Other Sites of Interest In Jerusalem
Places of Interest
Other Sites of Interest In Jerusalem
Aish HaTorah Observation Point
Aish HaTorah's Observation Deck overlooking the Western Wall is located on top of the Aish HaTorah World Center in the Jewish Quarter and was awarded “One of the Top Ten Panoramic Views in the World.” It has a 360-degree view of the most important sites in Jerusalem: The Western Wall Plaza, the Temple Mount, Mount of Olives, City of David, Jordanian Hills, and the Judean Desert. There is also a detailed model of the original temple built by King Solomon to help visualize the magnificence of Mount Moriah in the 10th century BC.
Bethany is known today by the name of Al-Eizariya or al-Azariya. It’s located about 1.5 miles (2.4 km.) east of the Mount of Olives.
In the New Testament, Bethany was the home of Mary, Martha, Lazarus, and Simon the Leper.
Jesus lodged regularly at Bethany on His travels to Jerusalem, and it’s likely He stayed with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus when doing so. He seemed to prefer staying in Bethany rather than Jerusalem (Matt. 21:17; Mark 11:11).
At Bethany, Christ performed the powerful miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11).
A feast was also celebrated in the house of Simon the leper in Bethany (Matt. 26:1–13; Mark 14:3–9).
Bible Lands Museum
The Bible Lands Museum places into historical context an exciting journey of the people of the Bible and their cultures, bringing greater appreciation and understanding of the biblical stories in the context of human history from a biblical perspective. On display are the great civilizations that rose and flourished in this region: Sumer, Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Canaan, Persia, Greece, and Rome, who were responsible for the advancements of Western civilization. Established in 1992, the Bible Lands Museum is situated in the city's cultural heart and holds a unique collection dating back to the beginning of written history. There is an audio guide in English and Hebrew.
The Burnt House Museum
This museum is an excavated house from the Second Temple period located six meters below the current street level of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem. It was inhabited by a wealthy priestly family at the end of the Second Temple period and is believed to have been set on fire during the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. In the early Roman period, this area was the “Upper City,” located on the higher hill west of the temple. While in the museum, a visitor can view a short film about the Roman invasion and life in the Second Temple period. The Burnt House is included in the “Jewish Quarter Combined Ticket” purchase, which includes access to the tower at Hurva Synagogue and the Herodian Quarter Museum. The site is located at Tiferet-Yisrael Street, in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City.
A cardo was the Latin name given to the main street in Ancient Roman cities. Evidence for the existence of this ancient Cardo was first found on a mosaic map of Jerusalem. The map was discovered in a Byzantine church in Medeba town in the Moav Mountains of Jordan. This Medeba map was used as a tool to teach the locals about Jerusalem. The Cardo begins at Damascus Gate in the north, running southwards through the Old City, ending at Zion Gate. The north side of the Cardo, from Damascus Gate to David Street, was built during the Roman period in Jerusalem. However, the south side was built in the 6th century, during the times of the Byzantine Empire in Jerusalem, and it extends along the western side of the Jewish Quarter.
Christ Church Jerusalem
Christ Church Jerusalem is an Anglican church located inside the Old City of Jerusalem. It was consecrated by Bishop Samuel Gobat in 1849 and is the oldest Protestant church building in the Middle East. The Church’s Ministry Among Jewish People or (CMJ) helped finance the church’s construction and have been active in the Land of Israel since the 1820s. Their mission statement reads: “Driven by a commitment to the God of Israel and the people of Israel, our purpose at CMJ Israel is to represent the Love of Yeshua (Jesus) in word and deed with the Jewish people and Gentiles living in the Land and visiting from abroad.” The church is part of a small compound just inside the Jaffa Gate opposite King David’s citadel, and the compound includes the Heritage Centre museum, Beit Bracha guest house, (meaning House of Blessing) which is a bed and breakfast and prayer garden.
The Church of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist
This Catholic church is in the picturesque village of Ein Karem 4.5 miles (7.5 km.) southwest of Jerusalem. The church and monastery were built over the ruins of ancient layers of the Herodian, Roman, Byzantine, and Crusader periods. Inside the church is a cave, where according to tradition, was the birthplace of John the Baptist. The Franciscan Order of monks purchased the property in 1674 and restored the church with the aid of the Spanish royal family. In 1941–42 the area west of the church was excavated, discovering graves, rock-cut chambers, wine presses, and small chapels with mosaic tiling. The southern rock-cut chamber contained ceramics dating back to the first century BC, of which is the presumed lifetime of Zechariah, Elizabeth, and John.
Church of St. James
Located within a walled compound in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City is the Church of St. James, honoring two martyred believers of that name — James the Great, one of the first apostles to follow Jesus, and James the Less, believed to be a close relative of Jesus and a key leader of the church in Jerusalem. James the Great was beheaded by Herod Agrippa I, around 44 AD (Acts 12:1–2). James the Less was martyred by temple authorities about 20 years later by being thrown from the temple platform, then stoned to death. Within the church are buried the head of James the Great and the body of James the Less, according to Armenian tradition.
Church of St. John the Baptist
The Greek Church of St. John the Baptist, located in the Christian Quarter of the Old City, can be easily spotted with its distinctive, silvery dome. This is the oldest church in Jerusalem, built in the mid-5th century and restored after the Persians destroyed it in 614 AD. The current building was built between the 8th and 11th centuries by Italian merchants, and in the 12th century, it was renovated by the Crusaders. The ancient church, more than seven meters below street level, is still accessible via a staircase. According to Greek Orthodox tradition, the head of John the Baptist was held in this church. The entrance is located on the Christian Quarter Rd., where it intersects with David St.
Christian Information Center
The Christian Information Center (C.I.C.) has been sponsored by the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land since 1973. The Center is located opposite the Tower of David, just inside the Jaffa Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City. The purpose of the C.I.C. is to provide information about Christianity and the Holy Land – such as holy places and shrines, churches in the region, and aspects of religious and cultural life.
Near the top of Mount Zion, the Church of the Dormition, a 12th-century church, was built on the ruins of the earlier demolished Byzantine church that overlooks the Old City. The location is identified in Christian tradition as the place where the Virgin Mary died, or “fell asleep,” as the name suggests. Inside, the circular basilica is a mosaic of Mary and of the child Jesus, with the figures of twelve prophets below them. Around the church are six chapels decorated by beautiful mosaics depicting scenes such as Mary and the infant Jesus receiving pilgrims, Jesus’ family tree, John the Baptist on the shore of the Jordan River, and other saints. Two spiral staircases lead down to the crypt where a round pillared room with a sculpture of Mary “asleep” in the center resides. On the ceiling above her is the figure of Jesus, as if watching over her, surrounded by the great women of the Bible.
Herodian Quarter/Wohl Museum of Archeology
The Herodian Quarter was discovered by archeologists when the Jewish Quarter was rebuilt following the Six-Day War. Located underground, it preserves the remains of six houses from the Herodian period (the reign of King Herod) that were excavated in 1967 and is considered one of the largest underground archeological sites in the world. In the Herodian period, this part of the city was home to wealthy priestly families. Homes were built on the western hill (today’s Mount Zion) overlooking the Temple Mount, with the roof of each home at the basement level of the house above it, so that every house enjoyed a clear view of the temple. There are three distinct levels, with the lowest considered to be a mansion with a possible 6,000 square ft. (557 m.) of original floor area. None of the upper stories survived the Roman torching of the city in 70 AD.
Hurva Square Plaza
In the center of the Jewish Quarter, surrounded by a maze of narrow and winding streets, is the Hurva Square Plaza, an open area of outdoor seating with cafes, souvenir shops, and snack bars. On the west side of the square stands the Hurva Synagogue. During the War of Independence in 1948, the 19th-century synagogue was destroyed, then in 2010, it was reconstructed in its original Ottoman style. From the upper balcony, you can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of the city. You can purchase the Jewish Quarter special ticket which includes entry to the Hurva Synagogue, the Wohl Museum of Archeology (Herodian Quarter) as well as the nearby Burnt House, and the Jerusalem Archaeological Park-Davidson Center. This combined ticket requires a reservation made through the Company for the Restoration and Development of the Jewish Quarter and can save you a bit of money if you intend to visit these 4 attractions.
Israel Museum – Shrine of the Book – Model City of Jerusalem
Founded in 1965, the Israel Museum was extensively enlarged, refurbished, and reopened in 2010. Within this sprawling 20-acre (8 hectares) compound, you will find the Archaeology Wing, the Shrine of the Book, the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period, the Wing for Jewish Art and Life, the Fine Arts Wing, the Youth Wing, and the Art Garden.
The Archaeology Wing tells the story, chronologically, of the ancient Land of Israel, which was home to peoples of different cultures and faiths, from prehistory through the Ottoman Empire.
The Shrine of the Book is a white tiled dome building that houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are the oldest biblical manuscripts in the world. These scrolls, along with rare early medieval biblical manuscripts, were found in Qumran in 1947.
The Model of Jerusalem is a reconstruction of 1st-century Jerusalem in the Second Temple period, showing the topography and architecture of the city before its destruction by the Romans in 66 AD. The model is on a scale of 50:1 and is spread over nearly an acre (.4 hectare).
The Jewish Art and Life Wing exhibits four complete synagogues brought from various locations around the world and reconstructed.
Jeremiah's Grotto is a cave located just outside the north wall of Jerusalem, where tradition says Jeremiah wept bitter tears and composed the book of Lamentations. The grotto is under what is called Scull Hill near the Garden Tomb.
Little Western Wall
The Little Western Wall (also known as Small Kotel) is a small portion of the Western Wall of the Temple Mount located in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem near the Iron Gate. The Kotel is close to the middle point of the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, and it is the second closest place to the Holy of Holies (outside of the Temple Mount) where Jews can pray. The passage alongside the wall is a courtyard of Ribat Kurd, a hospice for Muslim pilgrims founded in 1293.
Lutheran Church of the Redeemer
The Church of the Redeemer was built on the ruins of the medieval St. Mary la Latine Church. The site is said to have been a hostel and hospital for western pilgrims and served as the headquarters for the Knights of St. John, where members of the order nursed patients in the complex’s hospital. In the late 1800s, the church was reconstructed and personally dedicated by Kaiser Wilhelm. The church is located in the Christian Quarter of the Old City near the famous Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The square bell tower of this Protestant church has graced the Old City's skyline since 1898. It's worth buying a ticket to access the tower for a 360-degree view over the Old City, but be prepared, it’s a winding staircase of 170 steps to the top.
Mahane Yehuda Market
The Mahane Yehuda Market is a true old-style market located in the middle of Jerusalem with over 250 vendors. At the market, you can find street singers, musicians, fresh spices by weight, baked goods, meat, cheeses, nuts, housewares, fresh fruits, and vegetables. In and around the market are restaurants, cafes, juice bars, and many small stands selling a variety of local foods and drinks. The market is closed for Shabbat (Sabbath) from Friday evening through Saturday evening. This market is one of the largest and busiest in Jerusalem.
Old City Rooftop Walk
The easiest entry point to the Chabad street rooftops is from the narrow metal steps on the right as you walk down Rehov Chabad just as it meets St. Mark’s Street. You may have to ask for directions as it’s not easy to find, but it’s worth the effort. You can then explore large amounts of the Old City and enjoy some truly unique views. One of the most fascinating of these is standing over the Old City's central point where the main north-south and east-west roads intersect. At this point, the division of the Old City of Jerusalem into its four quarters – Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Armenian can be seen.
Walk the walls of the Old City, built around 485 years ago by Suleiman the Magnificent. The Ramparts walk is a great way to get an overview of Jerusalem and the outlying areas. For a small entrance fee, you can climb the ramparts of the Old City and circle the city from above. The walk is divided into two parts: The Northern Ramparts Walk begins at Jaffa Gate and can be exited from New Gate, Herod’s Gate, or Lions’ Gate. The Southern Ramparts Walk also begins at Jaffa Gate and can be exited from Zion Gate or Dung Gate. The walk requires a lot of stair climbing and descending. Make sure you have enough water with you as once you’re on the ramparts, there’s no getting off until you reach an exit.
The Temple Institute is an organization in Israel focused on establishing the Third Temple to be rebuilt on Mount Moriah (Temple Mount Platform) in Jerusalem. The Institute’s work touches upon the history of the temple’s past, an understanding of the present day, and the divine promise of Israel’s future. As part of its ongoing effort to prepare for a future rebuilt temple, the Temple Institute has been preparing more than ninety ritual items suitable for temple use. The Institute’s activities include education, research, and development. You can visit and tour their facilities which are located up the stairs to the southeast of the Western Wall Plaza.
Tower of David – Citadel Museum
The Tower of David – Museum of the History of Jerusalem, is located in the medieval citadel known as the Tower of David, near the Jaffa Gate of the Old City. The Museum presents Jerusalem’s story; detailing the major events in its history beginning with the birth of the city in the second millennium BC, until it became the capital of the State of Israel. From the towers of the Citadel, one has a breathtaking 360-view of Jerusalem, the Four Quarters of the Old City, the New City, Mount of Olives, Mount Scopus, the Judean Desert, and the Dead Sea in the distance.
Access to the ruins of King Herod’s Palace (Pilate’s Palace) is via the museum as well.
Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum
Yad Vashem, (meaning: “a monument and a name”) Holocaust History Museum, is Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Yad Vashem is located on the western slope of Mount Herzl, also known as the Mount of Remembrance, and was established in 1953. It is dedicated to the memory of the Jews who died under Nazi oppression and Gentiles who selflessly aided the Jews.
Zedekiah’s Cave (Solomon’s Quarries)
Zedekiah’s Cave is a 5-acre (2 hectares) underground limestone quarry that stretches under five city blocks of the Muslim Quarter of Old City Jerusalem. It was carved over a period of several thousand years and is a remnant of the largest quarry in Jerusalem. The entrance to Zedekiah’s Cave is just beneath Solomon’s Quarries, the Old City wall, between the Damascus and Herod Gates. Just past the narrow entrance, the cave slopes down into a huge 300 ft. (91 m.) long auditorium-like chamber. The drops of water dripping through the ceiling are known as “Zedekiah’s tears.” Beyond the “auditorium” are a series of man-made galleries hewn by ancient stonecutters into interesting patterns and formations. Access paths cover the entire quarry system and take at least 30 minutes to explore. Chisel marks are visible in many sections and in some areas huge, nearly finished building blocks are locked into the rock where the stonecutters left them.
Now Solomon had 70,000 transporters, and 80,000 hewers of stone in the mountains, 16 besides Solomon’s 3,300 chief deputies who were over the project and who ruled over the people who were doing the work. 17 Then the king commanded, and they quarried great stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation of the house with cut stones (I Kings 5:15–17).
These verses have intrigued scholars who have suggested that the proximity of the Temple Mount (Mount Moriah), to the site of “Zedekiah’s Cave” is what prompted King Solomon to utilize the quarry to produce the stones necessary for his building projects. Herod the Great used the main quarry at Zedekiah's Cave for building blocks in the renovation of the temple and its retaining walls, today known as the Western or Wailing Wall. Stones from the quarry may also have been used for the building projects of Herod Agrippa I.
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