Old Jerusalem is the Old City part of the capital of Israel. Until the mid 1800’s it was the whole city known as Jerusalem since King David’ reign
Old Jerusalem is the Old City part of the capital of Israel. Until the mid 1800’s it was the whole city known as Jerusalem since King David’ reign. The city started to grow outside the walls until today when it is the largest city in Israel.
The Old City is sacred to the three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Pilgrims from all over the world visit Jerusalem constantly as part of their Holy Land Trip to visit such special sites like the Temple Mount and the Western Wall for Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians and the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque for Muslims.
Since the Six Day War in June 1967, when the city was reunited, all places of worship are open to all visitors without any distinction of race or religion. Pilgrims from all over the world flock to Old Jerusalem to pray and visit their Holy Sites.
<b>Access to Old Jerusalem is through several gates that are used today by visitors or locals</b>
·St Stephen's Gate
<b>Places of interest</b>
·Al Aqsa Mosque also known as the Temple Mount to Jews and Christians is not open to Non –Muslims. Access is strictly regulated.
·Dome of the Rock - In Hebrew Kipat Hasela is the impressive dome constructed by Muslims on top of the Temple Mount. The amazing golden dome is seen from all over Jerusalem and is worldwide recognized in Jerusalem pictures.
·Noble Sanctuary – In Hebrew Har Habayit and in Arabic Haram al-Sharif is the main attraction of the Muslim quarter. It is a large esplanade in southern Old Jerusalem.
·Museum of Islamic Art – It is located on the Knights Templar and his has just a few Islamic antiques. The LA Mayer Museum in the new city is much more complete.
·Western Wall Jerusalem – In Hebrew Hakotel Hamaaravi is also known as the Wailing Wall. This is the holiest place in Judaism. Jews from all over come to the Kotel with reverence and pray, feeling that they are nearer than ever to heaven.
·Western Wall Tunnels Tour – Those interested in archaeology will find this tour very attractive. It covers the underground tunnels below the wall, a synagogue, a pool and a water tunnel.
·Hurva Square – The remains of an Old Synagogue burnt down several times. An arch stays there today as a reminder.
·The Broad Wall - It was unearthed after the Six day War. The thick wall dates to the 8th Century BC.
·Wohl Archaeological Museum – This is a museum with excavations of the Herodian times. It was built around 2,000 years ago, before the Romans came and destroyed the city.
·Ophel Archaeological Park – In the southern side of Temple Mount with remains of Herodian’s time, Byzantine and Ottoman origin.
·Saint Mary's Hospice – These are ruins of a Crusader’s German Hospice dating to the 12th Century.
·The Cardo – Meaning Heart because it was the heart of the city and Jerusalem’s main roadway. Once discovered by excavations it has been reconstructed. Today you’ll find stores in remembrance of the years long gone.
·Citadel – Located besides de Jaffa gate is occupied today by the Tower of David museum.
·Ramparts Walk – You may walk on the city walls from Jaffa Gate to St Stephen’s Gate in one direction and from Jaffa Gate to Dung Gate in the other.
·The Suq El Attaria – SUQ OR Shuk in Hebrew means market. If you are a shopping tourist you will fiund here from species to souvenirs and from groceries to fine clothing and jewelry.
<b>A spiritual Experience</b>
A visit to the Old City, especially for the first time is a spiritual experience that cannot be compared to any of your travels and visits to other places in the world. The sensation of Holiness is all over, as you walk through its narrow streets full of views and smells characteristic only to this Holy City.