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.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

40) Northern Gate of Aelia Capitolina, the Roman Jerusalem built by Hadrian Caesar in 2nd Century AD. Present Damascus Gate is from 16th century AD and is built by Ottoman Sultan Suleiman over this ancient gate.

The original Roman gate complex had 3 arched entrances, 2 massive guard towers and a large open plaza with a high column topped by a statue of Emperor Hadrian. The columned plaza was connected to the main highway, cardo of Jerusalem. Today, the full eastern arched entrance and its guard tower, parts of open plaza and cardo remain. The Roman gate and plaza can be reached by descending a small bridge in the side of the modern Damascus Gate. One can use original stairs inside the plaza to climb to Old City walls and do the Rampart's walk.

Eastern Arched entrance of the Northern Roman Gate of Hadrian's Jerusalem.

Remains of the Guard Tower in Roman Plaza.

Remains of Cardo from the Roman Plaza.

Guard rooms and other remains from the Northern Gate of 2nd century Jerusalem

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