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.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Bible Land Museum (1992), Jerusalem. Fantastic display of artifacts associated with the different civilizations mentioned in the Bible. No photos allowed inside, so only the exterior.

Israel Museum (1965), Jerusalem. Has a collection of 500,000 objects and rated as one of the best for art and archaeology. A Must-See in Jerusalem.The National Museum of Israel underwent a 100 million dollar renovation for 3 years and was reopened in July, 2010. The white building (2P) houses the world famous Dead Sea Scrolls.

Crown Plaza Hotel (built in 1973)-the second tallest building (94 meters) in Jerusalem. The 21-floored hotel was the tallest building in Jerusalem until 'Holy Land Park' was built in 2009 (32 floors, 121 meters). Unlike many capitals of the world, Jerusalem is not a skyscraper city. In one way this has helped to preserve the skyline of this unique and historic city to look less artificial.

The Ministry of Finance Office, Jerusalem.

The Central 'Bank of Israel', Jerusalem.

'The Wohl Rose Park' or 'Gan Wohl L'Vradim' of Jerusalem (1981). 20 acres, 15,000 rose bushes, 400 rose varieties from different countries. Named as one of the 11 most beautiful rose gardens in the world, in 2003.

'Yaka Square' at the intersection of 'Kaplan' and 'Rothschild' Streets, Jerusalem. A few meters along the 'Rothschild Street' is Israel's Parliament (Knesset) building.