Tourism in Jerusalem

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Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and it is totally unique – there is no other place like it. A city of tradition, religion, and history, but also, increasingly, of modern culture and heritage, it is a city with so much to offer that you could spend years here and still not see everything.

Best Time to Visit

If you are planning a Travel to Israel then the best time to visit Israel are the seasons of spring (April and May) and autumn (September and October).

Top Places to Visit in Jerusalem

1. The Temple Mount

The Temple Mount is the trapezoid-shaped, walled-in area in the southeastern corner of the Old City of Jerusalem. The four walls surrounding it date back – at least in their lower parts – to the time of the Second Jewish Temple, built at the end of first century B.C.E. These huge supporting walls, partly buried underground, were built around the summit of the eastern hill identified as Mount Moriah. Within the area of the Temple Mount there are about 100 different structures from various periods, among them great works of art and craftsmanship, including open Muslim prayer spots, arches, arched porticos, Muslim religious schools, minarets, and fountains (some for drinking and others for worshipers to wash their hands and feet before prayer). Underneath the present-day surface, in the artificial parts of the mount, there are 34 cisterns. There are also other substructures, the largest of which is known as Solomon’s stables.

2. Mount Moriah

Mount Moriah is the name of the elongated north-south stretch of land lying between Kidron Valley and “Hagai” Valley, between Mount Zion to the west and the Mount of Olives to the east. This is perhaps the most colorful representation of the essential nature of the site which some would later claim was the “navel of the world”. At the summit of Mount Moriah, traditionally, is the “Foundation Stone,” the symbolic fundamental of the world’s creation, and reputedly the site of the Temple’s Holy of Holies, the supreme embodiment of the relationship between God and the people of
Israel.

3. The Jerusalem Forest

Some of the most impressive sites in Israel are natural ones. In Jerusalem and its outskirts are some magnificent forests. The Jerusalem Forest is not far from Mount Herzl and is an excellent place to physically contribute to the greening of Israel by planting your own tree. This forest is also home to a special memorial to President Kennedy. The building resembles the stump of a tree that was chopped down in its prime. It consists of 51 columns in a circle, representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Inside, an eternal flame burns in front of a bust of JFK. The surrounding trees were also planted in the President’s honor.

4. The Israel Museum

One of the premier “modern” attractions in Jerusalem is the Israel Museum where the fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls are exhibited in a special building known as the Shrine of the Book. The distinctive white, domed-shaped ceiling of the building is modeled after the clay jars in which the scrolls were found. The scrolls are the oldest manuscripts of the Old Testament ever found. The Museum also has a wonderful sculpture garden with masterpieces by Rodin, Henry Moore and others, galleries with works by modern and classical artists, including Rembrandt, Chagall, Picasso and Miró, and archaeological relics dating as far back as the Early Stone Age. The Museum is also known for having perhaps the world’s finest collection of Judaica.

5. Mount of Olives Monastery

A monastery dated to the Byzantine-Early Islamic period (5th to 8th centuries) was uncovered. The building complex included a church, dining hall, bathhouse, stables and an elaborate water system. It may have served pilgrims as a last way station before entering Jerusalem. A mosaic inscription (in Greek) on the dining room floor reads: In the days of Theodoros the priest and father of the monastery, and the monk Kiriakos this work was accomplished.

 

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