JERUSALEM, THE MOST CONTESTED CITY ON EARTH
The scope of its history is staggering, and its vital place in the traditions of all three monotheistic faiths has led to it being fought over continually through the centuries.
This is the heart of the Holy Land; where the Jews raised the First Temple to keep the Ark of the Covenant safe, where Jesus was crucified and rose again, and where the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven to receive God’s word.
For believers, a visit to Jerusalem is a pilgrimage to one of the most sacred sites in the world. The number of sights here can be baffling for first time visitors, but luckily most of the top tourist attractions are secreted within the lanes of the compact Old City district. With so much to see, the best way to tackle a trip here is to decide on a few key attractions that are must-dos and break your sightseeing down into sections of the city.
Don’t try to do too much and wear yourself out. It would take a lifetime to see everything that Jerusalem offers.
So what are you waiting for? lets visit jerusalem now!
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RECOMMENDED SIGHTS IN JERUSALEM
By lonely Planet
CITY OF DAVID
Excavations at this site started in the 1850s and are ongoing, proof of how rich an archaeological find it was. The oldest part of Jerusalem, it was a settlement during the Canaanite period and was captured by David, who is said to have brought the Ark of the Covenant here 3000 years ago. The main attraction is Hezekiah’s Tunnel, a 500m-long passage of waist-deep water, but there is plenty more to see – allow at least three hours for your visit. From Dung Gate, head east (downhill) and take the road to the right; the entrance is then on the left. At the visitors centre you can buy water (in summer, you’ll need it) and watch a 3D movie about the city. If you intend to walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel – and we suggest that you do – you can change into a swimming costume in the bathrooms and leave your gear in a locker (10NIS); alternatively, wear shorts. You will also need suitable footwear (flip-flops or waterproof shoes) and a torch (flashlight). Key-chain lights can be purchased from the ticket office for 4NIS. Note that the entrance fee covers admission to the underground areas of the site (Warren’s Shaft, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Pool of Siloam, Temple Road Ascent); admission should be free if you only explore above- ground areas. Once you reach the bottom of the hill you can walk back up through the Temple Road Ascent or via the road that passes through the Arab village of Silwan.
Founded in the 1860s, this neighbourhood south of the Mahane Yehuda Market is a warren of narrow alleys where a number of old synagogues and yeshivas (Jewish religious seminaries) are hidden, many set in large stone-walled compounds. The most interesting street is HaGilboa, where you’ll find a number of historic homes; each contains a plaque that describes the family that built the home. One street over, on HaCarmel, look for the attractive synagogue Hased veRahamim, with its unmistakable silver doors. Among the dozens of synagogues, one of the better known is the Ades Synagogue, built by Jews from Aleppo (Haleb), Syria, in 1901. The synagogue was named for Ovadia and Yosef Ades, the Syrian-Jewish brothers who financed the project. It quickly became a centre for Syrian hazzanut (Jewish liturgical singing) and saw the training of many a Jerusalem cantor. Inside, you’ll find a classically Middle Eastern–styled interior with a walnut ark that was carried here from Aleppo by donkey cart. Today it maintains the rare tradition of bakashot , a set cycle of Kabbalistic poetry sung in the early hours of Shabbat during the winter months. Unfortunately, the synagogue isn’t open very often.
Home to the landmark Montefiore Windmill , built in 1875 to provide the basis for a Jewish flour industry, this leafy neighbourhood was part of a scheme developed by English philanthropist Sir Moses Montefiore, who visited the Holy Land seven times in the mid-19th century. Hoping to aid the Jews living in Jerusalem and seeking to ease overcrowding within the city walls, Montefiore commissioned a block of 16 apartments that are today known as Mishkenot Sha’ananim (Tranquil Dwellings). The flour mill was abandoned after only 18 years, made redundant by new steam-powered alternatives, and its upper portion was dismantled in the late 1940s. A new dome and blades identical to those of the original were added in 2012 (funded by Dutch Christians) and the mill’s blades now turn for tourism and educational purposes. The best way to explore Yemin Moshe is to stroll around the narrow cobbled streets – you cannot drive. It is just a short walk from the Old City as well as the main city center, and German Colony. Yemin Moshe is one of the most interesting places to visit in Jerusalem.
Ein Kerem is a beautiful tranquil village and neighborhood in the west of Jerusalem. Surrounded by beautiful natural groves and the breathtaking landscape provided by the Jerusalem Hills, Ein Kerem is worlds away from the bustling center of Jerusalem which is just minutes away. The pretty houses made of local Jerusalem limestone, cobbled narrow streets, sit in the shadow of pretty churches whose bells sound down the streets. An important site for Christians as the birthplace of John the Baptist, Ein Kerem is incredibly popular with Israelis seeking to escape the city. Exploring Ein Kerem Many tourists choose to take a guided walking tour around Ein Kerem, although it is just as possible to do it yourself. The center of the village and location where all the walking tours begin is at the well. The breathtaking beauty, the elegant simplicity and the charm of this place are especially touching. There is grace in every fence, wall and path, and you can wander through the alleyways for hours, enjoying every moment. Modern developments have not yet reached this scenic neighborhood, and it remains a pastoral village, cut off from the bustle of the city. Ein Kerem is a pilgrimage site for many Christian visitors, as the village is believed to be the place where Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, miraculously became pregnant and gave birth. Tradition teaches that during her pregnancy, Elizabeth was visited by a family relative – Mary, who was also pregnant, with Jesus and for this reason the village well is now called Mary’s Well. The village around the well grew and its waters are considered holy. Many pilgrims come to drink from the well and take the holy water away with them in bottles. Today Ein Kerem has a number of active churches and monasteries. Ein Kerem is an important gem in Israel’s tourism crown, and will capture the heart of any visitor. There are many fine restaurants for connoisseurs and quaint guest rooms offering relaxing hospitality in authentic surroundings. Artists inspired by Ein Kerem’s beauty have settled here to paint and display their works to the public. Ein Kerem is truly a place worth visiting, with many charming treasures to enjoy.
“Jerusalem Park” The largest planned city park in the country of Israel. Jerusalem Park trails includes: Arazim valley, Moza valley Refaim valley and Zofim valley. The size of the park is 15,000 donam and includes 25 Km of bike trails that are part of a larger bike trail of 42 Km that surround the city of Jerusalem. To learn more about the project and the trails it is recommended to enter the website www.jerusalempark.org.il” for jerusalempark Jerusalem on bicycle – We invite our guests to explore the beauty of the city while riding on bicycles. At Allenby 2 we have several pairs of bikes and we welcome all our guests to hop on and tour the holy city of jerusalem. We offer several biking routes maps to help you get started. The use of the bicycle is free and based on availability.