And after visiting they are not disappointed. They are attracted to this city again and again – and this is quite predictable, because tourist Jerusalem is practically inexhaustible … That is why Israel2Go has prepared a whole series of excursions where tourists can get acquainted with the history and various aspects of life in this ancient city (see here). Note also that in the arsenal of the company Israel2Go and excursions in small groups of up to 16 people (Comfort), which allow tourists to learn more about the historical and religious sites (see here).

For two thousand years, when they parted, the Jews said goodbye to each other, “Next year in Jerusalem!”. We tell our tourists: “In this, exactly this year in Jerusalem! You are waiting here!

Sights of Jerusalem

Old city

The old city of Jerusalem is the name of the area of ​​the city with an area of ​​about 1.0 km². Perhaps the most saturated and attractive part of Jerusalem for tourists. Here are the most significant places for followers of the three monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam (see below). Until 1860, when the Jewish quarter of Mishkenot Sha’ananim was founded, it was all of Jerusalem. The walls of the Old City of Jerusalem were built in 1538 by the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Their length is about 4.5 km, they have a height of 5 to 15 meters and a thickness of up to 5 meters. Almost all tourists visiting the capital of Israel, be sure to inspect the Old City. In the Old City of Jerusalem there are:

Temple Mount
A rectangular piece of land towering over the rest of the Old City of Jerusalem. It is surrounded by high walls. The height of the wall in the highest place is 45 meters. It is believed that this is the most sacred place for Judaism and the third most significant for Islam. On the Temple Mount were the First, and then the Second Temples of Jerusalem. Here, according to Jewish tradition, in the future there will be the Third Temple. Currently, famous Muslim places of worship are located on the Temple Mount – the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. In 1948, the Temple Mount was ruled by Jordan. As a result of the Six-Day War (June 1967), the Temple Mount was liberated by an Israeli amphibious brigade under the command of Mordechai Gur, who transmitted by radio the words that went down in history: “The Temple Mount is in our hands! I repeat – the Temple Mount is in our hands! ”However, soon, on the initiative of Moshe Dayan, the management of the Temple Mount was transferred to the Muslim WAKF:

– Dome of the Rock
Mosque “Dome of the Rock” – one of the most important shrines of Islam – a Muslim shrine over the foundation stone in the center of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, next to the oldest in the world Al-Aqsa mosque. The dome of the rock is closed by a dome, from which, according to the legend, the prophet Muhammad made Miragej, that is, the night journey of the prophet Muhammad to Jerusalem and his ascent to heaven. According to another interpretation, the Al-Aqsa Mosque is located on the site of the Mirage.

– Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque – the largest mosque in Jerusalem, located on the Temple Mount, is the third shrine of Islam after the Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. The Al-Aqsa Mosque was the first Qiblah in Islam before being transferred to Mecca. Qibla is the direction towards which Muslims turn their faces during prayer. Islam connects the night journey of the prophet Mohammed from Mecca to Jerusalem (Isra) with this place, the night journey of the prophet Mohammed and his ascension are also connected with this place.

Wall of Tears
The Wailing Wall, (Western Wall or Ha-Kotel ha-Maaravi) is a preserved part of the western wall, which at one time fenced the Second Jerusalem Temple, 156 m long and 15 m high. The only preserved fragment of the Temple’s fence is the greatest shrine of Judaism outside the Temple Mount . For many centuries it has been a symbol of the faith and hope of many generations of Jews, a place of their pilgrimage and prayers. Enjoys great popularity among tourists from all over the world who like to leave notes with requests and wishes in the Wall.

Church of the Holy Sepulcher
The Church of the Resurrection of Christ (Church of the Holy Sepulcher) is the main shrine of Christianity, the goal of pilgrimage for believers from around the world. The temple is a whole architectural complex, built around the places where the most important events of Gospel history took place. The Church of the Resurrection of Christ (Church of the Holy Sepulcher) is located in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, at the end of the Via Dolorosa.

Attention! As a rule, there are many tourists in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. That is why it is not very comfortable to visit him in excursion groups of up to 50 people – you can not hear something and not see something. Therefore, we recommend in this case (and not only this!) To join our excursions in small groups of up to 16 people (see here).

So, in the Temple, in particular, are:

– Calvary. Orthodox throne: the place of the Cross of the Lord
The Orthodox throne is located in the Church of the Resurrection of Christ on the “upper floor” on the right side of the entrance. Between it and the Roman Catholic altar is located the colonnade and the Franciscan altar of the Sorrowing Virgin. According to Christian tradition, it was here that the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the two thieves, who were nailed to the cross next to Jesus, took place.

– Calvary. Catholic throne
The Catholic throne is located at Calvary, in the Church of the Resurrection of Christ (Church of the Holy Sepulcher), on the “second floor” on the right side of the entrance. Between the Catholic and Orthodox thrones is located the colonnade and the Franciscan altar of the Sorrowful Virgin Mary (the Latin name is “Stabat Mater”, that is, “It was Mother” – the Catholic hymn of the Franciscan Jacopone da Todi, the 13th century) begins with these words.

– Holy Sepulcher
The Holy Sepulcher is in the Rotunda

Nutrition and where to eat in Jerusalem on Saturday (Shabbat)
Israeli cuisine is distinguished by the richness and diversity of tastes brought by repatriates from around the world. Numerous restaurants and cafes offer a large selection of dishes. The menu is offered in Hebrew and English, sometimes in Russian. As a rule, restaurants are open from morning to evening, without interruption during the daytime hours. When cooking, only fresh produce is used – meat, fish, poultry, fresh vegetables. Portions are usually large, so it is recommended to order one serving of vegetable salad for two. Many restaurants offer a “business lunch” worth $ 15-25 per person. Approximate price level for individual dishes: salads and snacks from $ 8 to $ 12, hot dishes – from $ 20 to $ 40, beer – from $ 4 to $ 7, coffee, tea about $ 3- $ 4.

Almost all products in Israel are kosher, that is, they comply with Jewish religious laws of cooking and a ban on the use of certain products, such as pork, seafood. In addition, dairy and meat dishes should be prepared and served separately, so restaurants and cafes, as a rule, specialize in only one type of food – only the so-called “dairy” (that is, no meat dishes) or only “meat” (that is, no dairy dishes). However, in Jerusalem there are a small number of non-kosher shops and restaurants.

Saturday is a day of rest in Israel. All Jewish holidays begin after sunset in the evening of the previous day and end a day after the sunset of the next day. Thus, Saturday begins after 3 pm to 5 pm on Friday and continues until dusk on Saturday. At this time, closed all banks, shops and public institutions, most restaurants.

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