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, July 31, 2011

St: Peter's Catholic Church (parts of walls inside the church from 1100 AD), Tiberias. The earlier Crusader Church was built to commemorate the "First Miraculous Draught of Fish" along with the Calling of Peter and Andrew as Apostles by Jesus (Matthew 4: 18-22 and Luke 5: 1-11). The nave of the church represented the hull of an overturned boat. At the 16th century when Muslims controlled Tiberias, the church was often used as a stable for animals! It was only in 1847 Franciscans could repair the Church.

6P: The mosaic in the apse depicts St: Peter in a boat. The words, 'portae inferi non praevalebunt adversum eam' (Latin) is taken from Matthew 16:18, which is translated in KJV as 'the gates of hell shall not prevail against it'.

8P: Monument to the Virgin of Czestochowa- built in 1945 by Polish soldiers of the Third Army (who fought here in World War II) in memory of their stay in the Casa Nova of Tiberias. Casa Nova was a hostel built in 1903 for pilgrims visiting Holy Land and still functions.

Inside the Church

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