A walk in the history - Jerusalem

8:36 AM

Jerusalem always intrigued me. The city is an open museum. It has seen rise and fall of great empires.  During last few millenniums, the city has been destroyed completely twice, besieged 23 times, captured and recaptured 44 times. I might end up writing a book if I continue discussing about its history.

Jerusalem's old city with walls forms the UNESCO world heritage site. The old city is further divided into 4 quarters namely Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Armenian.

Streets in the old city


Prayers


Must see in the Old city:


The western wall - 
You can note down the prayers and keep them between the stones of western wall. Best time to visit the western wall is on Shabbat evening on Fridays.. The entire place bursts to celebration and dancing.





The Temple Mount - 
Entry to the Temple Mount is restricted. Please check it with locals or guides as there are restrictions for religions, days of Ramzan etc.

Western Wall with Temple Mount in the background


Church of the Holy Sepulchre -

This holiest site for Christians contains the empty tomb of Jesus and the site where Jesus was crucified known as Calvary. This Church is in the Christian quarter.



Mount of Olives -

The mount is a 3000 years old Jewish cemetery and holds more than 150,000 graves. It's said that Jesus ascended to heaven from here.






Things to do -

Jerusalem free walking tours - 

Join any free walking tours in the old city. I recommend Sandeman's free walking tour. The guides know what they are saying. Usually the tipping is a custom at the end of the tour.

http://www.neweuropetours.eu/jerusalem/en/home



Shabbat evening at the Western wall -

Spend the Friday evening at western wall. Enjoy the free spirit atmosphere.







Church of the Holy Sepulchre door locking ceremony -

A muslim family closes the doors of this church every evening. Being honest, nothing much happens here apart from closing the gates and the guy shouting go away from here. 




BenYehuda street -

When you are done visiting all places, eat and shop here.





Where to stay:

Jerusalem offers many hostels for backpackers, best one being Abraham Hostels.
For 80 INS you can get a dorm with complimentary breakfast and a beer.



Cool common area of the hostel

How to go:

Jerusalem is connected by trains and buses from Tel Aviv.

Usually the train takes more time than the bus. You can catch a bus from Central station Tel Aviv.

During Shabbat, trains and bus services are suspended from Friday afternoon till Saturday night.
So if you want to travel back to Tel Aviv, private taxis are your best bet. They usually are avaialble from all main markets and take you back to Tel Aviv for 30INS.


How to commute in Jerusalem:

I love walking, I  believe that's the best way to see a city. In Jerusalem you must do that.
Apart from that you can hop onto Light Rail. Tickets for Light Rail are available at all the stops.




Downside of travelling during Shabbat is everything is closed after Friday afternoon. :)



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