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Israel's Famous Landmarks: 6 Must-See Spots in Jerusalem

Israel's Famous Landmarks: 6 Must-See Spots in Jerusalem
Ultra-orthodox Jews returning from Yom Kippur prayers in the Western Wall walk past Palestinian Muslims celebrating Eid al-Adha, on October 4, 2014, in Jerusalem's Old City. (Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 05 October 2014 03:01 PM

You can find many of Israel’s famous landmarks in its most popular city for tourists. Jerusalem, the nation’s capital, draws 3.5 million visitors every year, according to Israel’s Ministry of Tourism.

Here’s a look at six must-see spots in Jerusalem:

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1. Experts say the Old City is the ideal place to start your journey through Jerusalem. It’s parceled into four quarters recognizing the religious traditions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, plus the Armenian Quarter. It's easy to spend a day there, so be prepared when you go. There are seven entry points to the Old City, each representing a different era of the ancient city’s history.

2. The Temple Mount is considered among the holiest of sites for both Jews and Muslims. Known as the Noble Sanctuary, Jews believe the Temple Mount is the source of the dust that God used to create Adam and the cradle of the Divine Presence on earth. Some historians have speculated that the binding of Isaac took place there. Muslims believe Muhammad ascended from the Dome of the Rock and prayed with Gabriel there. The Temple Mount is also home to Al Aqsa Mosque, one of Islam’s holiest places, along with Mecca and Medina.

3. The Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall or the Kotel, is considered by many to be the central religious site for the Jewish faith. Located in the center of the Old City, the wall dates back to the first century BC when the faithful made annual treks to the wall to pray and leave requests for God.

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4. The Mount of Olives is the burial site for several Jewish biblical figures like Zechariah and Absalom. The 2,900-foot-tall mountain stands opposite the Old City across the Kidron Valley and is known for spectacular views of Jerusalem and Temple Mount. Besides olive trees that are 1,000 years old, the hill’s slopes include Jesus’ final footprint on earth before he ascended into heaven, and the Garden of Gethsemane marks the location where Jesus prayed before his crucifixion.

5. The Church of the Sepulchre is believed to stand directly above Jesus Christ’s tomb and is one of the world’s holiest Christian sites. Built in 326 A.D. by Emperor Constantine as a Byzantine place of worship, the church was destroyed by the Persians in 614 A.D. and then by the Egyptians in 1009. Twelfth-century Crusaders built the present-day church.

6. The City of David was founded more than 3,000 years ago by King David. Hezekiah’s Tunnel, used to transport water in ancient days, is considered the city’s highlight attraction, but tourists also can explore remains of the ancient city, such as remnants of the First and Second Temples. Located just south of the Jewish Quarters in the Old City, the City of David serves as a major archaeological site and a present-day residential neighborhood.

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You can find many of Israel's famous landmarks in its most popular city for tourists. Jerusalem, the nation's capital, draws 3.5 million visitors every year, according to Israel's Ministry of Tourism.
israel, famous, landmarks, jerusalem
Sunday, 05 October 2014 03:01 PM
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