One of the most beautiful destinations during our Pilgrimage to the Holy Land is Jerusalem, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981, considered sacred by Christians but also by pilgrims of other faiths such as Jews and Muslims for many centuries.
Today we will share with you important places you should not miss when visiting this historic city:
Dome of the Rock
Built by Caliph Abd al-Malik in 691 A.D., “The Dome of the Rock” is the oldest Islamic shrine, located in Jerusalem, and its significance is believed to be associated with the ascending of the Prophet Muhammad to heaven.
Situated on the Temple Mount, this spectacular shrine consists of Byzantine style as well as Islamic, with its structure based near an elevated platform formed by an octagonal base and a golden wooden dome located at the center. It was constructed in Jerusalem on the place where the Jewish Temples once were destroyed.
The Western Wall, also called “The Wailing Wall”, situated in the Old City of Jerusalem and the Western area of Temple Mount, is a very important holy shrine for the Jewish faith.
The Western Wall consists of the few remains of the second Jewish Temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. It is a place where not only Jewish people travel here for prayers, but people of all faiths.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
A must-see during your pilgrimage to the Holy Land, is The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem.
A place for Christian pilgrimage, the Church is believed to be connected to the site where Jesus was crucified, his resurrection, and where his tomb was discovered.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is located in Christian quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and it dates back to the Roman emperor, Constantine I, who first ordered the building of a church on this site during 336 CE.
The Church is also recognized as the place where St. Helena, mother of Constantine I, based the Cross of Christ’s Crucifixion and where her Chapel “ Chapel of St. Helena” is located. Below St Helena’s Chapel, pilgrims will also find the Chapel of the True Cross.
The Temple Mount
Another important shrine to see during your visit to Jerusalem is the Temple Mount, located on a hill honoured by many religions such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
It encloses many shrines such as the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock, and it is recognized by Jewish and Islamic culture as the place where Abraham offered his son in sacrifice.
It is here where King Salomon ordered the construction of his first temple, which was later destroyed in 586 BCE , therefore the Jews built a second temple situated in the same place.The Temple was destroyed again by the Romans after the “Great Revolt” period.
At some points of the history, Jews could pray and rebuild the temple, however it was not until the conquest of Jerusalem by the Muslims, that the temple was opened once more for Jewish prayers.
The Temple Mount is a holy site as well for Islam faith as it is believed to be the place where the Prophet Muhammad’s rose to heaven.
For Christians, the Temple Mount is considered too an special sacred place as it is mentioned in the Old Testament and as per the New Testament, it was visited by Jesus.
The Tomb of David
Located on the hill Mount Zion, in the Old City of Jerusalem, “The Tomb of King David” is considered an important sacred site for the Jews, although researchers haven’t confirmed that this place is where King David’s remains should rest.
The complex was restored by the Franciscan monks during the 14th century, however they were spelled by Muslims during the 16th century, developing the building into a mosque that was home of prayers for many Muslims to honor King David during hundreds of years.
Visited at present mostly by people of Jewish faith, visitors will be able to find the tomb of King David here, covered by a cloth, as well as the Cenacle, located on the top of the tomb and a very important shrine to Christians.
There is also a courtyard formed by arches that dates back to the Franciscan monastery in the 14th century, and it served as a place for reflection, quiet and safe for monks who used to live here.
Visitors will be able to observe from the roof of the building fantastic views, as well as a mosque’s minaret, constructed by the Turks during the 16th century.
If you wish to learn more about the Holy Land Pilgrimage, read our blog : Essential Travel Tips to the Holy Land
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