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, September 5, 2011

Yigal Allon Museum in Kibbutz Ginnosar with the 2000-year-old 'Sea of Galilee Boat' or 'Jesus Boat'. The boat was discovered accidentally by two fishermen brothers in the Sea of Galilee near the Kibbutz Ginnosar. The boat emerged from the waters in 24 January, 1986 when the sea receded during a severe drought.

Kibbutz Ginnosar was established in 1937. Ginnosar was the home of famous Israeli politician and military general, Yigal Allon (1918-1980). He was buried in the cemetery of Kibbutz Ginnosar after his sudden demise in 1980. Today, the Kibbutz is more famous for its precious find-'the Jesus Boat'.
1P: Entering the Kibbutz Ginnosar

2P, 3P and 4P: Look for the Arbel Cliffs at background. Views from Kibbutz Ginnosar.

The Yigal Allon Museum Complex

 A mosaic model of 'Jesus Boat' displayed in front of the museum

 A snap taken from the short film about 'Jesus Boat', included in the entrance fee.

To whom did the 'Jesus Boat' belong? Discovered from the 'Sea of Galilee' and dated from the time of Jesus, it was definitely a breaking news for christianity. Whether Jesus and His disciples have seen or used the boat is a different issue, but what is more important is that this unique find gives us a more clear idea of the sort of boat used during the time of Jesus.

'Jesus Boat' displayed in Kibbutz Ginnosar. Considered as the oldest boat discovered from a fresh water lake (carbon dated 40 BC plus or minus 80 years). After it's accidental discovery on the shores of the 'Sea of Galilee'in 24th January, 1986, it took 12 days and nights of delicate and painful procedures to recover the boat from mud. It was then followed by submerging in a chemical bath for 7 years before the boat was finally displayed to the public in the Yiagal Allon Museum of Kibbutz Ginnosar.

The boat is 25 ft long, 7.5 ft wide and 4 ft high with 15-20 people easily accommodated.