Friday, 25 March 2011

Jerusalem (Old City), Israel

Jerusalem is amazing.

The wall separating Jerusalem's New City from the Old City.

It's completely unlike Tel Aviv, but wonderful in it's own way.

The Old City of Jerusalem is separated into quarters.  There is the Muslim quarter, the Christian quarter, the Jewish quarter and the Armenian quarter.  The former are obviously three of the world's major religions.  But why the Armenian quarter?  I was told that it's because the Kingdom of Armenia was the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as it's official religion (in year 301).  Today it's called the Republic of Armenia (a mountaineous, landlocked country bordered by Turkey, Georgia, and Iran) and recognizes separation of church and state.

The contrast between the quarters is fascinating. 

One of the highlights of the Jewish quarter is the Western (aka. Wailing) Wall.  It's located at the base of the Temple Mount (place where it's believed that God created Adam from the dust and Abraham attempted to sacrifice Isaac) and is one of the holiest sites in Judaism.  Apparently intentions placed in this wall have a high probability of coming true (there is also an online alternative, for those unable to make the trip to Jerusalem).

My intention.  Yes, I realize that I'm embarrassing myself yet again. 

Placing my intention in the Wailing Wall. 

Obviously many people make the pilgrimage here.

The exposed section of the Western Wall (where we prayed and placed our intentions) is separated into a male and a female section. 

The male side.  Spying on the men through my fence.

The female side. 

After visiting the Wailing Wall, we walked to the Muslim quarter through a maze of streets.

One of the highlights of the Muslim quarter is the Dome of the Rock.  According to Sunni Islamic tradition, the Dome of the Rock is the location where Muhammed ascended into heaven with the angel Gabriel.  Interestingly, the Foundation Stone (a stone located at the center of the Dome of the Rock) is important in Judaism.  Just as Muslims face Mecca during prayer, Jews face the Foundation Stone.  

Dome of the Rock taken from a distance.  Since we're not Muslim, we were not able to go inside at the time we visited.

In the Christian quarter, the highlight for me was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  It's a beautiful, cavernous church.  Christian's believe that Jesus was crucified and buried at this spot.

It's gorgeous inside.

Calvary (Golgotha).  Traditionally regarded as the site of Jesus' crucifixation, Calvary is the most decorated part of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The Stone of Anointing.  Believed to be the spot where Jesus' body was prepared for burial by Joseph of Arimathea.

People waiting to go inside The Edicule at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  The Edicule has two rooms.  One room contains a fragment of the stone that is believed to have sealed Jesus' tomb.  The second room is believed to be the tomb itself.

Aside from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Christian quarter also has the Via Dolorosa.  For those familiar with the Stations of the Cross, it's the road Jesus walked with a cross on his shoulder before he was crucified.

Station Five (Simon Cyrene carries the cross) along the Via Dolorosa. 

There is much more than the Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Via Dolorosa to see in Jerusalem, but this is just a taste. 

All I can say is:  incredible.


  1. It is certainly wonderful to see different places especially Jerusalem. It's a holy ground.

    It's interesting to know that they've segregated the place at the wailing wall. Is that the actual note you placed? Thank you for sharing.

  2. Hey Chief Gibbs! Yes, that is the actual note I placed. I´m a nerd, I know. Hope you´ve been well. Thanks for reading my blog.