Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel, is a city steeped in history; ss the saying goes, “If only the walls could talk.” Jerusalem is a city coveted by the three major monotheistic religions of the world – Islam, Judaism, and Christianity and has been fought over for millennia, however you need not be affiliated with any of these religions to appreciate Jerusalem’s splendor.
There is so much to see in Jerusalem that I suggest you rent a car in Israel airport and get to it. After all Jerusalem will still be around in a thousand years but you may not.
Following is 10 must sees in Jerusalem. All are located in the Old City or within short walking distance, so put on a pair of comfortable walking shoes and get ready to be inspired.
Western Wall (Kotel)
Western Wall (Kotel) – the most sacred site in the Jewish faith and the most visited site in Jerusalem, the exterior wall of the Second Temple that was destroyed in 70 C.E. has constant companions in the form of men and women seeking solace from its power.
Western Wall Tunnels
Western Wall Tunnels – the Holy of Holies was entered once a year, on the Day of Atonement, by the High Priest. If the High Priest was considered sufficiently spiritually pure he walked out alive, if not…The Western Wall Tunnels are the closest point to which the Holy of Holies once stood.
The Gates – there were four original gates to the Old City. Today there are 11 gates and 43 towers. Walk the walls of the city and discover the gates for a gateway to history.
David’s Tomb – King David that is. The burial place of King David located on Mount Zion.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre – also known as the Church of the Resurrection, this is one of Christianity’s holiest sites, this is believed to be on the land where Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected.
Church of St. John the Baptist
Church of St. John the Baptist – a hidden gem hidden away in the marketplace whose modest exterior belies its brilliant interior. This is the oldest extant Christian monument in the Old City.
Dome of the Rock
Dome of the Rock – one of Islam’s holiest site, this gold-domed structure is built over a stone where Mohammed is purported to have risen to heaven.
Al Aqsa Mosque
Al Aqsa Mosque – located next to the Dome of the Rock, it is forbidden for non-Muslims to enter although on occasion they may enter the courtyard.
The Souq (Market)
The Souq (Market) – the meandering alleys filled with trinkets and souvenirs is the perfect place to get lost.
Mahane Yehuda Market
Mahane Yehuda Market – just a short walk from the Old City, the aromas, food, and ambience are unforgettable.