Thursday, May 9, 2013

Wandering the streets of Jerusalem

I’ve always wanted to visit Jerusalem & soak up its history.

What a history it’s had: it’s been destroyed twice (first in 586 BC by the Babylonians & then in 70 AD by the Romans), it’s been besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times.

The old city, where most of this history occurred is quite compact (smaller than I imagined).

It is the focus of three major religions: Judaism, Christianity & Islam.

It has been sacred to Judaism for about 3,000 yrs. It contained the site of the First Temple (from the time of King Solomon) & the Second Temple (from around the time of King Herod).

The two most sacred places for Judaism are located here: the Western (or “Wailing”) Wall & the Temple Mount where the “Holy of Holies” is said to have been located.

For the Christians, Jerusalem was been sacred for about 2,000yrs. It is the city where Jesus was said to have been crucified, was resurrected & ascended to heaven.

For the Muslims, it is the third most holy city after Mecca & Medina and has been sacred for about 1,400 yrs. It is where Muhammad, one night, was supposedly transported to the Temple Mount (from Mecca) by the angel Gabriel & from there, ascended to heaven. This is known as the Night Ascension & it occurred (supposedly) where the Dome of the Rock is now located.

The old city is dived into four quarters (duh): Muslim, Armenian, Christian & Jewish.

Here’s a map of the old city showing the quarters:

There was actually a fifth quarter up until 1967 – the Moroccan quarter was located in front of the Western Wall, where you now see the plaza. It was bulldozed by the Israelis soon after the end of the Six Day War.

Righto. Enough of the history lessons.

Here are some photos from our day of wandering. Specific places such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre & the Temple Mount will have their own post:

The Tower of David - one of the original Herod Towers
Tower of David complex - one of the only things left after the Romans destroyed  the  city

Looking out to the Mount of Olives & the hills of the Jewish Cemeteries  
Close up of the same scene

Part of a section of an original Roman road
Genuine Australian Didgeridoo anyone ??
Looking up to the Temple Mount from the road

The Dome of the Rock
A recreation of the Golden Menorah - lost when the Romans destroyed  the city
Looking towards the Wailing Wall

Love the marketing

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