Capital of Israel
Eternal Jerusalem


Jerusalem Israel, the eternal Capital of Israel and the Jewish People is holy to the three main monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. A visit to Yerushalayim as it is known in Hebrew fills your soul with overwhelming emotions through a real religious and spiritual experience.

On every step of your visit you may virtually touch and hear every moment of its glorious history. This is the reason it has drawn millions of pilgrims of all faiths for thousands of years.




Capital of Israel the Eternal City of Jerusalem

Capital of Israel the Eternal City of Jerusalem


Jews in particular have been linked to Jerusalem physically and emotionally for all the years of wanderings until today. It is known that in all Jewish Holidays, the most important phrase at the end of the payers is “Next Year in Jerusalem”

The city is full with many tourist attractions that range from archaeological digs to museums of art; from best hotels and restaurants to inexpensive hostels and Schwarma and Falafel stands.

Jerusalem is mainly divided into Old Jerusalem and New Jerusalem. The new city has expanded outside the walls to become an immense metropolis with the most diverse population that you may find in any important world city.

The spiritual center is the Old City of Jerusalem, surrounded by walls that go back to more than three thousand years when King David made it his capital. It is divided into four quarters, Jewish, Armenian, Christian and Muslim.


 



Tower and City of David in Old Jerusalem

Tower and City of David in Old Jerusalem


Incredible experience providing information about Ancient Jerusalem. The citadel that stands today dates to the Mamluk and Ottoman periods. It was built on the site of an earlier ancient fortification of the Hasmonean, Herodian-era, Byzantine and Early Muslim periods, after being destroyed repeatedly during the last decades of Crusader presence in the Holy Land.

  • Western Wall Jerusalem– Without any doubt this is the most sacred of Jewish Holy sites. Many Jews and Christians come to the Wall to pray and leave a written request between the stones.

  • Dome of the Rock – This is Islam’s third most holy site, and the place from where Mohammed raised on his “Night Journey” to heaven. The Dome of the Rock is an Islamic shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. It was initially completed in 691 CE, built on the site of the Roman temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, which had in turn been built on the site of Herod's Temple, destroyed during the Roman Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE.

  • Via Dolorosa– it is also known as the “Way of Sorrows”, Jesus’ final path. Many pilgrims come to Jerusalem to follow the 14 Stations of the Cross, ending at
     
  • The Church of the Holy Sepulcher– The church where Christians mark the crucifixion and burial of Jesus, iIt is a church in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, a few steps away from the Muristan.


 

Capital of Israel

Building of the Knesset or Israeli Parliament

Building of the Knesset in the Capital of Israel


New Jerusalem main attractions

  • The Knesset

This building houses the Israeli Parliament. There are guided tours to visit the plenary, the Hall of State receptions and many pieces of art.

  • The Knesset Menorah

Standing majestically in front of the Israeli parliament, it was designed by the Jewish English sculptor Benno Elkan, and was donated to the Knesset by the members of the British Parliament in 1956.

  • The Supreme Court Building

This is a relatively new building designed to be impressive. There are guided tours. It is worth a visit with children. We took our grandchildren to visit last year.

  • Hadassah Hospital

This is the most important and best hospital throughout the Middle East. It accepts patients from all countries in the area, with no consideration of race and national identify. Hadassah has saved many lives of Palestinians and many residents of Arab counties that are at the moment in a state of War and consider themselves as Israel enemies.



The Chagall Windows at the Hadassah Hospital Synagogue

The Chagall Windows at the Hadassah Hospital Synagogue


They are featured at the Hadassah Hospital Synagogue.  Marc Chagall said in 1962 “This is my modest gift to the Jewish people who have always dreamt of biblical love, friendship and of peace among all peoples. This is my gift to that people which lived here thousands of years ago among the other Semitic people.”

  • Yad Vashem

Yad Vashem is the Holocaust Memorial. It is a museum and an educational center in remembrance of the Holocaust built on Har Hazikaron or Mount of Remembrance. A visit to this extraordinary site will leave you with a new understanding about the horrors of the Shoah.

  • Israel Museum

This is the National Museum of Israel located in Jerusalem. Among many of the important items shown, the most important are the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibited at the Shrine of the Book.

  • Bible Land Museum

This is the only museum in the world dedicated to the history of the Bible and the Ancient Near East. The Permanent Exhibition spans from earliest civilization to the Early Christian era in the Lands of the Bible.          



The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem the Capital of Israel


This is the world's most recognized center for Judaic Studies. It was established in 1925. Tens of thousands of students from all sectors of society join here to study and actively pursue their degrees. Jews, Christians and Moslems from all cities, villages and kibbutzim mingle here with the only purpose of study.

  • Mount Scopus

It’s called in Hebrew Har Hatzofim. It stands at an elevation of more than 800 meters above sea level overlooks the city with spectacular views. It is common procedure among Israel guides to bring their tour participants to Mount Scopus direct from the airport, for a very emotional toast over wine and reciting the blessing of Shehecheyanu, thanking God for the opportunity to visit Jerusalem.

  • Jerusalem Archaeological Park

It features outdoor displays around the Temple Mount, the valley of Hinnom and the slopes of Mount of Olives. For those that like to be inside, the Davidson Center shows Jerusalem’s multi-period history.

  • The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

It features more than six thousand plant species, which were brought to Israel from all over the world and are being preserved for the benefit and enjoyment of the public.



Mea Shearim the Ultra Orthodox Religious Neighborhood

Mea Shearim the Ultra Orthodox Religious Neighborhood


At first you look at it and you may think you entered a polish town of the 19th Century. This is home to most Ultra-Orthodox Jews. Modest dressing is required while walking on its streets, and of course, the operation of vehicles on Shabbat and Jewish Holidays is strictly prohibited.

  • The German Colony

When I first arrive in Jerusalem this was a quiet neighborhood. During the years the main artery Emek Refaim Street has become a chic Paris style avenue with many cafes with outside table. Walking there you’ll hear as many languages as in the Tower of Babel.



Ein Karem is the birthplace of John the Baptist

Ein Karem is the birthplace of John the Baptist


This is a remote neighborhood home to many numerous galleries where artists and sculptors exhibit their pieces of art. The area is also famous for being the birthplace of John the Baptist, hosting several churches.

Jerusalem Israel is not just for pilgrims. It is the capital city of a thriving country and home to religious and non-religious people alike. In this city Jews and Arabs live next to each other.

Some older areas are being renovated like the German Colony, where I lived and studied for a year back in 1959. Then it was a quite remote neighborhood. Today it’s a lively area with many outdoor cafes and restaurants.

We can watch tourists and locals alike walking up and down the famous Midrehov Ben Yehuda. This is a Pedestrian Mall with restaurants and, tourist stores. No visit to Jerusalem is complete without a visit to Ben Yehuda.

Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel, is an unforgettable experience. As a good friend of mine who is a devout Christian once told me:

 

 “After a visit to Jerusalem you are not the same person again”


Capital of Israel

For more information visit Israel Government Tourist Office Website




images for capital of israel
courtesy of wikimedia commons





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