The Old City of Jerusalem: The Holy City
The Old City of Jerusalem is the cultural, historical, and religious hub of Israel (and the world). Residing within modern-day Jerusalem, the Old City covers a 0.9 square-kilometer walled area. There are seven sentry gates throughout the wall that let people in and out. The Old City is simply a breathtaking place to visit. It will surely make you feel more in touch with your spiritual side.
The Old City of Jerusalem is divided into four different religious quarters. There’s the Jewish Quarter, the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, and the Armenian quarter. Here are some popular tourist attractions from each quarter:
In the Jewish Quarter, there’s the Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall and the Kotel. If you visit here, you’ll see hundreds to thousands of religious Jews praying at the wall. For religious Jews, going to the Western Wall to pray is one of the most significant things you can do.
From the Western Wall Plaza, you can see the Dome of the Rock, which resides in the Muslim Quarter. In the Muslim Quarter, there’s a marketplace (a shuk in Hebrew) where vendors sell all kinds of goods. You can go to the shuk and barter with the vendors for anything that you want at a lower price. And, that means that you’ll need to sharpen your bartering skills. Do you think that you have what it takes?
In the Christian Quarter resides the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This is the place where people believe Jesus was crucified and buried. The Christian Quarter was actually built around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and as of today houses about 40 Christian holy sites.
The Armenian Quarter is the smallest quarter in the Old City. Here you can wander through the small, narrow streets and see places like St. Mark’s Chapel as well as St. James Cathedral.
The main tourist attraction of the Old City is actually one of its gates, the Jaffa Gate. The gate leads directly to the Old City Bazaar and the Tower of David Museum. So, if you ever visit the Old City, make sure that you’re entering through here.
As you can see, the Old City of Jerusalem is packed with its religious significance, historical sites, and tourist attractions. As you walk from quarter to quarter, you’ll experience so many different cultures. It’s as if you’re walking through different countries-and historic timelines. If you visit Israel, the Old City of Jerusalem is the place to be.
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