The Old City
Inside the walls are the important holy sites of the three major religions: the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. The Western Wall plaza is visited by millions of worshipers. Here, at the base of the massive wall that is a remnant of the Holy Temple, prayers are offered and notes containing heartfelt wishes are wedged between the crevices.
The Christian quarter houses some 40 religious buildings (churches, monasteries and pilgrims’ hostels). One of the most prominent and important sites in the Christian quarter is the Via Dolorosa, the “Way of Sorrows,” Jesus’ final path, which according to Christian tradition led from the courthouse to Golgotha Hill, where he was crucified and buried. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a pilgrimage site for millions of Christians from all over the world and houses several important Christian relics, including the anointing stone (on which Jesus’ body was laid before his burial) and Jesus’ grave.
Southwest of the Old City is Mt. Zion, where the Dormition Abbey was built about 100 years ago and in the basement there is a statue of the sleeping Mary. Beside the abbey is the Room of the Last Supper, where Jesus ate his last meal.
East of the Old City is the Mount of Olives, where there are other important Christian sites, and several churches: The Ascension, Pater Noster, Dominus Flevit, Mary Magdalene, Gethsemane, Lazarus and Abraham’s Monastery.
Apart from the holy places throughout the Old City, there are several charming sites that are well worth visiting. There is the wonderful market, where you can buy Armenian-style decorated ceramics, embroidered cushions, colourful wool carpets, candles and amazing glassware, plus countless different souvenirs. From the promenade along the tops of the Old City walls you can look out over the Old City and the New City.
Discover the New City
Among the more modern sites are the Supreme Court, the Israel Museum, the Biblical Zoo, the Knesset, Mt. Herzl, Makhane Yehuda market, with its mix of exciting sounds, colours and aromas.
Since Jerusalem is a city that has become home to people from many different faiths, traditions and ethnic groups, the city’s culinary culture offers something for everyone. Alongside Bohemian gourmet restaurants you will find eateries where the food is cooked slowly over ancient stoves, stylish coffee shops with style, ethnic restaurants, fast food stands and bars that come to life in the evening.