There’s something about Jerusalem like no other. You have to be there to feel it yourself. Perhaps I was overwhelmed by its eventful history and ancient architectures that date back thousands of years, and awestruck standing on a holy ground concentrated with three major world religions – Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
For the Jews, Jerusalem has been the center of the Jewish faith for three thousands years. Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven on the site where the golden Dome of the Rock was built. According to Christianity, the holy land is where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.
The Western Wall
Judaism’s holiest site. It’s believed that the Western Wall is the closest place to God, a ‘gateway to heaven‘. The Western Wall (or Wailing Wall) is the remnant of the second Jewish Temple on Temple Mount where the Dome of the Rock sits. Facing the Plaza in the Jewish Quarter, only a small section (58m in length) of the holy site is exposed and segregated into men’s and women’s prayer sections.
Non-Jews can visit the Western Wall. Dress modestly. No sleeveless. Cover below the knees.
I sent my prayer at the Western Wall! Bring a pen and paper to write your prayer, fold the paper and place it between the cracks on the Western Wall. Interestingly, you can even place a prayer note in the Wall via the Internet!
I was trying to insert my prayer note into one of the cracks on the Wall, making sure that it won’t fall out.
The Western Wall and the Plaza at the Jewish Quarter.
The Plaza and the Jewish Quarter adjacent to the Western Wall.
Pilgrims and non-Jewish visitors making their way to the Western Wall.
Dome of the Rock
The golden Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. According to Islamic belief, the location of the Dome of the Rock is the spot where Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.
The Dome of the Rock is undoubtedly one of the most photographed landmarks in Israel.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Christians from all over the world pay pilgrimmage to Jerusalem. At the Old City of Jerusalem, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is believed to be the ground where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.
See a ladder above the main entrance of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre? It has been there at the same position before 1852 as no one removes it due to disagreement of the communities.
The main entrance to the Holy Sepulchre.
The interior of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The Stone of the Anointing is said to be the location where the body of Jesus was laid before burial. It seems to be a custom that devotees may kneel before the Stone and kiss it.
According to Christian belief, the Altar of the Crucifixion is the spot where Jesus was crucified.
The Altar of the Crucifixion.
The Aedicule enshrining the Tomb of Christ.
Christians and visitors walking around the Aedicule.
The Dome of the Rotunda above the Aedicule.
Western Wall by night
The Old City of Jerusalem by night exudes a sense of eternity. More worshippers are at the Western Wall.
Marcello went over to some of the worshippers to ask for a group photo.
A nice pose with the friendly Ultra-Orthodox Jews.
The night scene at the Plaza in front of the Western Wall.
Western Wall Tunnels
Only a small section of the Western Wall is exposed at the Plaza. The Western Wall Tunnels are located underground where you can access to the majority of the Western Wall. We went on a guided tour along the Western Wall Tunnels.
Research and excavations are in the process to discover archaeological findings.
Walking along the underground tunnel.
Worshippers at the Western Wall Tunnel.
A female worshipper
As we passed by Mount of Olives, I noticed two impressive buildings with beautiful facade and took this photo from the bus. Later then I learnt that the one on the left covered by a large mosaic picture is the Basilica of the Agony where Jesus had his last prayer before he was betrayed and crucified. The other building is the Church of Mary Magdalene.