If you find yourself in Israel, consider planning a day away to Jerusalem to live and breathe in the soul of this magnificent city. By Shubhanjana Das
Yad Vashem is more than just a tourist destination, it is an important part of the history and the tragedy that the Jewish community was subjected to as a whole. The official memorial site of the innumerable Jews who lost their lives during the Holocaust, Yad Vashem aims to preserve their memory and make everyone visiting Jerusalem know what happened, why it happened, and what impact it left behind. Yad Vashem is visited by 800,000 tourists every year!
2. Old City
The Old City of Jerusalem is where you will find history and Israeli culture solidified and packed into one small place. It is intense to say the least, and studded with gems that offer more than just a peek into their reality, both past and present. From the big attractions such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Wailing Wall, and the Dome of the Rock, as well as small winding alleys, which house bazaars and shops that sell authentic Arabian delicacies such as the knafeh. It is perfect for getting lost and finding yourself in the heart of Israel and Jerusalem.
3. Wailing Wall
One of the most important historic sites in Judaism, the Wailing Wall will leave you in a state of bewitched trance by the sheer energy it exudes, given its intense emotional power. Pilgrims from all over the world write their wishes on a small piece of paper and place it in between the stone cracks.
4. Temple Mount
On Temple Mount is the Dome of The Rock, the rock on which the world was founded, according to Jewish tradition. This is also the rock Mohammed is said to have begun his journey heavenwards, as per Islamic beliefs. After Mecca and Medina, Temple Mount’s al-Aqsa Mosque is the third most important pilgrimage site for the Muslims worldwide. Even if you’re a non-religious person, the history is worth knowing and the buildings worth a thousand pictures for they are remarkable in their own ways.
5. Mount of Olives
After having explored the Old City of Jerusalem on foot, a bird’s eye view of the same awaits you at the Mount of Olives. Historically, the Mount of Olives was believed to be the centre of Jerusalem and is a pilgrimage site for both Jews and Christians. Also a 3,000-year old grave site, Mount of Olives is where the souls of as many as 150,000 people rest in peace. There are also a few important churches located on this mountain ridge.
6. Church of Holy Sepulchre
Church of Holy Sepulchre is where Jesus Christ is said to have been buried and resurrected. While it may be one of the most crowded tourist destinations in Jerusalem, there’s no way one can miss out on the glittering mosaics and the displays of the Church along with the inside, which shelters the stone that people stand in queues to kiss. The charm, the intensity of the vibe, and the faith it exudes is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.