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Best Places To Visit in Jerusalem

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Mount of Olives


Olive groves cover the steep hillside rising beyond the city wall east of the Temple Mount. This slope has long been wrapped in myth and legend, especially the section known as Gethsemane.

The name Gethsemane is from the words "Gat" and "Shemanim" meaning " (olive) oil press."  Over time, the name Gethsemane was used to describe the entire area at the foot of the Mount of Olives.

Garden of Gethsemane

It is believed that it was on the Mount of Olives, among the ancient olive trees, that Christ spent his last hours before being betrayed by Judas Iscariot.

The Basilica of The Agony (also known as the Church of All Nations) is a modern church constructed on this ancient site atop the ruins of a Crusader church and an earlier Byzantine Church.  The site was another of those discovered by  Constantine's mother, now Saint Helena, in the 4th century AD.  The church contains a grotto with an outcrop of stone known as the Rock of Agony, where it is believed that  Christ anguished in his final hours.


Close by is the Tomb of the Virgin Mary,  located in a cavern excavated by the Crusaders in the 12th century.  The crypt is quite large and an interesting place to visit.  It is  a popular attraction for many Christians, although some claim that the Virgin Mary’s burial place is actually in Ephesus, Turkey

Further up the Mount of Olives is the beautiful Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene , which, with its gilded onion domes, has become a landmark of Jerusalem. 

The church was constructed in the 19th century and houses a revered icon of the Blessed Virgin,  an Eastern liturgical icon known as Hodigitria representing "She who shows the way."  See the official website for details on the interior and for information on visiting.  A number of excellent items are for sale at the monastery kiosk, including hand-painted Russian eggs from Gethsemane.

Kidron Valley

The Kidron Valley, also known as the Valley of Jehoshaphat, separates  Gethsemane from the Old City and the Temple Mount.  Along the Kidron Valley you will see many tombs including several stunning and ancient monuments. The photoshows some of the tombs in close proximity to the Golden Gate of the Old City.  The temple on the right is called Zachariah's Tomb, while that on the left is Bnie Hazir tomb.  The monuments are cut into the rock and  the Tomb of Zachiariah is a solid block cut from the surrounding wall.

The Knesset

About a mile to the west of the Old City, you will find the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. The building, dates from 1966 and its gardens  include a 16 foot tall Menorah, a gift from the United Kingdom.


Yad Vashem

Yad Vashem, the Jewish people's memorial to the Holocaust (the Shoah), places great emphasis on remembrance in the form of  commemoration, education, research and documentation.  The hilltop facility consists of a Visitor Center, the Holocaust History Museum, the Hall of Names, the Holocaust Art Museum and additional buildings, squares and exhibits dedicated to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust.

The Memorial is both moving and troubling. This may not be everyone's choice for a visit, but it is a place we recommend visiting.  It is a comprehensive facility and you will easily spend a morning examining its details.  For more information on Yad Vashem including its programs and visiting, see the organization's official website.

The Israel Museum

The Shrine of the Book Contains the Dead Sea Scroll exhibitThe Israel Museum is one of the leading archaeology museums in the world and its Shrine on the Book contains the best preserved and most complete of  Dead Sea Scrolls.  Also known as one of the world's leading art museums, the Israel Museum has a wide ranging collection of art and a noted sculpture garden.  See the museum's official website for details on visiting.


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Best Places To Visit in Jerusalem

On This Page (4)
Garden of Gethsemane (including The Basilica of The Agony, The Church of Mary Magdalene and the Virgin's Burial Place)
Kidron Valley
The Knesset
Yad Vashem
The Israel Museum

Page 1
Introduction to the Old City
The Golden Gate

Page 2
Harod"s Citadel
Via Dolorosa
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Cardo
The Western Wall
Ha-Hurva Synagogue

Page 3
Noble Sanctuary/Temple Mount
Dome of the Rock
Al-Aqsa Mosque

Jerusalem Map

Best Places to Visit in Israel








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