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Jerusalem and Judean Hills
  • The story of the City of David began over 3,000 years ago, when King David left the city of Hebron for a small hilltop city known as Jerusalem, establishing it as the unified capital of the tribes of Israel. Today, the story of the City of David continues.  Deep underground, the City of David is revealing some of the most exciting archeological finds of the ancient world. While above ground, the city is a vibrant center of activity with a visitor's center that welcomes visitors for an exciting tour to the site where much of the Bible was written. The excavations include the Pool of Siloam, where Jesus sent the blind man to finish the healing.

  • The Tower of David Museum is the museum of the History of Jerusalem and is located in the medieval citadel known as the Tower of David, near the Jaffa Gate, the historic entrance to the Old City. The Citadel itself is a fascinating archaeological site. The finds uncovered within are a testimony to Jerusalem’s eventful past and produce a representation of Jerusalem and its various historical periods in microcosm.

  • Bethlehem, about 9km south of Jerusalem, is celebrated by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Here Mary gave birth in a cave used for animals. Here the local shepherds came to worship the baby, and here the Three Wise Men from the east came to pay homage and present their gifts. The cave where the birth took place and the manger stood can now be visited underneath the huge Basilica of the Nativity. This is the oldest complete church in the Christian world.

  • Located East of Jerusalem, the Mt of Olives is the location of many biblical events and the location of many pilgrimage sites. Among the most important are the Chapel of the Ascension, a small shrine, now a mosque marking the place where Jesus is believed to have ascended to heaven; the Church of Pater Noster, recalling Christ’s teaching of the Lord’s Prayer. This church features translations of the prayer in 140 languages, inscribed on colorful ceramic plaques; Dominus Flevit, a church in the shape of a teardrop, commemorating the Gospel incident in which Jesus wept over the future fate of Jerusalem; and the Tomb of Mary, a dimly-lit, below-ground church where a Christian tradition says the Mother of Jesus was buried.

  • The garden of Gethsemane, near the foot of the Mount of Olives, is named in the New Testament as the place where Jesus went with his disciples to pray the night before he was crucified.

  • Church of All Nations. Built over the rock on which Jesus is believed to have prayed in agony before he was betrayed by Judas Iscariot.

  • Mount Zion is the highest point in ancient Jerusalem, its name in Old Testament times became projected into a metaphoric symbol for the whole city and the Promised Land and Several important events in the early Christian Church are likely to have taken place here. The Last Supper of Jesus and his disciples, and the coming of the Holy Spirit on the disciples, both believed to have been on the site of the Cenacle; The appearance of Jesus before the high priest Caiaphas, believed to have been at the site of the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu; The “falling asleep” of the Virgin Mary, believed to have occurred at the site of the Church of the Dormition; and is the probable burial place of David, King of Israel.

  • The Temple Mount (Hebrew: Har haBayit) or Noble Sanctuary (Arabic: Haram esh-Sharif) is an elevated plateau in the Old City of Jerusalem rich with history and religious importance, sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians. Originally, it was the site of the great Temple of Jerusalem, the holiest place in Judaism. For Muslims, it is the site of the Prophet Muhammad's journey to heaven described in the Qur'an. Finally, Christians revere it as a place frequently visited by Jesus and some believe it will play a major role in end-time events.

  • The Western Wall, also known as Wailing Wall, is Judaism’s holiest place in the world. It’s part of the retaining wall erected by Herod the Great in 20 BC to support the vast plaza on which he rebuilt the Temple, and it is venerated as the sole remnant of the Temple. The wall and the plaza in front of it form a permanent place of worship, a site of pilgrimage for Jews and a focus of prayer The Jewish name for the wall is the Kotel.

  • System of underground tunnels constituting a continuous chain of history from the times of the Hasmoneans until today. There are dynamic illustrative resources at the place, such as models and animation films.

  • For many Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem, the most important and meaningful thing they will do while in the city is walk the Via Dolorosa, the route that Jesus took between his condemnation by Pilate and his crucifixion and burial. The Via Dolorosa pilgrimage is followed by Christians of many denominations, but especially Catholics and Orthodox. The Via Dolorosa incorporates the 14 Stations of the Cross, each commemorating the events of the day of the crucifixion. The last Stations of the Cross are inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

  • The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, known as the Church of the Resurrection (Anastasis) to Eastern Orthodox Christians, covers what Christians believe is the site of the most important event in human history: The place where Jesus Christ rose from the dead and is considered the holiest place on earth. The Holy Sepulcher encompasses the last 5 Stations of the Via Dolorosa,

  • The Garden Tomb is believed by many to be the garden and sepulcher of Joseph of Arimathea, and therefore a possible site of the resurrection of Jesus.

  • The little village of Bethany, on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives was a favorite place of rest and refuge for Jesus, home to Martha, Mary and Lazarus and where the latter is buried.

  • The Israel Museum is the largest cultural institution in Israel and is ranked among the world’s leading art and archaeology museums. The Museum houses encyclopedic collections, including works dating from prehistory to the present day, in its Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Jewish Art and Life Wings, and features the most extensive holdings of biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world. Among the highlights of the Museum’s original campus is the Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest biblical manuscripts in the world, and the Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period, which reconstructs the topography and architectural character of the city as it was prior to its destruction by the Romans in 66 CE.

  • Yad Vashem is the Jewish people’s living memorial to the Nazi Holocaust, and is dedicated to documenting the story of the six million victims and imparting their legacy for future generations. A visit to Yad Vashem includes the Valley of the Communities, a memorial to entire communities erased during WWII, and the Avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations, a tribute to those who took extraordinary risks to try and protect and rescue Jews during the Holocaust.

  • Christian tradition places the birth of John the Baptist — who announced the coming of Jesus Christ, his cousin — in this picturesque village 7.5km south-west of Jerusalem. Among the highlights you can visit the Church of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, the Church of the Visitation and Mary’s Spring.

  • Reputed to be the oldest town on earth, with stories to match. The Israelites supposedly brought down its walls with a great shout and trumpet blasts. Nearby the city is the Mt of Temptations, where Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights fasting and tempted by the devil three times, in order to prove his divinity by demonstrating his supernatural powers.

  • Located near Jericho and the Dead Sea on the Jordan River, Qasr Al Yahud is the traditional spot where the New Testament narrative of the baptism of Jesus took place.

  • Visitors to the Valley of Ellah in spring are greeted by a carpet of red anemones, sunflowers and multicolored lupins. Hiking amongst the remains of ancient towns like Azeka and King Hezekiah's Sokho help conjure up the epic biblical battle between David and Goliath, which the Bible tells us took place here.