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.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Famous Valley of Kidron & Gethsemane at the base of Mount of Olives-Jerusalem; views from Armon HaNatziv Promenade.

1P: Towards your left is a green slope merging with several white buildings from the opposite side. It is the famous Kidron Valley where according to Jewish and Christian traditions, Messiah will judge the world at the end of times. The modern white buildings are part of an Arab village called Silwan. At the background, on the top of a hill are modern buildings from Hebrew University-Mount Scopus Campus of Jerusalem (with its famous tower at the right end).

In the middle of the photograph you can observe a golden domed structure, which is the Mary Magdalen Church of Jerusalem. At the right side of Mary Magdalene Church towards the extreme right edge of the photograph (enlarge the photograph) is a blue & white domed building. It is the Dominus Flevit Church, built over the traditional spot where Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Similarly go down equal distance from the Mary Magdalene Church towards your left: the arched multiple blue domed structure is the Basilica of Agony or Gethsemane where Jesus' sweat turned into blood. Between the Basilica of Agony and the Wall of Temple Mount (towards your extreme left, the yellowish wall is evident with its serrated top) is a red roofed building; which is the Tomb of Virgin Mary.

2P: In this photograph (from left), the Wall of Temple Mount, Gethsemane Basilica of Agony and the Tomb of Mary are more clear. In the valley of Kidron you can notice a tar road (foreground of 2P). Just immediately to its left is the ancient Jerusalem (Biblical City of King David).
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