Jerusalem is such a fascinating city, there is so much to see and not enough time. I’ll write about the top 6 sites to visit, and the significant history that make them so important.
Western Wall, in the Old City of Jerusalem, is a place of prayer and pilgrimage sacred to the Jewish people. The Wall is considered holy due to its connection to the Temple Mount; it dates to the 2nd century bc. Women and men pray in sharply divided separate sections, where the male side is massive compared to the female side. It is bewildered there is no intermingling. I ambled in the woman side, observing and reflecting about that moment, that holy place, that feel of blessing.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre
It is the church built on the traditional site where Jesus was crucified and the tomb where Jesus was buried and rose from death. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre lies in the northwest quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. The final four Stations of the Cross, of Via Dolorosa, are located inside the church. It is remarkable to see how many are people praying there, women kneeling kissing the Anointing Stone inside the church and the lights shining right upon the tomb of Jesus.
Tower of David
The Tower of David, known as “Jerusalem’s Citadel” located near Jaffe Gate, is a medieval fortress with architectural additions from later periods. It bears cultural and architectural values and has been the symbol of the city of Jerusalem for generations. From the top of the towers of the Citadel there is a breath-taking view of Jerusalem: the Old City and the New City, the Mount of Olives, the Judean Desert and the Dead Sea far away. The view is sensational, leaves you completely speechless. Despite the beautiful sensation that you have walking through what is Jerusalem’s story.
Tower of David
Dome of the Rock
The Dome of the Rock gets its name from the fact that it is built over the highest part (the dome) of Mount Moriah which is where Jews and Christians believe Abraham was prepared to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice to God. The Dome of the Rock is sacred to Muslims as well, which are who control it now. The Dome of the Rock is an impressive structure, rooted in the Byzantine architectural tradition, its construction goes back to the late 7th century. It is one of the main landmarks in Jerusalem. Surely a place to admire and ponder about the importance of faith in our lives.
Dome of the Rock
Shuk Mahane Yehuda Market
I love spending time in markets when travelling abroad. Mahane Yehuda now is one of my favourite market so far. It is a vibrant open market in Jerusalem, one of the most colourful spots in Israel. After the sun sets, the Shuk Mahane Yehuda Market changes from an outdoor food market into a thriving culinary venue filled with several pubs and eateries. Owners shout out loud their special offers, lots of people walking, some sitting in a doorsteps drinking beer, other dancing in front of a bar, intertwined smells, colours, lights, culture, sound of joy… Creating an unforgettable place and experiences. Don’t miss it!
Jerusalem Arab Market, to visit but carful!
The Arab souk market that lie down between the Christian and Muslim Quarters in Jerusalem’s Old City is a labyrinth of tiny streets lined up with shops selling from handmade jewellery and exotic scarves to ceramics and souvenirs. It is a beautiful and authentic Arabic market to visit. It’s a good place but it lacks of respect and culture. We had a few issues with the merchants. I was about to buy a ring and when I changed my mind, the merchant was not happy and wanted to start a fight. As soon as I started to see that the situation was getting out of hand, I urged my friend to move away. The merchant started yelling at us and apparently he spread the voice to other sellers to mistreat us. Don’t let this stop you from visiting though; the souk is a authentic Jerusalem landmark, the mercantile heart of Jerusalem from at least Ottoman times and up to the present. If a merchant is too forward, walk away. Just have a nice walk around the small streets of the market staying away from merchant.