Located between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, Jerusalem is situated on a plateau in the Judean Mountains and is one of the oldest city in history that’s why you would seem numerous monuments in Jerusalem. A few of the major religions, mainly Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, consider the city, holy. Also, Jerusalem has always been a place of curiosity not only for the devout but also for historians and regular tourists. The place has quite a history, in where it was destroyed, besieged, captured, and attacked countless times. Today, Jerusalem is a place where people can visit and learn all about its history, as well as enjoy many of the attractions spread around the city. If you are planning to visit the holy city of Jerusalem anytime soon and are still unsure of the things you should do, here are some of the top ten monuments in Jerusalem, Israel, that will save you time while also ensuring that you get the best experience out of the city.
List of Monuments in Jerusalem
1. Dome of the Rock and Temple Mount
This most important monument in Jerusalem is Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca and Madinah.On the Temple Mount, the magnificent golden Dome of Rock is built and situated in the Noble Sanctuary area in the Old City. According to Islamic tradition, Prophet Mohammad ascended to heaven at the heart of the building lies the Foundation Stone. While the Jews believe that it was here that Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son. This monument is a reflection of Byzantine architecture. The gold coating of the dome is known to have been recently restored by JordanÍs King Hussein II, who had to sell his house in London to accumulate the funds! Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the Dome of Rock. Entrance is only through the gate near the Western Wall, while you can use the eight other gates for exit. Security checks here are quite rigid and be sure to be modestly dressed.
Address: Dome of the Rock and Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Israel.
2. Church of the Holy Sepulchre
This church is built on the same site considered by Christian communities to be the place of crucification and resurrection of Christ. In the Christian quarter of the city, this religious monument in Jerusalem is probably one of the holiest for devout followers of Christianity. Pilgrims from all over the world cross boundaries to offer their prayers.The church was built by the Emperor of Constantine and after being destroyed twice, was restored by the Crusaders. Just near the entrance is the Stone of Unction, the place where Christ’s body was prepared before burial, while the tomb itself is inside one of the rooms. The Church walls, though not the best of architecture you will see in Jerusalem, emanates a certain sanctity. It is advisable to dress modestly here – shoulders, back and legs covered.
Address: Church of Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, Israel.
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3. Israel Museum
Regarded as one of the top ten museums in the world, this monument in Jerusalem demands a must-visit. The museum has an impressive art collection and incredible antiques. It is a short walk north of the Old City’s Jaffa Gate. The Shrine of the Book building displays Israel’s portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls (the rest of the scrolls are displayed in Amman’s Citadel Hill Museum, Jordan) which were unearthed in the 1940s in a Judean desert cave, overlooking the Dead Sea. The Jewish Art and Life wing house an alluring display of Jewish art and representations of Jewish life. One of the prized exhibits is the reconstructed Synanagogues from different parts of the world. The Archaeological wing showcases the most extensive collection of biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world, organised chronologically. The Art Wing boasts of artwork by several Israeli painters, as well as works of Monet, Renoir, Sisley and Cezanne.
Address: Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel.
4. Mount of Olive
Mount of Olive has been Jerusalem’s primary burial ground named after the olive groves that once thrived on its slopes. A 20-minute walk east of the Old City, Mount of Olives is now known from the panoramic view of the city it has to offer. Ideally make the ascent before sunrise or sunset, to watch the skies being bathed in crimson hues. The western slopes are splayed with gravestones, including those of notable biblical figures, such as Zechariah and Absalom. The black-domed al-Aqsa Mosque and the gold Dome of Rock, to the left of it paint the skyline; but look behind them for the large grey dome of the Holy Sepulcher. Christ was known to have walked the slopes of Mount of Olives, according to Christian beliefs. The Dome of the Ascension and Garden of Gethsemane are few sights you can visit from this historical landmark in Jerusalem.
Address: Mount of Olive, Jerusalem, Israel.
5. Chapel of the Ascension
The Chapel of the Ascension in Jerusalem is a Muslim and Christian holy site was built in the Byzantine era around 380 AD. The Muslims took control from the Crusaders in 1198 and converted the chapel into a mosque. Today you’ll find a minaret and small, deteriorated and plain rotunda inside a walled enclosure. The Chapel marks the spot where Jesus ascended into Heaven after His resurrection, as described in the Gospels. The Dome contains an imprint of Jesus’ right foot before His Ascension (the left footprint is in the Al-Aqsa Mosque). The Mount of Olives has 3 other sites that commemorate the Ascension and if you’re on a pilgrimage, you’ll want to stop here for the religious significance to Christians.
This well-visited spot has been commemorated with a pretty octagonal-shaped chapel, thought by Christians to be the site where Christ ascended to heaven. During Israel’s Islamic period, the Chapel of the Ascension was converted into a mosque. If you are exploring this famous monument in Jerusalem you may also pay a visit to the nearby burial site of the Christian Saint Pelagia.
Address: Mount of Olives, Al-Tur Village, Jerusalem Israel.
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6. Tomb of Virgin Mary
In the Kidron Valley, at the foot of the Mount of Olives, near the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations, lies Mary’s Tomb. Like the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus is said to have been buried, the church at Mary’s Tomb was initially built around the time of Constantine I in the 4th century AD. This important religious landmark in Jerusalem was subsequently destroyed and rebuilt several times over the centuries, and the current structure was built by Franciscan friars in the second half of the 14th century. The Greek Orthodox Church is in possession of the complex but shares some of the rights to its use with other Christian denominations. Muslims, who also venerate Mary, have a special place for prayer in the building, marked by a mihrab (niche in the wall) that points to Mecca. Visitors must bend down in order to enter the crypt, where they are greeted by a brilliant display of religious icons and medieval art. Inside, pilgrims pray and light candles, lending the enclosure a profound aura of peace and reverence.
Address: El-Mansuriya, Jerusalem 9711300 Israel.
7. Belz Synagogue
Although initially built to invoke the memory of the synagogue that served the Hasidim in Europe, Jerusalem’s Belz Great Synagogue is anything but a replica of the original. The extravagant, massive structure is the largest synagogue in Jerusalem – probably the largest in the world, as well – and can host as many as 7,000 worshipers in its central sanctuary. Visible from the Route 1 city entrance, the resplendent synagogue resembles the Second Temple – a site in its own right, especially as it’s lit up at night. The Jewish monuments in Jerusalem were completed in the year 2000 after years of planning and fundraising and include study halls, smaller synagogues for weekday prayers, libraries, dorms, and halls. The ark in the main sanctuary houses some 100 Torah scrolls and is 15 meters high. Visitors to the Belz Great Synagogue are advised to dress modestly (for women, skirts should extend below the knees and sleeves below the elbow), and come on a Saturday (Shabbat) or a Jewish holiday. Although it is not officially a tourist site, and some of the congregants may be suspicious of tourists, there is often someone on hand who will be happy to show you around this magnificent edifice.
Address: 7 Binat Yisakhar, Jerusalem 9448000 Israel
8. The Wailing Wall
The Wailing Wall also referred to as the Kotelis is one of the most revered religious sites of Judaism faith. This important monument in Jerusalem is the western retaining wall of the Temple Mount, where the First and Second Temples once stood. The Wall got its name because many Jews would come here to mourn and lament the destruction of the Temple. Millions of pilgrims across the planet nowadays, both Jewish and non-Jewish visit this place to pray and write their wishes on paper and place it in between the cracks of the 2000-year-old Herodian stones. Serving as an open-air Synagogue, it is divided into two separate sections for men and women to pray. Different styles of stonework compose the wall, a reflection of the different eras they were constructed in. The underground section of the Wall is accessible through a network of complex tunnels. Modest dressing is a must and men should cover their heads.
Address: Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, Israel.
9. Tower of David
Built on the ruins of the fortifications once made by King David, this Museum is very integral in mapping the history of Jerusalem. A visit to this heritage monument in Jerusalem first before any other places of attraction will prove extremely informative in terms of Jerusalem’s history and architecture. The Museum locally known as the Citadel tells its story through maps, holograms, videos and models. The galleries around the Citadel’s courtyard are arranged chronologically. The big tower, in particular, renders a stunning view of the city, in addition to the ramparts. The “Night Spectacular” is a light and sound show in the Citadel’s courtyard for adults and children alike.
Address: Tower of David, Jerusalem, Israel.
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10. Homage to Jerusalem
Created by Alexander Calder (1898-1976), Homage to Jerusalem was the last great outdoor sculpture, one of the most acclaimed and influential sculptors of that time. Calder’s outdoor sculptures, which were created on a grand scale from bolted sheet steel grace public plazas in cities throughout the world. Homage to Jerusalem is a red-painted, multi-arched sculpture that frames the Judean Hills. Calder called the sculpture a stable, in contrast to his well-known mobiles. He conceived the work on his visit to Jerusalem in 1975 and, after returning to his studio in Sachse, France, chose the precise location and angle at which he wanted the sculpture erected. This must-see the monument in Jerusalem has a light, open side, with high arches through which one views the panorama, and a sealed, heavy side that reminds one of an animal’s tail.
Address: Rehov Kiryat, HaYovel Mount Herzl, Jerusalem Israel.
11. The City of David
The City of David is situated outside the Old City’s Dung Gates (Sha’ar Ashpot) and the remains of a once majestic citadel ruled by Judean kings. Start exploring this historical monument in Jerusalem with the visitor centre where you can watch a 15-minute film telling the story of the city and gather information about the various sites and guided tours. The highlight of this place is Hezekiah’s Tunnel which was the aquaduct from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam and known to have supplied water to the palace. The descent to the tunnel begins from the Warren Shaft and you can traverse the entire length of the tunnel, wading through water. Make sure you carry water proof shoes, comfortable clothes and a torch because the wade is definitely worth it. Where Christ is known to have miraculously restored the vision of a blind man, the tunnel opens out to the Pool of Siloum on the same place. This will be a magnificent historically enriching tour.
Address: Ma’alot Ir David St, Jerusalem, Israel.
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