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, October 25, 2013

16. The Sanhedrin Tombs (1st century AD).

 Photos: 20 March 2009

Located in the ultra-orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Sanhedriya, these burial niches are often ascribed to the members of the Great Sanhedrin (the 71-membered supreme court of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus)! The graves are also known as “the Tombs of the Judges" and “Tombs of the Righteous”. Although the Sanhedrin tradition is from 15th century AD only, these burial caves are from the Second Temple Period (1st century AD). Today, there are around 80 rock-cut tombs in the complex and most of them lie in a derelict state, or at least that was the case when I visited the site.

Look for the entrance to 'Sanhedriya Park' on 'Ha Admorim Leiner Street' (near the intersection of Giva'at Moshe and Sderot Golda Me'ir Streets). The Sanhedriya Tombs are scattered inside this small park.