JERUSALEM-the 50 sites you may overlook

In a historic and religious city like Jerusalem there is so much to see no matter how much you tour. When time is a limiting factor, even the most efficient tour guides have to compromise while deciding what to incorporate in the itinerary. Although it depends on the interest of the individual visitor as well, there is still a huge must-see-list in Jerusalem that cannot be avoided. At every stop so much information is thrown on a visitor that sometimes s/he tends to forget the details after leaving the place.

I remember when I first visited the Church of Holy Sepulcher, it appeared to me more like a small museum than a church. I was virtually clueless inside a dark and dull overcrowded massive complex of more than 25 chapels with several curious artifacts and antiques scattered under some dusky arches and dingy columns. It took me at least three visits with a proper map in hand to understand the Church complex. A normal visitor for instance would be satisfied with Golgotha, the ‘Stone of Unction’ and the ‘Holy Sepulcher’, but the oldest part of the complex, viz. the first century tombs inside the Syrian Orthodox Chapel could be easily missed.

In the upcoming posts I plan to upload 50 such sites from Jerusalem that I believe can be easily overlooked or go unnoticed by an average visitor. I am incorporating the following sites from my previous visits, again with no specific order of importance. I am sure that a serious traveler who loves history, traditions and the Bible has noticed or been to most of them.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

BARON EDMOND BENJAMIN JAMES de ROTHSCHILD (1845–1934). Said to have spent over $ 50,000,000 for the establishment of modern Israel.

His visionary efforts led to the the legal purchase of nearly 125,000 acres of land and establishment of almost 30 Jewish settlements, before the modern state of Israel was established in 1948. For his philanthropy and pioneering efforts he is known in Israel as "HaNadiv HaYadu'a" ("The Famous Benefactor") and "the Father of Yishuv" (Jewish Community in Palestine before 1948). No wonder why you find coins, currencies, stamps, avenues, streets, boulevards, centers and even malls dedicated to his memory in Israel. Baron de Rothschild died in Paris in 1934 and was buried there. However, shortly after the establishment of Israel, his remains and those of his wife were brought to Ramat HaNadiv Memorial Gardens near the town of Zikhron Ya'akov in Israel in 1954.

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