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Jerusalem

What has not already been said about the holiest city in the world, the city that has been united, the eternal city first built thousands of years ago, whose history can be heard in the whispering of the wind along the walls, where every stone tells a wondrous story of a city that has drawn millions of faithful pilgrims for thousands of years. Such is Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, the only city in the world that has 70 names of love and yearning, the city that in old maps appears at the center of the world and is still adored like a young bride.


Jerusalem is a city of overwhelming emotions, a city that promises a religious and spiritual experience, excitement and pleasure, interesting tours and entertaining adventures. Here, alongside Jerusalem’s fascinating historic and archeological sites, there are amazingly modern tourist attractions for all lovers of culture, the arts, theater and music, architecture and gastronomic delights.


Since Jerusalem is a city that has become home to people from many different faiths, traditions and ethnic groups, the city’s culinary culture offers something for everyone. Alongside Bohemian gourmet restaurants you will find eateries where the food is cooked slowly over ancient stoves, coffee shops with style, ethnic restaurants, fast food stands and bars that come to life in the evening hours. In addition to an abundant variety of dining opportunities, Jerusalem also has many different types of tourist accommodations, from luxury hotels to inexpensive youth hostels.


If you are wondering how Jerusalem became such a center of religions and spirituality and a pilgrimage site for millions of tourists from around the world, the answer begins thousands of years ago. Jerusalem’s history is one of wars and struggles. Its strategic location attracted many nations that wanted to capture the city, and some of them did rule over it for various periods. This city has known war and peace, love and hate, riches and poverty, destruction and renewal, happiness and pain.


Places to visit:
The Western Wall - a retaining wall in Jerusalem that dates from the time of the Jewish Second Temple (516 BCE - 70 CE). It is sometimes referred to as the Wailing Wall referring to Jews mourning the destruction of the Temple. The Western Wall is part of the bigger religious site in the Old City of Jerusalem called the Temple Mount to Jews and Christians, or Al-Haram al-Qudsi al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) to Muslims.


The Western Wall derives its holiness due to its proximity to the Temple Mount , which is the most holy place in Judaism. Jewish men and women can be found praying at the wall at every hour, there is a divider which separates the men's section of the wall from the women's section. Bar Mitzvah celebrations are frequently held here and people of various ages travel from all over the world to have their ceremonies at the wall. It is also a tradition to deposit slips of paper with wishes or prayers on them in the crevices of the wall. Looking closely, one can see hundreds of tiny, folded papers stuffed inside every space.


Tomb of Hulda - south of the Church of Ascension on the Mount of Olives. In a dark ditch, west of the mosque and at its edge was found a small room containing a sarcophagus, which is closed to the public. The tomb is of importance to both Judaism and Isla. The Jewish religion recognizes the tomb as that of Hulda the prophetess, who lived in the days of Yoshiyahu the king, one of the only four women in the scriptures that had been bestowed the title, prophet .Earlier sources mention the tomb within the city, apparently south of the Temple Mount.


The Dome of the Rock - One of the holiest places to Islam (third one after Mecca and Madina) and one of the more impressive examples of ancient Islamic architecture and art is the Dome of the Rock. The mosque was built between 688 and 691 AD and was rebuilt and renovated numerous times over the years.
The dome, covered these days with gilded aluminum plates, was originally covered with real gold. The center of the construct holds the ''Drinking Rock'', where Jewish tradition tells that Abraham bound his son Isaac and where the Temple’s inner sanctum lay. Jewish tradition sees the rock as the center of the world and as the place where the world started forming.
By Islamic tradition, this is where Muhammad went up to the heavens and met the seven important people- among which were Adam, Moses, Aaron the priest and Jesus- and determined the five daily Muslim prayers.


The Church of All Nations - also known as the Church of the Agony or the Basilica of the Agony, is a Roman Catholic Church located on Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, next to the Garden of Gethsemane. It enshrines a section of bedrock where Jesus is said to have prayed before the night of his arrest.
The chapel was built from 1919 to 1924 using funds from many different countries (hence the title). The symbols of each country are incorporated into the glass of the ceiling, each in a separate, small dome. The front of the church is a facade supported by a row of pillars. Above is a modern mosaic depicting Jesus Christ symbolically as the link between God and humanity. The bubbled-dome roof, thick pillars, and mosaic give the church a Byzantine look architecturally. The architect of the building was Antonio Barluzzi. The church is currently operated by the Franciscans; an open altar in the garden is used by the Anglican community on Holy Thursday.


Church of Maria Magdalene - the Russian Orthodox Church located on the Mount of Olives, in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem.
The church is dedicated to Miriam of Migdal, a follower of Jesus. Maria Magdalene was the first to see Christ after he was resurrected, and was a crucial and important disciple of Jesus, and seemingly his primary female associate, along with Mary of Bethany, whom some believe to have been the same woman.
The church was built in 1886 by Tsar Alexander III as a commemoration for his mother, Empress Maria Alexandrovna of Russia; it has a traditional tented roof, Russian style, and includes seven onion shaped golden domes. The church contains the relics of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna of Russia.


The Church of the Holy Sepulcher - the last five stations of the ''Via Dolorosa'' are located here; the agonizing route Jesus went through with a cross on his back on the way to Golgotha, where he was crucified, died and resurrected. For a large part of the Christian world, who believes this is the location of Golgotha, it is the holiest place in Jerusalem. The route of the ''Via Dolorosa'' starts at the Lions' Gate. The church is in the Christian quarter.


Via Dolorosa - This was the way that Jesus was taken, bearing his cross on his back to the place of his crucifixion. Via Dolorosa is one of the holiest sites in Christendom. The tradition for pilgrims to walk along the route taken by Jesus began in the Byzantine period (between the 4th to 7th century), with the processions of the faithful from Gethsemane to the Golgotha, via the Kidron Valley, the house of Caiaphas on the slopes of Mount Zion, and northward via the Church of Sophia Station)., which was identified as the site of the Praetorium.
From the 8th to the 12th century the procession began from the room of the Last Supper on Mount Zion, and proceeded north of Golgotha. The present route of the Way of the Cross was set in the Crusader period, in the 13th century. It begins at St. Stephen's Gate, and winds its way westward towards the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This is the route Jesus walked from the place of his trial to the place of his crucifixion. There are fourteen stations on the Via Dolorosa, nine along the route and five inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, to commemorate the very last events of Jesus' life. At these spots, churches or shrines have been erected.
The Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh stations are open on Friday afternoons during the procession along the Via Dolorosa.


The Time Elevator - a journey through the rich 3,000-year history of Jerusalem. Star of ''Fiddler on the Roof'' Chaim Topol plays the lead character who amid crashing ceilings, splashing water, and other special effects, leads us on an unforgettable journey moving through Jerusalem's historic turning points, beginning with the City of David and ending in the 1967 Six-Day War.

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