About Holy Land

Jerusalem

As a holy city for Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Archaeological excavations show the history of the city began over 5,000 years ago. Among historic monuments are the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, built in the seventh century, Which stand as magnificent pieces of architecture. It is also home to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Which houses Christ's tomb.

The Old City of Jerusalem and its walls is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the Islamic world. It is divided into four main quarters: the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Armenian Quarter and the Jewish Quarter. The old city has been home to many diverse cultures, Which are reflected in the architecture and planning of the city and its sacred buildings, streets, markets, and residential quarters. Today, Jerusalem's living traditions continue, making the city the center of human history.

The Jerusalemites are most welcoming and your stay in the city will be enriched by meeting the various Palestinian communities of Jerusalem.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Preserving the most holy sites of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, this church is the holiest of shrines for the world’s Christians. Situated in the Old City’s Christian Quarter, the church was first built in the fourth century by Constantine’s Mother Helena, over the site of a pagan temple built during the Roman period. Also re-built over successive generations, the present structure was built by the Crusaders in the twelfth century, and contains the last five Stations of the Cross. It also contains the Chapel of Golgotha where Jesus was crucified, the Sepulchre itself where Jesus was buried, and the Chapel of Mary Magdalene where the risen Christ first revealed himself.

The Garden Tomb

Located outside Jerusalem’s city walls and close to the Damascus Gate, the simplicity, beauty, and peaceful atmosphere of the Garden Tomb makes it a favourite spot for prayer and meditation.

Some Christians find worshipping near the rock-hewn tomb helpful as they seek to relive the crucifixion and resurrection experience, since it gives a clear picture of what the place of crucifixion and burial must have looked like at the time of Jesus.

Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Cross)

The traditional route that Jesus followed as he carried the cross from the Antonia fortress where he was condemned to death, to the Calvary, where he was crucified. The walk is commemorated in fourteen stations: two are located at Antonia, seven in the streets of Jerusalem, and the last five inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Mount of Olives

The Mount of Olives is located east of Jerusalem, across the Kidron Valley. From its heights a magnificent view of the Old City and a striking panorama as far as the Dead Sea and the mountains of Moab in the East can be seen.

Beyond its striking sunsets, the Mount of Olives is associated with some of the most important events in Jesus’ life. It was here that the man Christians believe to be the Son of God ascended to Heaven (the location of which is marked by the Chapel of Ascension), where he foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Pater Noster), and wept over Jerusalem on his way to the Holy City on Palm Sunday (Church of Dominus Flevit). Perhaps the most striking feature of the mount today is the Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Mary Magdalene, with its striking onion-shaped spires. 

Garden of Gethsemane (Church of all Nations)

Located at the foot of the Mount of Olives, the Church of All Nations was originally built by the Byzantines in 379 AD over the place made holy by Jesus’ prayer and agony. The present church is considered one of the most beautiful in Jerusalem, and was built between 1919-1924. It is called the Church of all Nations, because sixteen nations contributed to its construction.

Today, the Garden of Gethsemane appears as it did more than 2,000 years ago, and within it are some of the world’s oldest olive trees. The garden was a spot favoured by Jesus, and one that served as a site for retreat and prayer, most notably where he spent his last night.

The Kidron Valley

The Kidron Valley separates the Mount of Olives from the City of Jerusalem. Jesus crossed the valley many times, including on the evening of Holy Thursday when he went with his disciples to Gethsemane. The ancient tombs of Absalom, Jehoshaphat, and Saint Zacharias are located along the Kidron Valley. Tombs of Christians, Muslims, Jews line the valley, as it is closely associated with the Day of Judgement.

The Tomb of the Virgin Mary

According to tradition, the Virgin Mary, who died in Jerusalem, was buried in the Kidron Valley. The Crusaders built the present church over the ruins of a Byzantine basilica to mark the place of the Virgin Mary’s tomb and her assumption.

Al-Azarieh (Bethany)

Located two miles east of Jerusalem on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, Bethany was the home of Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha, whom Jesus loved. The village has been known by the Arabic name of Lazarus since the fourth century, and it is where Jesus performed the great miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead.

The city of Bethlehem is holy to both Christians and Muslims. It is acknowledged as the birthplace of Jesus Christ or, in Arabic, Issa, who is known as the Son of God in Christian belief and a divinely inspired prophet to Muslims. The Church of the Nativity, a Byzantine basilica, was built by Helena (the mother of the Emperor Constantine), to commemorate Jesus’ birth. It is built on top of a cave where, according to a tradition first documented in the second century AD, Jesus was born. It was first dedicated in 339 AD.

Bethlehem

Bethlehem  "House of Meat" Bet Lahm, lit. "House of Bread"  is about 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem. Its population is approximately 25,000 people.
The New Testament identifies Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus. The city is inhabited by one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, although the size of the community has shrunk due to emigration. Bethlehem was destroyed by the Emperor Hadrian during the second-century Bar Kokhba revolt; its rebuilding was promoted by the Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, who commissioned the building of its great Church of the Nativity in 327 CE. The Church was badly damaged by the Samaritans, who sacked it during the Samaritan Revolt in 529, but was rebuilt a century later by the emperor Justinian I, in very much its present form

The Church of the Nativity

The oldest church in the Holy Land that is still in use, the original was constructed under the patronage of Constantine’s mother, Helena, who came on a pilgrimage to Palestine in 325 AD to investigate the sites associated with the life of Jesus Christ, revered since the early days of Christianity.

Milk Grotto

According to tradition, the Milk Grotto is where Mother Mary nursed baby Jesus while hiding from Herod’s soldiers before going to Egypt. Located southeast of the Basilica, it is an irregular Grotto hewn out of soft white rock. It is believed that some drops of Mary’s milk fell onto the rock, turning it white. Revered by Christians and Muslims, the milk-white rock is known for its healing powers and reputed ability to make nursing easier for women.

Mar Saba Monastery

Built into the rock overlooking the Kidron Valley, 15 km east of Bethlehem, this magnificent monastery is a spectacular sight when it first comes into view. It preserves a way of life unchanged since the time of Constantine, and maintains a tradition of not allowing women to enter. The great monastic leader Saint Saba (439-532) AD, the monastery’s namesake, founded the site in the Byzantine period.

Herodion (Jabal Al-Furdais)

Built in a circular shape on top of a hill 6km southeast of Bethlehem, this fortress includes the remains of a huge palace built by King Herod for his wife in 37 BC. The palace contained a luxurious, round-walled building, fortified chambers, baths, and terraced gardens. Herodion fort hill dominates the landscape of the area, and offers an impressive view of the Dead Sea from its peak.

Beit Sahour

This historic town, whose name means “Place of the Night Watch”, in reference to the Shepherds who keep watch over their flock by night, lies 1km east of Bethlehem. In the past, the Canaanites inhabited its numerous caves, and today it is the home of many churches and convents. Churches now mark the sites of Shepherds Field, the Field of Ruth and the Well of the Lady.

Shepherds’ Fields

Located in the town of Beit Sahour 2 km east of Bethlehem, this is the site where the angel of the Lord is said to have appeared before shepherds bringing them good tidings of the birth of Jesus. Joined with a multitude of heavenly hosts, the angel sang ‘Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth, Peace among men.’

Nazareth

Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Nazareth is known as "the Arab capital of Israel". The population is made up predominantly of Arab citizens of Israel, almost all of whom are either Muslim (69%) or Christian (30.9%).  In the New Testament, the city is described as the childhood home of Jesus, and as such is a center of Christian pilgrimage, with many shrines commemorating biblical events.

According to the religious text Gospel of Luke, Nazareth was the home village of Mary as well as the site of the Annunciation (when the Angel Gabriel informed Mary that she would give birth to Jesus). According to the Gospel of Matthew, Joseph and Mary resettled in Nazareth after returning from the flight from Bethlehem to Egypt. The differences and possible contradictions between these two accounts of the nativity of Jesus form part of the Synoptic Problem. According to the Bible, Jesus grew up in Nazareth from some point in his childhood. However, some modern scholars also regard Nazareth as the birthplace of Jesus.

Petra

Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the southern Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. Another name for Petra is the Rose City due to the color of the stone out of which it is carved.

Established possibly as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan, as well as Jordan's most-visited tourist attraction. It lies on the slope of Jebel al-Madhbah in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985. Petra was chosen by the Smithsonian Magazine as one of the "28 Places to See Before You Die".

The Dead Sea

"Sea of Salt", also Hebrew: Yam HaMawet, "The Sea of Death", is a salt lake bordered by Jordan to the east, and Palestine and Israel to the west. Its surface and shores are 429 metres (1,407 ft) below sea level, Earth's lowest elevation on land. The Dead Sea is the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. With 34.2% salinity (in 2011), it is also one of the world's saltiest bodies of water. It is 9.6 times as salty as the ocean.This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea is 50 kilometres long and 15 kilometres wide at its widest point. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley and its main tributary is the Jordan River.

The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years. In the Bible, it is a place of refuge for King David. It was one of the world's first health resorts, and it has been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from asphalt for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizers. People also use the salt and the minerals from the Dead Sea to create cosmetics and herbal sachets.
The Dead Sea water has a density of 1,240 kg/m3, which makes swimming similar to floating.

The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai

The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia, as opposed to Africa, serving as a land bridge between two continents. The bulk of the peninsula is divided administratively into two of Egypt's 27 governorates (with three more straddling the Suez Canal area), and has a population of approximately 1,400,000 people. In addition to its formal name, Egyptians also refer to it as Ard ul-Fairuz . The ancient Egyptians called it Mafkat, or "land of the green minerals".

Mount Sinai literally "Moses' Mountain" or "Mount Moses";  also known as Mount Horeb, is a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt that is a possible location of the biblical Mount Sinai. The latter is mentioned many times in the Book of Exodus in the Torah, the Bible,and the Quran. According to Jewish, Christian, and Islamic tradition, the biblical Mount Sinai was the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.

Read 2908 times Last modified on Monday, 03 August 2015 16:40