Jerusalem, the Eternal Capital of Israel
Jerusalem is the most excavated city in the world. You can find today over 2,000 archaeological locations in or around the city. Any archaeologist, who burrows in or around Eternal Jerusalem, will find something new or an exciting clue into the world of ancient Israel or the origins of Judaism and Christianity.
Allow me to guide you around the most toured religiously historical sites on planet earth.
The city is sacred to the three great monotheistic religions; Jerusalem has been continuously inhabited for over 6 millennia. Mt. Moriah, the basis of Temple Mt. is the holiest site for the Jewish people, the beginning of Western civilizations. As written in the Bible: from Mt. Zion came the Torah and the Word of God from Jerusalem.
Day 1: Mt. Olives
Let’s us start our pilgrimage in Jerusalem with a Drive to the top of the Mt. of Olives, from where, according to Christian tradition, Yeshua ascended to heaven after his resurrection. On top of the Mt. Olives, from Rehavam Ze’evi’s vista, there is a magnificent view overlooking all of ancient, old and modern Jerusalem, the epicenter of the Biblical world.
Mt. Olives is the hill facing the old city of Jerusalem, from the eastern face of Kidron valley. The mountain’s name came from the abundant olive trees that once grew on it from ancient times. According to Jewish tradition, the Messiah will enter from here Temple Mt. and God will bring the dead buried here, back to life. Therefore the mountain, since time immemorial, became the holiest cemetery for all 3 Monotheistic religions, and the hillside, the valley and the base of Mt. Moriah is covered with thousands of gravestones. Therefore on its Western slope and valley, facing Temple Mt., there are thousands of gravestones that cover the entire hillside. Situated on top of the mountain is the Seven Arches Hotel, once known as the Intercontinental Hotel. The hill’s peak is around 100M above the old city is around 730M above sea level. Towards the north is Mount Scopus, the base from where the Romans, 2,000 years ago began their military campaign after the siege on Jerusalem. Today it’s the site of the first Hebrew University in the new State of Israel.
Mt. Olives is considered a religiously Holy Mt. to all 3 Monotheistic religions: For the Jews it has been the ancient burial site for over 3 millennia due to the eschatological belief in the Bible where according to the Prophet Zechariah Chapter 14:1-11 preaching about the Day of Judgment, with Mt. Olives as it’s epicenter of God’s final battle against the enemies of Jerusalem and where the Vision of the Dry Bones according to the Prophet Ezekiel Chapter 37:1-5 the resurrection of the dead on Judgment Day.
For Christians Mt. Olives is associated with acts in the life of Yeshua (specifically the Holy Week). Central churches to Christian tradition mark these places: Pater Noster, the place where Yeshua taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer; the tear-shaped church of Dominus Flevit (“the Lord wept”) where Yeshua wept prophesying the future destruction of Jerusalem; Gethsemane Garden (Gat Shemanim) and Church of all Nations where Yeshua was betrayed and arrested and at the top of the mountain the Chapel of the Ascension from where Yeshua ascended to heaven after his resurrection.
For Muslims, a bridge of 7 arches (the Bridge Sirat) will stretch from Mt. Olives to the Dome of the Rock considered as the Bridge over Hell, over which all must pass to their final Destiny.
By bus, taxi, train or private tours.