Welcome to the magical city of Jerusalem
Jerusalem is the modern Capital of Israel. Jerusalem is one of the most extraordinary cities in the world, presenting a unique combination of ancient history, spiritual sanctity and colorful cultures. Only a few cities inspire as much as Jerusalem.
King David Established Jerusalem 3000 years ago, Jerusalem is a fascinating city of many contrasts and diversities. It is a city where old and new, holy and secular, pure nature and beautiful architecture mix into magical harmony of smells, with many exclusive Jerusalem Hotels and also Jerusalem Apartments
Jerusalem is a holy city to three religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), whilst being the modern capital of the State of Israel and the country`s largest city. The City of Gold, as it has come to be known in Hebrew, is a fascinatingly unique place where the first century rubs shoulders with the twenty-first century, each jostling for legitimacy and space, and where picturesque "old" neighborhoods nestle against glistening office towers and high-rise apartments. It is one of those places which has to be seen to be believed.
Jerusalem is a big place, and can be divided up into a few districts.
* The Old City and its Walls form a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This tiny ancient city is home to holy sites for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and is truly breathtaking.
* West Jerusalem is the Jewish-Israeli part of Jerusalem, also known as New Jerusalem, it is the modern commercial heart of the city, having become the focus for development in the capital from the time of Israeli independence in 1948 to the reunification of the city with the Six Day War in 1967.
* East Jerusalem is the Eastern side of Jerusalem, home to most of Jerusalem's Arab population.
* Me'a Shearim is the area of Jerusalem inhabited largely by ultra-Orthodox Jewish people, moderate dress is required. The area looks like an old polish town from 1800.
* The german colony is a West Jerusalem neighborhood south-east of the city center. It's a wonderful place to drink coffee and to eat in restaurants. You may hear more "Anglos" speaking English than Hebrew on these streets.
* Ein Kerem is a (relatively) secluded neighborhood in West Jerusalem that maintains village atmosphere. It is surrounded by picturesque hills dotted with olive and cypress trees, home to artists and sculptors who have opened numerous galleries. Several churches are built on the site believed to be the birthplace of John the Baptist.
* Talpiot is a largely commercial and industrial neighborhood in the southern part of West Jerusalem.
Located in the Judean Mountains between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea, Jerusalem is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It is the holiest city in Judaism and the spiritual center of the Jewish people since the 10th century BCE, the third-holiest in Islam and is also home to a number of significant and ancient Christian landmarks. It is also a city with a very violent past, as it has been fiercely contested between Christianity and Islam during the brutal Crusade era ). While the city has had a large Jewish majority since 1967, a wide range of national, religious, and socioeconomic groups are represented here. The walled area of Jerusalem, which until the late nineteenth century formed the entire city, is now called the Old City and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. It consists of four ethnic and religious sections — the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters. Barely one square kilometer, the Old City is home to several of Jerusalem's most important and contested religious sites including the Western Wall and Temple Mount for Jews, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians.
Surrounding the Old City are more modern areas of Jerusalem. The civic and cultural center of modern Israel extends from western Jerusalem toward the country's other urban areas to the west, while areas populated mostly by Arabs can be found in the northern, eastern and southern districts. Jerusalem became Israel's capital upon its independence and Jerusalem was united after the 1967 War when Israel captured East Jerusalem.
Archaeological findings prove the existence of development within present-day Jerusalem as far back as the 4th millennium BCE, but the earliest written records of the city come in the Execration Texts (c. 19th century BCE) and the Amarna letters (c. 14th century BCE). According to Biblical accounts, the Jebusites, a Canaanite tribe, inhabited the area around the present-day city (under the name Jebus) until the late 11th century BCE. At that point (c. 1000s BCE), the Israelites, led by King David, invaded and conquered the city, expanding it southwards and establishing it as the capital of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah (the United Monarchy). It was renamed at this time as Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), a name by which it is still referred to today.
King David's reign over Jerusalem ended around 970 BCE when his son Solomon became the new king. Biblical sources state that within a decade Solomon started to build the first of two Holy Temples within city limits — Solomon's Temple (or the First Temple), a significant site in Jewish and Christian history as the last known location of the Ark of the Covenant. The period of the First Temple was marked by the division of the United Monarchy at the time of Solomon's death (c. 930 BCE) when the ten northern tribes, originally part of the Monarchy, split off to form the Kingdom of Israel. Under the leadership of the bloodline of David and Solomon, Jerusalem continued to act as the capital of the southern par of the split, the Kingdom of Judah. Later, with the Assyrian conquest of the Kingdom of Israel in 722 BCE, Jerusalem became the center of a Judah strengthened by the great number of Israeli refugees. In approximately 586 BCE, the Babylonians conquered the Kingdom of Judah including the city of Jerusalem, and the First Temple Period came to an end.
In 538 BCE, after fifty years of Babylonian captivity, the Jews were given permission from Persian King Cyrus the Great to return to Judah so they could rebuild Jerusalem and construct the Second Temple. The construction was completed in the year 516 BCE, seventy years after the destruction of the First Temple. Jerusalem regained its status as capital of Judah and center of Jewish worship for another four centuries, with a considerable portion of that period under Hasmonean rule. By 19 BCE, the Temple Mount was elevated and construction began on an expansion of the Second Temple under Herod the Great, a Jewish client king under Roman rule. In 6 CE, the city, as well as much of the surrounding Palestine, came under direct Roman rule as the Iudaea Province. Still unchallenged, the Roman rule over Jerusalem and the region came to an end with the first Jewish-Roman war, the Great Jewish Revolt, which resulted in the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. Jerusalem once again served as the national capital for the people of the region during the three-year rebellion known as Bar Kokhba's revolt. The Romans succeeded in sacking and recapturing the city in 135 CE and as a punitive measure, the Jews were banned from Jerusalem.
In the five centuries following Bar Kokhba's revolt, the city remained under Roman and Byzantine rule. With the city controlled by Roman Emperor Constantine I during the 4th century, Jerusalem was transformed into a center for Christianity, with the construction of sites such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. For most of the time between Constantine's rule and the arrival of the Muslim forces in 638, Jews were banned from Jerusalem. From that point, the rights of the non-Muslims under Islamic territory were governed by the Pact of Umar, and Christians and Jews living in the city were granted autonomy in exchange for a required poll tax (jizya). When Caliph Umar first came to the city, he requested that Sophronius, the reigning Patriarch of Jerusalem, guide him and his associates to the site of the Jewish Holy Temple, whereupon he later decided to build a mosque. By the end of the 7th century, a subsequent caliph, Abd al-Malik, had commissioned and completed the construction of the Dome of the Rock over the Foundation Stone. In the four hundred years that followed, Jerusalem's prominence diminished as Arab powers in the region jockeyed for control.
In 1099, Jerusalem was besieged by the First Crusaders, most of the city's then 30,000 Muslim and Jewish inhabitants, were slaughtered. That would be the first of several conquests to take place over the next five hundred years. In 1187, the city was taken from the Crusaders by Saladin. Between 1228 and 1244, it was given by Saladin's descendant al-Kamil to the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. Jerusalem fell again in 1244 to the Khawarizmi Turks, who were later, in 1260, replaced by the Mamelukes. In 1517, Jerusalem and its environs fell to the Ottoman Turks, who would maintain control of after the First World War.
In 1917 after the Battle of Jerusalem, the British Army, led by General Edmund Allenby, captured the city. The League of Nations, through its 1922 ratification of the Balfour Declaration, entrusted the United Kingdom to administer the Mandate of Palestine and help establish a Jewish state in the region. The period of the Mandate saw the construction of new garden suburbs in the western and northern parts of the city and the establishment of institutions of higher learning such as the Hebrew University, founded in 1925.
As the British Mandate of Palestine was expiring, the 1947 UN Partition Plan (Part III) recommended "the creation of a special international regime in the City of Jerusalem, constituting it as a corpus separatum under the administration of the United Nations." However, this plan was never implemented and at the end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Jerusalem found itself divided between Israel and Jordan (then known as Transjordan). The ceasefire line established through the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and Jordan cut through the center of the city from 1949 until 1967, during which time West Jerusalem was part of Israel and East Jerusalem was part of Jordan. In 1949, west Jerusalem became Israel's capital.After the 1967 war, united Jerusalem became as Israel's capital.
In addition to many secular Israelis and foreigners, Jerusalem is considered home by large numbers of adherents to three of the four Middle Eastern monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Adherents of these faiths have tended historically to congregate in various neighborhoods of the city, with considerable overlap.
Due to its ethnic make-up the main languages spoken in Jerusalem are Hebrew in West Jerusalem and Arabic in East Jerusalem. Most people throughout the city speak sufficient English for communication, particularly Jews that have immigrated from the US and Europe. Additionally, many Charedi (strictly Orthodox) Jews speak Yiddish, and there is a significant number of French-speaking Jews. Smaller groups of Jews speak Dutch and Spanish. There is a large number of Russian immigrants of Jewish background, so it is not uncommon to see signs in Russian or hear Russian language radio. Finding English speakers in West Jerusalem is not at all difficult, but English speakers in East Jerusalem are much harder to find except in Arab businesses near Jewish settlements and in areas trafficked by tourists, such as the neighborhoods surrounding Damascus Gate.
Located on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea, Jerusalem has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters.
Winters are very wet, with nearly all of Jerusalem's annual 590 mm (23 in) of precipitation occurring between October and April. The coldest month is January, with an average high of 12°C (53°F) and an average low of 4°C (39°F). Sub-freezing temperatures are not an everyday occurrence, but do happen, and the city will get occasional snowfall during the winter, though it usually only lasts a matter of hours rather than days. However, every once in a while the city will experience significant accumulating snow.
Summers are hot and dry as a bone with virtually no rainfall between the months of May and September. Temperatures will generally approach around 30°C (88°F) during the day and cool to around 15°C (59°F) at night. Being near the desert, there is often a big difference between the day and night temperatures, and even the hottest days can turn into chilly nights. Spring and fall are mild, with minimal rainfall and pleasant temperatures.
Jerusalem Archeological Park:
In the Jerusalem Archaeological Park, the glass doors of the Davidson Center, near the Western Wall - the last remnant of the Holy Temple - swish open silently to welcome you. When they close behind you, you enter another world. It is the world of Jerusalem’s glorious past, showcased through the prism of advanced visualization technology.
The center was built into the basement of an eighth-century building, scrupulously preserving and enhancing it. As you follow the winding ramp downward, artwork and archaeological finds take you back through the ages, and you’ll meet colorful figures of Jerusalem’s exploration in days gone by. A ten-minute, high-definition digital video ingeniously interchanges the experience of Second Temple pilgrims with that of present-day visitors.
The realization that the historic and spiritual treasures depicted – the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and the Southern Wall – still stand only a few strides away adds to the power of the presentation. The center’s highlight is a three-dimensional virtual reconstruction of the Temple, based on ancient writings and excavations, and produced by a team from the Department of Urban Simulation at UCLA. Pictures generated every 41 millionths of a second give participants the eerie feeling that they are really walking up the staircase to the Temple and through its towering colonnades to stand before the grandeur of the Holy of Holies.
The center maintains regular visiting hours for groups and individuals, and is closed on Saturdays. The virtual reconstruction session is part of a guided tour pre-arranged through the Davidson Center.
Sites For Visit:
* Garden of Gethsemane
* The Paternoster Church
* Church of Dominus Flevit
* Church of Agony
* Rock of Agony
* Grotto of Agony
* The Church of St. Mary Magdalena
* Mount of Olives
* Chapel of the Ascension
* Church of the Visitation
* Mount Zion
* Cave of John the Baptist
* Church of St. John the Baptist
* The Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu
* Church of the Holy Sepulcher
* The Monastery of the Cross
* The Dormition Abbey
* David's Tomb
* Yad Vashem
* Ein Karem
* The Western Wall
* Western Wall Tunnel
* Dome of the Rock
* Al-Aqsa Mosque
* The Pool of Bethesda
* Via Dolorosa
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