There was so much to see and experience that we’d like our tour guide, Professor String Bean to give you some info on each stop we made. Clawdette and I both agree that this was a life changing trip. It brought the bible to life for us. It was also our first time to eat olives and boy oh boy, did we like them! Let’s join the Professor and hear about the cool places we got to see!
Jerusalem is indeed the city of peace and it is so hard to explain this feeling. You have to physically be there to experience it yourself. Olive tree grows in Jerusalem as grass grows. Everywhere you turn you can see an Olive Tree. Olive trees symbolize peace and now you know why it is called the city of peace. Jerusalem is preserved in time and history. Everything is old, distinctive and has a remarkable story to tell.
Garden of Gethsemane
Located at the foot of the Mount of Olives, it is in this garden that Jesus prayed the night before his crucifixion. The olive trees are the oldest in the world, some over 800 years old. It is believed that these trees are descendants of the original olive trees in the garden which may have “witnessed” Jesus’ prayers here the night before his crucifixion.
Mount of Olives
The Mount of Olives is a prominent location mentioned in the Scriptures, first as King David’s escape route during the rebellion of his son, later in the prophets, however it is most known and referred in the New Testament, where Jesus’ taught his pupils, where he wept over Jerusalem (Matthew 26:36-39), and where Jesus ascended in to heaven (acts 1). The Mount of Olives is home to several important churches and holy sites; the Chapel of the Ascension built at the top of Mount of Olives with stunning panoramic views of Jerusalem. Dominus Flevit Church which translates to “The Lord Wept.” The Church of all Nations also known as the Basilica of the Agony, and the adjoining Garden of Gethsemane. The Russian Orthodox Church of Maria Magdalene. The convent of Pater Noster, built where according to tradition Jesus instructed his disciples, and at the foot of the Mount of Olives is the Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary, also known as the Tomb of the Virgin Mary. The Mount of Olives is also home to The Jewish Cemetery, the oldest continually used cemetery in the world.
Church of All Nations
Also known as The Basilica of Agony, is Located atop the Mount of Olives, this Catholic church enshrines a section of bedrock where it is said Jesus prayed before his arrest (Mark 14:32-42). Twelve different nations contributed to the construction of the church, thus the name the “Church of All Nations,” and they are recognized in glass ceiling decorations and mosaics. Don’t miss the remains of the fourth century and Crusader churches which preceded the current structure
This is the site of The Last Supper. It is located in Mt Zion, just south of the old city of Jerusalem. Again, expect large crowds of people and tour groups.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
For Christian Pilgrims, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre contains the two holiest sites in Christianity; the site where Jesus was crucified, at the site known as “Golgotha” or “Calvary,” and Jesus empty tomb, where tradition marks his burial and resurrection. The church was built over ruins of a pagan temple until the conversion of the Emperor Constantine in 312 AD, when his devout mother St. Helena commissioned many churches to be built in Israel. The most important of these was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the largest and perhaps one of the most complex buildings in the world. The church contains the last five Stations of the Cross including the 14th and final station, and is occupied by six different Christian denominations; Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Coptic, Syriac Orthodox, and Ethiopian churches
For many Christian pilgrims, the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrow) is a spiritual highlight when touring Jerusalem. The traditional walk follows the route of Jesus after his condemnation as he carries his cross to be executed in Calvary. Daily guided tours, and tourist on their own can easily follow the route, however if you’re visiting on Friday, you can join the Franciscan monks in procession along the Via Dolorosa. The route is marked by 14 Stations of the Cross, several which are based on the Gospel, and other on pilgrim and local tradition. The walk starts in the Muslim Quarter, the 1st station near HaPrakhim Street, heading west there are eight other stations until you reach the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where the last five Stations of the Cross are located. Of great interest along the route is theChurch of the Flagellation, a Franciscan complex which includes a monastery located in the Muslim Quarter, and is adjacent to the Church of the Condemnation and Imposition of the Cross. The site is traditionally marked as the place where the Roman soldiers flogged Jesus after he was convicted and sentenced to death by crucifixion (John 19:17-19).
Chapel of the Ascension
The site of the Chapel of the Ascension is where tradition holds the place where Jesus ascended to heaven 40 days after his resurrection. A slab of stone inside the small octagonal chapel may contain one of Jesus footprints. The original site was home to a large Christian church and monastery built by St. Helena lasting until 1187, abandoned by Christians moving to Acre as a result of Sultan Saladin conquering the area. Because Muslims also recognize the Ascension of Jesus, the church was converted into a mosque, however the majority of pilgrims to the site were Christians, and because of this the small Chapel remained in the area.