Jerusalem is rightly called one of the most important cities in the world. He absorbed all the stages of the formation of civilization and brought to our days the memory of the powerful rulers of the past. Walking along its streets, you will immerse yourself in the history of numerous peoples. It is here that the cradle of all religions of the world is located. Hundreds of thousands of believers annually visit Jerusalem for the Western Wall and the opportunity to pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, as well as walk the route of Christ to Calvary. The sights of Jerusalem, including the Old City, are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The intricacies of numerous architectural styles will not leave indifferent even seasoned tourists. The modern look of Jerusalem has been formed in recent decades and also deserves attention. This list of historical monuments will help you decide which places to visit first.
Let’s start our tour with an attraction that you didn’t quite expect to see on this list. This is the Biblical Zoo in the western part of Jerusalem, which appeared in 1940. But not just animals live here, but precisely those animals that are mentioned in the Holy Scriptures. The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo is also famous for supporting and breeding over 250 endangered species of animals. The area of the park is constantly growing and currently covers about 30 hectares. Be sure to walk along the two levels of the zoo between which the tourist train runs.
The Israeli Museum of Jerusalem includes a complex of buildings in the Givat Ram quarter. This is a unique place on a global scale, given the museum’s area of 80,000 square meters and an exhibition of half a million different exhibits. The Israel Museum was founded in 1965 and has continued to grow and add new artifacts ever since. Some exhibitions are held in the open air, a significant part is dedicated to the fine arts. You will be surprised to meet here the paintings of Chagall, Picasso and a number of other outstanding world painters.
The Damascus Gate of Jerusalem is one of the most historically significant in the world. This landmark of Jerusalem is located in the northeast of the city. The first building on this site appeared in the first century BC, but the current version appeared much later on the site of Hadrian’s Gate. The gate is harmoniously built between the two towers and opens the passage to the Muslim quarter of the city. To create maximum convenience for numerous tourists and pilgrims, an appropriate infrastructure was created and even steps were built.
Wall of Tears
The Wailing Wall is one of the most important sights of Jerusalem and the most sacred monuments of the Jews. The wall, about 500 m long, is located on the slope of the Temple Mount and is surrounded by numerous buildings. But the 55-meter-long central part that attracts pilgrims is known as the Western Wall. Historically, it was built for defensive purposes, so don’t be surprised by the massive stone blocks in the masonry, each of which weighs up to 6 tons. The most notable is the Western Stone, which weighs over 500 tons. Historically, there has been a tradition of laying notes in the cracks of the wall. It is believed that if you write a request on a note and pray, then it will certainly come true. The Wailing Wall is one of the most famous walls in the world according to LifeGlobe.
Garden of Gethsemane
It was here that Jesus spent his last night before his execution. This garden is located at the foot of the Mount of Olives in the Kidron Valley. It is relatively small in size and is only 50 m long. A number of rare trees and plants are concentrated here, including ancient olive groves. According to scientists, they are among the oldest trees on Earth. One of the first olive trees was planted over 1000 years ago. Despite the fact that there is still controversy regarding the place of Jesus’ overnight stay before his arrest, most historians lean towards the Garden of Gethsemane.
Lands of Akeldam
In the scriptures, the lands of Akeldam were purchased with the money that Judas received by betraying Jesus. Today, on the territory of this landmark of Jerusalem, the temple of the Great Onufry was built, which is very popular among pilgrims. Akeldama is located in the southeast of the city. Near the temple built in the rock, there are many burial niches where believers were buried for centuries. Today, the territory of the burials is destroyed, but a tour of the lands of Akeldam will be interesting in historical terms.
Church of the Holy Sepulcher
During a tour of Jerusalem, it is worth including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in your list, which is a must-see due to its most important historical significance. Following the scripture, the temple was erected on the site of the crucifixion of Jesus. It is here that the ceremony of lighting the sacred fire takes place every Easter. The structure of the temple includes Golgotha and a number of other Temples. Due to the large number of religious concessions, a specific time was set for each of them. Due to frequent conflicts between believers, a ritual of opening doors was introduced, when the keys are in one concession, and the right to open doors in another.
Dome of the Rock
There are also Muslim attractions in Jerusalem, among which the most prominent is the Dome of the Rock mosque on the Temple Mount. The Dome of the Rock is considered one of the symbols of Jerusalem, which can be seen from anywhere in the city. A 20-meter gilded dome crowns the mountain in the place where the prophet ascended to paradise.
Another important historical shrine of the Muslim world is the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount. The building of impressive size can accommodate up to 5,000 believers. During its history, the mosque was destroyed several times, but then stopped again. The current temple appeared in 1035, and since then it has been open daily for believers and tourists.
The sights of Jerusalem include a number of ancient gates, but one of the most important can be called the Lion Gate in the walls of the old city. According to the scripture, before his execution, Jesus entered the old city of Jerusalem through this gate. Today, one of the traditional Christian routes starts from here, repeating the Path of Jesus from prison to the place of crucifixion.
The Golden Gate is considered one of the oldest in Jerusalem. This is a rare example of a gate that includes two entrances. The first entrance represents Repentance, and the second — mercy. Since the end of the 7th century, there has been a tradition of opening these gates on the feast of Passover and the day of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. But after the capture of the city by the Turks, the gates were walled up and remain closed to this day.
A very significant landmark of Jerusalem, which is visited by pilgrims from all over the world. Mount Zion is located in the southwestern part of the city, where, according to the chronicles, the first church was built. It was here that many legendary events took place, including the Last Supper, the descent of the Holy Spirit and the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The shrine at the top of the temple unites all world religions and was built on the ruins of an ancient mosque. Today, on top of Mount Zion, there is a small museum that will tell you about all the historical milestones of this place. It is best to book a tour with a professional guide who can explain all the details in detail.
Mount of David
Mount David also belongs to the sacred sights of Jerusalem, which are part of the national park. For lovers of history, the ruins of the ancient city, on the basis of which the present Jerusalem was formed, will be of interest here. Particularly interesting are the underground labyrinths and archaeological sites. During a special tour you will be able to walk through a series of tunnels and learn more about the history of these places.
Tomb of the Virgin
The tomb of the Virgin belongs to the Christian shrines of the city. This is where the Virgin Mary was buried. You will find the Tomb of the Virgin on the Western slope of the Mount of Olives in the biblical Kidron Valley. For centuries, temples existed here, which were periodically destroyed and rebuilt. Today, the Tomb of the Virgin belongs to the administration of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem.
Basilica of Saint Anne
Basilica of St. Anne According to the scripture, it is located on the site of the house of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. The temple is located in the Muslim area of the city and was built during the reign of the crusaders in the seventh century. After their departure, the basilica changed owners several times, but in the 19th century it was finally transferred to the Christian community.
Church of All Nations
The Church of All Nations is located in the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus spent the night before his arrest. The church is an architectural landmark of Jerusalem, created in 1924 by the architect Barluzzi. Fundraising for the construction has gained real mass character. It was attended by Catholic parishioners from more than 10 countries. It is for this reason that the church was named that way. The current version of the church was erected on the ruins of the foundation of the crusader shrine.
Temple “Our Father”
Temple “Our Father” is located on the Mount of Olives, where Jesus prayed before the apostles and said the prayer Our Father. And although this has never been proven, numerous believers include the temple in their list of pilgrimages. History buffs will be interested in the architectural complex itself, consisting of a monastery and a number of other buildings from the 19th-20th century. As with most other monuments in Jerusalem, Our Father Church appeared on the site of ancient ruins.
The modern sights of Jerusalem should certainly include the Israeli parliament called the Knesset. The building for the parliament appeared in the 1960s thanks to a donation from the British philanthropist Rothschild. In view of the state’s lack of money for such a large-scale construction, he decided to donate significant funds, and as a result, one of the most important buildings in Israel appeared.
Ben Yehuda Street
Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem is one of the most popular walking attractions for both tourists and locals. The street in the new city is famous for its numerous restaurants, fashion boutiques and souvenir shops where you can buy cosmetics based on Dead Sea salts. It has everything that is interesting for a tourist, including numerous street musicians and delicious food.
Rockefeller Archaeological Museum
The Rockefeller Archaeological Museum was originally a museum of Palestine, but then was renamed in honor of the famous philanthropist who invested a lot in the development of Israel. The Archaeological Museum’s collection provides visitors with a glimpse of more than 2 million years, allowing them to learn much about the history of the region and modern Israel.