A Travellerspoint blog

Journey through the Holy Land

Old Jerusalem

sunny 75 °F

Today was all about retracing the Passion of the Christ.

Our first stop was the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations or Church of the Agony. According to the four Gospels of the New Testament, Jesus underwent the agony in the garden and was arrested before his crucifixion. The Church of All Nations, also known as the Church or Basilica of the Agony, is a Roman Catholic church located on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem, next to the Garden of Gethsemane. It enshrines a section of bedrock where Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest.

large_20221022_083943.jpglarge_753b6aa0-5221-11ed-b4a6-a75edbf03ac7.jpglarge_20221022_085015.jpg

We then braved the traffic to the Mount of Olives to get a spectacular view of the Old CIty.

large_20221022_093011.jpg

It was then time to make the trek through old Jerusalem. Our first stop was the Western Wall. It is extensive, and, because it was Sabbat, we could not take pictures. It is a relatively small segment of a far longer ancient retaining wall, known also in its entirety as the "Western Wall". The wall was originally erected as part of the expansion of the Second Jewish Temple begun by Herod the Great, which resulted in the encasement of the natural, steep hill known to Jews and Christians as the Temple Mount, in a huge rectangular structure topped by a flat platform, thus creating more space for the Temple itself, its auxiliary buildings, and crowds of worshipers and visitors. In one of several varying Muslim traditions, it is the site where the Islamic Prophet Muhammad tied his winged steed, al-Buraq, on his Isra and Mi'raj to Jerusalem before ascending to paradise, and constitutes the western border of al-Haram al-Sharif ("the Noble Sanctuary"), or the Al-Aqsa compound. The Western Wall's holiness in Judaism is a result of its proximity to the Temple Mount. Because of the Temple Mount entry restrictions, the Wall is the holiest place where Jews are permitted to pray, though the site of the Holy of Holies, the most sacred site in the Jewish faith, lies behind it.

large_20221022_104508.jpglarge_75a2df00-5221-11ed-b4a6-a75edbf03ac7.jpg

It was then on to the It is a relatively small segment of a far longer ancient retaining wall, known also in its entirety as the "Western Wall". The wall was originally erected as part of the expansion of the Second Jewish Temple begun by Herod the Great, which resulted in the encasement of the natural, steep hill known to Jews and Christians as the Temple Mount, in a huge rectangular structure topped by a flat platform, thus creating more space for the Temple itself, its auxiliary buildings, and crowds of worshipers and visitors.

In one of several varying Muslim traditions, it is the site where the Islamic Prophet Muhammad tied his winged steed, al-Buraq, on his Isra and Mi'raj to Jerusalem before ascending to paradise, and constitutes the western border of al-Haram al-Sharif ("the Noble Sanctuary"), or the Al-Aqsa compound.

The Western Wall's holiness in Judaism is a result of its proximity to the Temple Mount. Because of the Temple Mount entry restrictions, the Wall is the holiest place where Jews are permitted to pray, though the site of the Holy of Holies, the most sacred site in the Jewish faith, lies behind it.

We traversed the Stations of the cross to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre: The second holiest place on earth besides Bethlehem for Christians. According to traditions dating back to the 4th century, it contains the two holiest sites in Christianity: the site where Jesus was crucified, at a place known as Calvary or Golgotha, and Jesus's empty tomb, where he is believed by Christians to have been buried and resurrected. Each time the church was rebuilt, some of the antiquities from the preceding structure were used in the newer renovation. The tomb itself is enclosed by a 19th-century shrine called the Aedicule. The Status Quo, an understanding between religious communities dating to 1757, applies to the site.
Within the church proper are the last four stations of the Cross of the Via Dolorosa, representing the final episodes of the Passion of Jesus. The church has been a major Christian pilgrimage destination since its creation in the 4th century, as the traditional site of the resurrection of Christ, thus its original Greek name, Church of the Anastasis ('Resurrection'). Control of the church itself is shared, a simultaneum, among several Christian denominations and secular entities in complicated arrangements essentially unchanged for over 160 years, and some for much longer. The main denominations sharing property over parts of the church are the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic, and to a lesser degree the Coptic, Syriac, and Ethiopian Orthodox churches.

large_20221022_114819.jpglarge_20221022_114923.jpglarge_20221022_115533.jpglarge_20221022_123142.jpglarge_7632ea00-5221-11ed-bfd2-1df953f112cb.jpglarge_75e05d30-5221-11ed-b4a6-a75edbf03ac7.jpglarge_76008f60-5221-11ed-bfd2-1df953f112cb.jpg

Our last two stops were the Room of the Last Supper and the Tomb of King David, but because it was Sabbat, we could not photograph David's Tomb. David's Tomb is a site that, according to an early-medieval (9th-century) tradition, is associated with the burial of the biblical King David.[Historians, archaeologists and Jewish religious authorities do not consider the site to be the actual resting place of King David. It occupies the ground floor of a former church, whose upper floor holds the Cenacle or "Upper Room" traditionally identified as the place of Jesus' Last Supper and the original meeting place of the early Christian community of Jerusalem.

large_2990d770-5221-11ed-b4a6-a75edbf03ac7.jpglarge_20221022_152205.jpg

Posted by rpickett 15:57 Archived in Israel Tagged old jerusalem

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login