3 Places You Can Visit in Jerusalem
Not everyone has the time to see the sights. For those who have hectic work schedules and limited vacation time, you might have to focus on one city out of dozens during your stay. However, don’t let this hold you back from visiting the country. There is a lot to uncover in each city.
Jerusalem is iconic because of its role in shaping Abrahamic religions like Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. There are remnants of the old city along with religious sites that can be a marvel to experience in person whether you are or are not practicing the related religions.
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The Western Wall
The Western Wall has many names—the Wailing Wall, the Kotel, and Buraq Wall. As seen in the names, it has significance in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, for varying reasons. It is located on the west side of the Temple Mount, a hill that has been considered a holy site. For the Jews, it is a place to mourn over the destruction of the Temples that lie behind it, hence the name Wailing Wall. It has become a site of prayer. People stand in front of the wall to say their prayers or leave written ones in the cracks of the wall.
For the Muslims, it is the site where the Prophet Muhammad tied his horse, al Buraq, hence the name Buraq Wall, when he went to Jerusalem. Due to its relevance to different groups of people, there have been many contentions about the area. It is an important site with a history that continues to be formed.
It is the national museum that is located along with other significant institutions like the Knesset and Israeli Supreme Court. Their collection features archaeological finds, Israeli art, and Jewish culture. Notable pieces in their archaeological section are the Venus of the Berekhat Ram, the Dead Sea scrolls, and Pilate stone. There are many more pieces that chronicle significant moments of the nation from prehistory to the Ottoman Empire.
A unique feature of the Israel Museum that you cannot find anywhere else is the archive that documents Jewish culture—from bridal jewelry to photographs of synagogues and cemeteries that are no longer present today. This overview does not even begin to cover what you may find in the Israel Museum. The many annexes and buildings could take a couple of visits to be able to experience and appreciate fully what it has to offer.
The Old City
The Old City is divided into four quarters, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Armenian, named according to the groups of people that have lived in those neighborhoods. While the Western Wall is a part of the Old City, the quarters themselves offer a unique experience. You can walk around the Arab market near the Jaffa Gate. You could go into the museum inside the Citadel. You could also visit the underground pathways that run through the Old City and visit David’s Tomb.
The three suggestions are filled with culture and history. It is a great way to cover the major points of the country if you are only staying for three days or less.