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.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tell Akko (Biblical City of Akko/Acre)-a city inhabited from 16th Cent BC to 2nd Cent. BC. Look for the green hill between the modern buildings.

Today, what remains is only a mound at the site of the ancient city. The biblical city lies below this hill, which actually is composed of many layers of previously destroyed cities. The site was abandoned in 2nd Cent. BC and the new city (current Old City) was moved closer to the sea. In Bible, Acco is mentioned only once: in the book of Judges. Acco was so strong that Israelites failed to capture it from the Canaanites (Judges 1:31).

The hill was reused as being a base for the sieges of the Crusaders (1099) and Napoleon's Army (1799). The statue you see on the top of the hill is that of Napolean. The hill is also known as Napoleon's Hill today. These photos are taken from my Canon's 12X zoom and is the maximum I could manage. Since the Tell is a few kilometers from Old City of Akko and we were short of time...decided to skip visiting the site.

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