When traveling to the Holy Land, a visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is a must. The hill is located in the southeast of the old town. The Temple Mount is a holy place for Christians, Jews and Muslims, the beginnings of which date back to 1000 BC. Walls on which the artificial plateau was built are about 2000 years old. The Temple Mount is always in the headlines when it comes to conflict between Jews and Muslims over the controversial location.
According to topschoolsintheusa, Jews are not allowed to enter the Temple Mount. They are only allowed to pray on the west wall of the Temple Mount, the 18 meter high and 40 meter long Western Wall. The Western Wall is said to be one of the foundations of a Jewish temple that was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Every visitor has the opportunity to stick small pieces of paper with a wish in one of the cracks in the wall and ask for fulfillment. Every month these pieces of paper are removed and buried on the Mount of Olives.
Dome of the Rock
One of the most important sights of Jerusalem is the Dome of the Rock with its golden dome on the Temple Mount. The name comes from the rock inside, from which the religious founder Mohammed is said to have ascended to heaven on horseback. The Jews believe that Abraham wanted to sacrifice his son Isaac on this rock.
Like all mosques, the south-facing Al-Aqsa Mosque is an impressive sight. It was built at the end of the 7th century on the remains of a Catholic church. These include Byzantine, Roman, Babylonian and Jewish building remains, e.g. the Jewish temple of Herod and Solomon.
The area of the Temple Mount is one of the highest sanctuaries in Islam. Access for tourists is precisely regulated and only possible at certain times. Even if entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque is reserved for Muslims only, staying in this very special and meaningful place touches every visitor.
The Via Dolorosa is a street in Jerusalem. It represents one of the central points of remembrance of Christianity.
Via Dolorosa means something like “street of pain”. It is a road that leads along the presumed path of Jesus Christ with the cross. Here, 14 points are expired, which denote the events of that fateful day. The Via Dolorosa begins at the remains of the official residence of the Roman governors and thus also of Pontius Pilate and ends at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where the tomb of the crucified is believed to be.
Since Jerusalem has changed a lot over time and many buildings of antiquity also had to give way to other buildings, the 14 points are not exclusively historical sites. Nevertheless, the route of the Via Dolorosa is likely to be the route that most closely corresponds to the historical route based on today’s buildings.
Jerusalem is a city in the middle of an explosive region and is not completely spared from the circumstances prevailing in the Holy Land. Accordingly, the Via Dolorosa is not fully accessible around the clock.
At least the Franciscan monks, as guardians of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, are allowed to walk down the whole Via Dolorosa in a procession every day at 3 p.m. During summer time, this takes place at 4 p.m., as summer or winter time is not valid in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Points I and X of the Via Dolorosa are, as they are under Arab administration, otherwise not accessible to visitors or pilgrims and it borders on a miracle that a functioning and peaceful livelihood was actually found in this region of the world on such a sensitive topic.
On Good Friday, the Via Dolorosa witnesses what is probably the most poignant spectacle in Christianity.
In Rome, the Via Dolorosa is to a certain extent recreated on Good Friday and the Pope symbolically walks the “Way of the Cross”. Unfortunately, for political reasons it is too dangerous for the head of the Catholics to walk the actual Via Dolorosa.
For many Christians, a trip to the Holy Land is one of the most ardent dreams. There are many places to discover the country in the footsteps of the Bible. But the Sea of Galilee offers culture lovers as well as sun-hungry holidaymakers a place steeped in history with guaranteed sunshine.
The Sea of Galilee is located in northern Israel and is the country’s most important drinking water reservoir. Depending on the water level, the lake can reach a length of up to 21 kilometers and a width of around 12 kilometers. The water is fed by the Jordan River. At 210 meters below sea level, the Sea of Galilee is the deepest freshwater lake in the world. The water quality is quite good and the water temperature is around 25 to 30 degrees Celsius from May to November. On the west bank around Tiberias there are some recommended bathing beaches.
Journey into bygone eras
Many historically significant places are located around the Sea of Galilee, but the only large town on the west bank is the small town of Tiberias with around 40,000 inhabitants. From a hill, travelers have a fantastic panoramic view over the lake. From a religious point of view, the Sea of Galilee is of outstanding importance, because there are numerous important sites of biblical history around the lake. These include the Mount of Beatitudes, which is mentioned in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, Jardenit, the place of baptism of Jesus Christ or Tabgha on the north bank, which is considered the place of the biblical feeding of the 5,000.
At every turn, holidaymakers in Israel and especially on the Sea of Galilee are on the trail of the Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, the Crusaders and many other cultures. Due to its importance for world history, a study tour is a perfect way to discover the biblical sites in one of the most beautiful regions of the Holy Land.