Palestine
Al Quds

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8 travelers at this place:

  • Day7

    Jerusalem - Muslimisches Viertel

    October 25 in Palestine ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Weiter führt uns der Weg (mit vielen anderen zusammen) im muslimischen Viertel (grau eingezeichnet) durch die engen Gassen des Basars. Auf beiden Seiten der Gassen reihen sich die kleinen Geschäfte mit den gemauerten Wänden bunt aneinander. Viele Barber Shops, Gewürze, frische Obstsäfte, Schmuck, Leder- alles was das Herz begehrt und was von der dort lebenden überwiegend arabischen Bevölkerung gebraucht wird, ist hier zu haben.Read more

  • Day8

    Jerusalem, Temple Tunnel & Aqueduct

    November 28 in Palestine ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    Upon passing the entrance of the Tunnel of the Temple, we are welcomed by our local guide, an English-mother-tongue Jewish woman with a great passion for her people and an equally great talent for storytelling.
    Before starting to explore the long tunnel that runs all the way along the Western Wall, she asks us to all gather around a model of Old Jerusalem, where she starts explaining the crazy complex and yet fascinating history of this ancient city and its people.

    The Western Wall is one of the four walls built by Herod to hold a huge plateau covering Mount Moriah. According to the Sacred Texts, on the top of the mountain there is the foundation stone on which God created the world. It’s here that happened the “binding of Isaac” by Abraham and still here was placed the Arc of Covenance. 100 years later David chose Jerusalem as his capital city and then his son Salomon expanded the city and built first temple. The temple was open to everyone as it was built not just for the Jews, but for all Mankind.
    In the VI century b.C. the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, destroyed the temple and banished all Jews from their land. After 50 years, the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem and built a new Temple on the same spot on which the old one once stood.

    Centuries later, Herod The Great was elected King of the Jews. Due to his cruelty, he was not liked by the local populations. That’s why, in an attempt to appease them, he decided to build the greatest temple ever seen: he completely covered Mount Moriah with a plateau, sustained by four majestic walls. This is when Mount Moriah ceased to exist, giving way to the so-called “Temple Mount”. Its size was so impressive that it was comparable to a 39-storey building! There was nothing like that in the ancient world…
    On the plateau, a new temple was created, however it is not called the “Third Temple”, because there was not one single day of interruption of religious ceremony. It was completely covered in blue, green and white marble, which made it look like a snowy peak from far away. Differently from the Roman temples, the Jewish ones do not have idols or statues: they just worship ideas… and hard work!
    Unfortunately, this real wonder didn’t last for long…

    In 70 A.D. after the Great Rebellion of the Jews, Emperor Hadrian brought to Jerusalem 1/3 of his army, tortured and killed the leaders of the rebels, destroyed the temple, renamed Jerusalem “Aelia Capitolina” in honour of Jupiter, renamed the Judea “Syria Palestina” and banned the Jews from it! However, the Jews never forgot and for the past 2000 years have kept asking God for a new temple…

    600 years afterwards the Muslims came and built the Dome of the rock on the foundation stone of Mount Moriah. In the following centuries Muslim and Crusaders alternated as conquerors of Jerusalem, until the 14th century, when the Muslims (the Mamelukes) conquered Jerusalem for the third time and decided to flatten up the city, by raising the ground all around the perimetral walls of Temple Mount. The walls were indeed very high and reaching the Dome of the Rock for the 5 daily prayers was not very handy. The used arcs to create new city layers and these are still visible when walking through the tunnel.

    In 1967 the Jews finally came back to Jerusalem thanks to the “Six-day war” and decided to clear up the plaza in front of a section of the Western wall. That’s when they realised that the wall was never destroyed but rather hidden by the Arab houses.
    The Western Wall we see now is about 1/3 of the real height for two reasons:
    1. Some of the lower part is still hidden by the higher ground created by the Mamelukes
    2. The upper part was partly destroyed by Romans in 70 A.D.
    Among the four walls, only the Western Wall is sacred because was the closest to the temple, where the divine presence was supposed to be.

    After this long excursus of the painful story of the Temple Wall, we finally start waling down the tunnel, where we see the stone on which Abraham was about to sacrifice his son Isaac.
    We proceed down the tunnel and at a certain point a glass window on the floor allows us to see how deep down the valley is. Really scary… especially if we think that in the Southern-West corner the wall was at least twice as deep!
    The most impressive part is however a big hall that was once filled with debris: it took 10 years to clean it up and now is a stunning underground synagogue.

    After another good 5-minute walk we finally reach the wall, where we can admire the original stones: the bottom 7 layers are original and made of gigantic stones cut so perfectly that it’s almost impossible to see any space between each piece. In fact, what is keeping them together is just the massive weight of the Temple Mount. Here we see one of the biggest construction stones in the world: 13 metres long and 3.5 metres high!
    To move the stones no slave labour was used but rather crane-like devices in use by the Romans. Herod was indeed in good terms with them and could use their technology. But, according to the guide, the major factor in building the Temple was God's help!

    We keep walking under the arcs of the tunnel and it’s incredible to think that they are sustaining a whole city built above us. This tunnel was indeed created when the Mamelukes built the city on top of the existing one, so we are actually standing on the original pavement on the street that was laid alongside the Western Wall.
    We have been walking for a while now, but we are not at the end yet. After a few more minutes we reach a chamber where the stones of the Western Wall suddenly fade into the bedrock, which has been cut and carved to resemble the stones. Some of the bedrock looks burnt and this could explain why there is no more pavement: probably, the construction of the street alongside the wall was interrupted when the Romans burnt the city down.
    Since we cannot continue on this path, we go through another legacy of the old times: the aqueduct. The bridge was indeed also used to build the aqueduct, which is partly still in use. And it’s by following it that we get to a sudden pool, used to collect rain water in the ancient times… and seen as a home by some fish! The pool is not open because Hadrian covered it after the suppression of the Great Revolt and had a market built over it.

    It’s time to say goodbye to our fantastic guide, but so much more is awaiting us outside of this tunnel…
    Read more

  • Day7

    Garden of Gethsemane

    November 27 in Palestine ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    We keep walking now until we reach the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed the whole night before being arrested by the guards of Kaifas.

    This is also where the olives from the Mount of Olives were pressed to make oil. The garden is surrounded by a fence and consists of an inner part occupied by ancient olive trees and, in the lower part of the garden, the Church of Agony.
    The most ancient olive trees of the garden all have the same DNA as they come from the same "mother". The church is very dark, but also beautiful in its way.

    Now it's time to leave Jerusalem (but we will be back tonight) to visit Bethlehem! 🤩
    Read more

  • Day6

    First time seeing Jerusalem

    May 12 in Palestine ⋅ ☀️ 82 °F

    We came out of the tunnel to see Jerusalem for the very first time. Our tour guide played this song. Very dramatic moment.

    Chris Tomlin - God of this city

    [Verse 1]
    You're the God of this City
    You're the King of these people
    You're the Lord of this nation
    You are

    [Verse 2]
    You're the Light in this darkness
    You're the Hope to the hopeless
    You're the Peace to the restless
    You are

    There is no one like our God
    There is no one like our God

    [Chorus]
    For greater things have yet to come
    And greater things are still to be done in this City
    Greater thing have yet to come
    And greater things are still to be done in this City
    Read more

  • Day7

    Day 7 – Monday, May 13, 2019

    May 13 in Palestine ⋅ ☀️ 64 °F

    Around Jerusalem, Bible Times, Holocaust Museum, Friends of Zion Museum
    Conditions permitting we will visit the Temple Mount, with commentary on the Temple Periods, and the variety of belief systems past and present that make this area so valuable. Next we will spend time surrounding the birth of Christ with a visit to Bethlehem. We will visit Church of the Nativity, Shepherd Fields (including Shepherds Cave and a visit to Church of the Shepherds). An interesting and educational time awaits us at the Israeli Museum. Walk through collections of centuries-old Israeli artifacts including the Dead Sea Scrolls, and then a guided walk through an accurately detailed model of Biblical Jerusalem will help to prepare you for what you will experience in the following days. This afternoon we visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, for a needed reminder of what the Jews have suffered as a people. We conclude the day with a visit to the Friends of Zion museum to learn of the 19th and 20th century hero’s of the Jewish people.Read more

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