Jerusalem, Christian Orientation

A Day to Jerusalem

 

We start at the desert view point on Mount Scopus, looking over the Judea desert, Jordan Valley, West Bank and the northern tip of the Dead Sea, understanding how the unique topography of Israel has shaped its history, as well as the current political situation.

We drive shortly to Mount of Olives panoramic lookout over the Old City of Jerusalem, listening to my famous presentation – 2,600 years of history in 26 minutes (!).

After taking some breathtaking pictures at the lookout, we drive or walk down the slopes of Mount of Olives to "the Garden of Gethsemane", where Jesus was betrayed and captured at the last night of his life. Here, overlooking Judgment Valley, we discuss the historical background of Jesus and the roots of the Messianic belief in early Judaism, which evolved later into Christianity as a separate religion.

We walk down to a Byzantine/Crusaders church, built over the believed to be Mary’s tomb

We drive shortly around the Old City to Jaffa Gate and walk into the Old City

We walk through the Christian Quarter to visit the church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus is thought to have been crucified, buried and resurrected.

Then we walk through the Marketplace (Souq, Bazaar) and part of the Via Dolorosa (Pathway of Agony, the 14 Stations of the Cross), the Muslim Quarter and then to the Western (Wailing) Wall.

We walk back and cross the Jewish Quarter to meet our car/bus and drive back to the hotel.

 

Other Options: 

 

Walk downhill from Mount of Olives viewpoint and visit Dominus Flevit ("the Lord cried"), impressively located in front of Temple Mount, where Jesus is believed to have been standing and crying, as he could foresee the destruction of Jerusalem, a few decades later.

Walk from Mary’s tomb to the Lions Gate and visit Santa Anna (also known as Bethesda, where Jesus healed a disabled man) then keep on walking to stations 1-4 of the Via Dolorosa

Visit the Dormition, a Benedictine church where, according to tradition, Mary went to sleep forever and then, few steps further, we walk upstairs and enter to the Cenaculum – the Room of the Last Supper.

Visit the Catholic church Saint Peter Ingalicantu, underneath which we will find some very interesting archaeological ruins, possibly the mansion of the Jewish High Priests who served in the Temple, until it was destroyed by the Romans. Also, an amazing miniature model of Byzantine Jerusalem (6th AD)

For Protestants – the Garden Tomb outside of the Old City walls, near Damascus Gate, Bethesda and the Lutheran church, inside the Christian Quarter, called The Savior

2 Days to Jerusalem

 

Day 1

We start at the desert viewpoint on Mount Scopus, looking over the Judea desert, Jordan Valley, West Bank and the northern tip of the Dead Sea, understanding how the unique topography of Israel has shaped its history, as well as the current political situation.

We drive shortly to Mount of Olives panoramic lookout over the Old City of Jerusalem, listening to my famous presentation – 2,600 years of history in 26 minutes (!).

After taking some breathtaking pictures at the lookout, we drive or walk down the slopes of Mount of Olives to "the Garden of Gethsemane", where Jesus was betrayed and captured at the last night of his life. Here, overlooking Judgment Valley, we discuss the historical background of Jesus and the roots of the Messianic belief in early Judaism, which evolved later into Christianity as a separate religion.

In that area we will visit Mary's tomb, an old Byzantine and Crusaders church, then we cross Judgment Valley and walk up to the Lions Gate, entering to the Old City from its eastern side.

First stop will be at St. Anna, a Catholic church built close to the very impressive ruins of the ancient natural pools of Bethesda ("Probetica"), where Jesus healed a disabled man. The church is dedicated to Anna, Mary's mother.

Shortly after, we enter to the "The Sisters of Zion Monastery", also known as "Lithostratous", part of the Roman Forum, a water cistern and some surprising findings of games the Roman soldiers used to play.

Our next stop on that street will be at the site of the Ecole Biblique (Franciscan school for biblical studies), where the 2nd Station of the "Via Dolorosa" is located.

We visit 2 churches here,the Condemnation and the Flagellation. We continue walking through the Via Dolorosa to follow the famous Fourteen Stations of the Cross, all the way up to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus is thought to have been executed, buried and resurrected.   

 

Day 2

We start our day by walking to the Dormition, a Benedictine church located on Mount Zion where, according to tradition, Mary went to sleep forever.

Then, few steps further, we walk upstairs and enter to the Cenaculum – the Room of the Last Supper. From here we walk down to another impressive church, Saint Peter Ingalicantu, underneath which we will find some very interesting archaeological ruins, maybe the mansion of the Jewish High Priests who served in the Temple until it was destroyed by the Romans and an amazing miniature model of Byzantine Jerusalem.

We walk back and enter into the Old City through Zion Gate, walking through the Armenian Quarter and then the Jewish Quarter with its 1,500 years old Cardo, the main artery of Jerusalem, as well as in every other ancient Roman city.

We continue walking through the local marketplace to the Western (Wailing) Wall, the holiest place for the Jewish people.

From here we drive to the Museum of Israel to see the famous miniature model of Jerusalem (1st century AD) and the Shrine of the Book, dedicated to the Dead Sea Scrolls and other biblical manuscripts. We continue to explore the other magnificent sections of the museum until closing time.

 

Other Options:

Time permitting and after leaving Mount Scopus viewpoint, we can pay a visit the Catholic Church Pater Noster ("Our Father") on Mount of Olives, where Jesus taught his disciples about the secrets of the Universe and where we can see the remains of Eleona, the impressive Basilica built by the Roman Emperor Constantine, some 1,700 years ago.

Walk down from Mount of Olives viewpoint to visit Dominus Flevit ("the Lord cried"), impressively located in front of Temple Mount, where Jesus is believed to have been standing and crying, as he could foresee the destruction of it, few decades later.      

To combine a tour to Bethlehem in the Palestinian area and visit the church of the Nativity

For Protestantsthe Garden Tomb outside the old City by Damascus Gate and the German Lutheran church called The Savior, inside the Christian Quarter.

To combine a tour to the City of David

Same but to drive shortly out of Jerusalem to Ein Kerem, a village which is, by tradition, the birthplace of John the Baptist, where we visit 2 churches, the Visitation (Mary and Elizabeth)and John in the Mountains

 

 

3 days tour to Jerusalem 

 

Day 1

We start at the desert viewpoint on Mount Scopus, looking over the Judea desert, Jordan Valley, West Bank and the northern tip of the Dead Sea, understanding how the unique topography of Israel has shaped its history, as well as the current political situation.

We drive shortly to Mount of Olives panoramic lookout over the Old City of Jerusalem, listening to my famous presentation – 2,600 years of history in 26 minutes (!).

After taking some breathtaking pictures at the lookout, we drive or walk down the slopes of Mount of Olives to "the Garden of Gethsemane", where Jesus was betrayed and captured at the last night of his life. Here, overlooking Judgment Valley, we discuss the historical background of Jesus and the roots of the Messianic belief in early Judaism, which evolved later into Christianity as a separate religion.

In that area we visit Mary's tomb, an old Byzantine and Crusaders church, then cross Judgment Valley and walk up to the Lions Gate, entering to the Old City from its eastern wall.

First stop will be at St. Anna, a Catholic church built close to the very impressive ruins over the ancient natural pools of Bethesda (Probetica), where Jesus healed a disabled man. The church is dedicated to Anna, Mary's mother.

Shortly after, we enter to the Sisters of Zion monastery, also known as Lithostratous, part of the Roman Forum, a water cistern and some surprising findings about games the Roman soldiers used to play.

Our next stop on that street will be at the site of the Ecole Biblique, where the 2nd station of the Via Dolorosa is located. We visit 2 churches here, the Condemnation and Flagellation.

We continue walking through the Via Dolorosa to follow the famous Fourteen Stations of the Cross, all the way up to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus is thought to have been executed buried and resurrected.  

 

Day 2

Start our day by walking to the Dormition, a Benedictine church where, according to tradition, Mary went to sleep forever and then, few steps further, we walk upstairs and enter to the Cenaculum – Room of the Last Supper. From here we walk down to another impressive church, Saint Peter Ingalicantu, underneath which we will find some very interesting archaeological ruins, maybe the mansion where the Jewish High Priests, who served in the Temple resided, until it was destroyed by the Romans. In the church backyard there is an amazing miniature model of Byzantine Jerusalem that teaches us a lot about Jerusalem, 1,400 years ago  

We walk uphill and enter into the Old City through Zion Gate, walking through the Armenian Quarter and then the Jewish Quarter with its 1,500 years old Cardo, the main artery of Jerusalem, as well as in every other ancient Roman city.

We continue walking through the local Marketplace (Souq, Bazaar) to the Western (Wailing) Wall, the holiest place for the Jewish people.

From here we drive to the Museum of Israel to see the famous miniature model of Jerusalem (1st century AD) and the Shrine of the Book, dedicated to the Dead Sea Scrolls and other biblical manuscripts. We continue to explore the other magnificent sections of the museum until closing time.

 

Day 3

Drive to Bethlehem which is in the Palestinian area, get to the border terminal with your passports (!) and cross it, meet a local man who will take you to visit the Church of the Nativity. I'll meet you when you cross back to the Israeli controlled area.

On the rest of the day we travel around Jerusalem, starting with a picturesque village ("A city of Judea", Luke 1, 39) called Ein Kerem, which is, by tradition, the birthplace and hometown of John the Baptist, where we visit two churches – the Visitation (Mary and Elizabeth) and John in the Mountains.

We drive westward down the slopes of the Judea Mountains to Emmaus, a city located on an important junction as well as by very pleasant hot springs. We visit the monastery which is thought to be located where Jesus was seen by 2 men after his resurrection and dined with them. Here we can see ruins of a Crusaders church and some impressive relics from ancient times.

 

Other options:

For Protestantsthe Garden Tomb outside the Old City by Damascus gate and the German Lutheran church called The Savior, inside the Christian quarter.

 

To combine a tour to the City of David

A walk on the City Walls Ramparts, from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate (short) or from Jaffa Gate to the Lions Gate.





 
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