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, March 30, 2014

21) Four Sephardi Synagogues (16th-18th Century AD), Jewish Quarter. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the synagogues were burnt and used as horse stables by the Jordanians.

Built in 17th century, Yohannan Ben Zakkai Synagogue has two Holy Arks and a Shofar and Oil Jug kept for Prophet Elijah.

Oldest of the four, Eliahu Ha Navi Synagogue was built in 16th century.

Built in mid 18th century in the middle of others, Emtsai or Middle Synagogue is the smallest of the four.

Built in 1760s, Istanbuli Synagogue is the largest and latest of the four.

Replica of the Shofar and Oil Jug for Prophet Elijah to announce and anoint Messiah, kept in the high walls of Yohannan Ben Zakkai Synagogue.

Photos: 5 December, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2014

20) Foundations of the Fortress of Antonia (1st Century BC). One of the possible sites of Pilate's court (Praetorium) where Jesus was judged.

Photos: 18 August, 2009.
Views are from the Temple Mount. Today the foundations are seen underneath the modern Umariya Elementary School in the Old City of Jerusalem.