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, July 15, 2010

KING HEROD'S NORTHERN PALACE, MASADA. This palace is the architectural gem of Masada. 30 meters high and built on three rock terraces supported by impressive retaining walls, the Northern Palace of Masada is a spectacular feat of engineering.

The palace was built to host high-ranking visitors and to allow the king his solitude. Herod and his family lived on the upper level, and the two lower levels were for receptions. Look also for the modern models displayed at the Upper Level of the Palace showing how the palace may have appeared at the time of Herod (3P and 4P). It was daringly constructed on the very edge of a cliff. The northern edge of the Masada rock is only 2-3 meters wide, and Herod's engineers had to fashion some kind of artificial platform with the aid of powerful supporting walls.see more:

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