Jerusalem landmarks: towards the holy places

Most Popular Pilgrimage Destinations

Rest in Jerusalem is the most interesting excursions, religious tours to Jerusalem, comfortable accommodation and several places where you can have fun. If you decide to take a rest from the heart, choose a vacation in Jerusalem!


Jerusalem is the holy city of three religions, located in the Judean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Seas. The oldest city consists of four quarters: Jewish, Armenian, Christian and Muslim. There is also a division into two parts - New and Old Town. This is a "live" city, pilgrims from all over the world - Christians, Muslims, Jews, go here, there are many government residences and institutions, the city is characterized by rich excursion programs. Most of the tourists in Jerusalem are during the celebrations of Easter, Christmas, Jewish autumn holidays and, of course, summer.

Climate of Jerusalem

The special geographic location of Jerusalem has influenced the fact that the climate here is slightly different than in all of Israel, cooler.

The climate in Jerusalem is Mediterranean - hot and dry in summer, cool and humid in winter (October to March). Therefore, it is best to come to Jerusalem on vacation in the spring - the winter rains end, and the city is buried in greenery, which will soon become dried up by the scorching sun. In addition, amazing crocuses and irises bloom here in spring, Purim (caranwal) is celebrated here in March, and Pesach in April (at this time you will not find bread and beer in Jerusalem).

The average air temperature in winter is + 7C, although it can drop below zero, so snow is possible here. In summer, the thermometer usually stays at + 23C, although it can jump up to 44C. This usually happens when the northeasterly wind carries the sultry heat of the desert.

Jerusalem Hotels

First, it should be stipulated that the system of assigning "stars" in Jerusalem, as well as in all of Israel, does not work. The classification is drawn up by the tour operator.

Secondly, the choice of hotels in the "promised land" is very wide, but unique.

For example, most 4 * and 5 * hotels are located outside the Old Town, and there are guest houses, apartments, hostels. The cost of living in the hostel is $ 40 per day. Inexpensive hotels "two stars" in Jerusalem will cost you $ 80-100, and a little better, the so-called 3 *, - about $ 150.

Perhaps there is not a single historically rich and truly ancient city that can compare with the diamond of the Middle East - Jerusalem

Perhaps there is not a single historically rich and truly ancient city that can compare with the diamond of the Middle East - Jerusalem. Jerusalem is mentioned in the scriptures of the main religious confessions, songs are dedicated to Jerusalem. The famous singer Ofra Haza, who was born in Yemen, but lived all her life in Israel, sang - "Yerushalaim Shel Zhav!", Which means - "Golden Dome" or "Golden-Domed Jerusalem". In different chronicles this city is called differently - Jerusalem, Yerushalaim, Yershalaim - these are just a few of the most common names of this city.

Reasons of general interest

So, what is Jerusalem so famous for, and why from year to year all kinds of people strive to get here with all their might? There are two detailed answers to this question.

The first is that the city of Jerusalem is mentioned in the chronicles of the fourth millennium BC. That is, the city of Jerusalem is very ancient, rich historically and only a few Asian cities, such as Baghdad or Damascus, can compare with it in age.

The second reason for the constant pilgrimage to Jerusalem is that this city is the "Center of the Three Religions". That is, the three most famous world religions venerate Jerusalem as the land where history was made, not only from a human point of view, but also from a religious point of view.

Brief Overview of Religions

In 1000 BC, the Jews came here, led by their king David, to whom, according to legend, the victory over Goliath is attributed. For exactly a thousand years, the main religion of Jerusalem was Judaism.

This is followed by a series of bloody wars between centuries: conveniently located strategically, Jerusalem was of interest both for the Persian Empire and for the conquests of Alexander the Great. The latter, however, conquered Jerusalem bloodlessly and "was merciful to the inhabitants of this city."

And in the first century AD Christianity gained great strength. It is believed that it was here, within the city limits, that Jesus Christ was sentenced and crucified on Calvary. Here he was resurrected three days later. And to this day crowds of pilgrims from all over the world are drawn to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (also known as the Church of the Resurrection of the Lord). It is believed that every true Christian believer is obliged to visit Jerusalem.

In the seventh century AD Jerusalem was conquered again, now by Muslims. But this was not the reason for their keen interest in this city, but the fact that, according to legend, it was here that Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, opened a direct path to the foot of the throne of the Lord. But neither Muhammad nor the angel Jabrail (aka Gabriel) set foot on this path, because there was no will of God for that. The place where this event took place is called the Dome of the Rock and is a place of pilgrimage for all true faithful Muslims.

Conflict of Religions

Despite the common striving for the sublime and heavenly for all religions, there are places on the sinful earth where the presence of God is felt. It is interesting what the pilgrimage gives people exactly what they are trying to find. First of all, it is the need to regularly strengthen in faith, to remind oneself of sacred truths, to feel belonging to a large community of like-minded people.

The essence of the pilgrimage

Pilgrimage is the journey of believers to places that are important and significant for their religion. Places that attract pilgrims are called sacred.

As objects of pilgrimage are:

  • cities where a figure revered in religion was born or lived;
  • prayer buildings;
  • holy relics;
  • household items that have become shrines;
  • icons and other images of a religious nature, etc.

Curiosity is not the only reason for such travel. People believe in the holiness of the places they visit and hope in this way to get even closer to God, to feel his mercy on themselves.

There are both collective and individual pilgrimages. Individuals are often performed by hermits, ascetics, vowed monks, or people who have set a specific goal that they want to achieve with God's help.

Pilgrimage in Christianity

The very word "pilgrimage" is primarily associated with Christianity. It comes from the word "palm". After all, it was with a palm branch in their hands that people in Jerusalem met Jesus Christ.

Jerusalem is now the main place of pilgrimage for Christians around the world. This territory of Israel is called the "Holy Land" and is sacred to the followers of the three world Abrahamic religions.

The program of visiting Christians includes: the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Golgotha, the Jerusalem Temple, the Mary Magdalene Monastery and other places where biblical events took place, or in whose honor prayer buildings were erected.

The second most popular place of pilgrimage for Christians is the Sacred Mount Athos, located in Greece. The Athos peninsula is a separate administrative unit, a monastic state. There are 20 monasteries on the territory of the peninsula, inhabited by 2,000 monks. But these figures do not include pilgrims who are not translated all year round.

Pilgrimage (pilgrimage) - this is the name of visiting holy places for specific religious purposes. Pilgrimage is accepted in almost all world religions, as well as pagan cults. Today travel companies organize special religious tours for believers. They do not have an entertainment program, only recreation with health-improving and educational purposes is allowed. The meaning of these trips is to worship holy places, to read prayers and perform divine services at the revered shrines. When a person visits such places without worshiping God, it has nothing to do with the pilgrimage.

Religious tourism in Israel

Travel to holy places usually pursues the following goals:

  • Visiting places of significance for religion. People are convinced that in the "centers of faith" their prayers are especially effective.
  • Healing - physical or spiritual. A person has a violent faith in the power of icons, relics of saints, altars, etc. Let's not talk about what exactly heals people in these places: indomitable faith ("placebo effect" for atheists) or the real influence of unearthly forces. But the facts speak for themselves: at all times, the blind here saw their sight, the crippled rose to their feet.
  • Curiosity. A person's striving for knowledge leads him to a Buddhist temple, Catholic monastery, mosque or Orthodox church, even if this is a religion alien to him.


The Holy City of Jerusalem is the capital of the Promised Land. It is from here that the pilgrimage to the holy places usually begins. Our compatriots, Orthodox Russian pilgrims, certainly visit the Russian Spiritual Mission here - the official representation of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Holy Land. Here the pilgrims need to receive a blessing, and then it is from here that they will begin their journey in the footsteps of the Savior.

The Jerusalem Church of the Resurrection of Christ, better known as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, is a significant place for every Christian. It contains the great shrines described in the Bible: Golgotha, the Life-Giving Tomb of the Lord, the Stone of the Anointing.

Believers visit places remembering the last days of Jesus Christ's life on earth:

  • Zion, where He shared the last meal with His disciples;
  • The Garden of Gethsemane, where the Savior prayed to bloody sweat and was captured by the guards; The Garden of Gethsemane
  • Pilgrims follow the Way of the Cross - the same mournful road that Jesus walked to Calvary;
  • climb the Mount of Olives (Olive), where He once ascended to heaven. Mount of Olives


It is not easy to create a list of interesting places in the ancient city of Israel. Before traveling, remember that the main attractions in Jerusalem are mostly religious, so a lot will depend on your religion and travel goals. In this article, we will list the most popular monuments of world architecture and museums among tourists.

Old Town

Even atheists are happy to visit the oldest part of Jerusalem. The main shrines of the Abrahamic religions are located here. During the reign of King David, the Old City included only the Temple Mount and its surroundings, but over time, its territory has increased. The colorful Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Armenian neighborhoods have their own unique flavor and list of tourist attractions.

On the territory of the Old City, people will run up to you, offer to leave notes and tie a red thread on your wrist - of course, for money. Don't get fooled - these are enterprising traders.

How to get there: usually the Old City is entered through the Jaffa Gate. There is a tourist center behind them, where you can take a map.

Church of the Holy Sepulcher

The Church of Christ's Resurrection, aka the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, was erected on the site of the alleged burial of Jesus. The tomb is the most important place of worship for all Christians. The shrine has a difficult history: it was destroyed, restored and destroyed again. Most of the surviving part of the building dates back to the XI-XII centuries, and the restoration took place in the XIX century. The church is always crowded, there are representatives of various Christian denominations, and they can only pray at a strictly defined time. Conflicts periodically erupt among believers, but, fortunately, the guards are vigilant. To get to the main shrines, sometimes you have to stand in a queue for many hours. To get to the Kuvukliya cave, where the body of Christ lay, you can go to the Coptic side-chapel on the opposite side of the entrance and ask the monk to let you through.

Via Dolorosa

The Road of Sorrow leads to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher under the beautiful name "Via Dolorosa". It is believed that this is the path that Jesus Christ passed to the place of his execution. Now pilgrims follow the same road, making stops associated with the events of the Way of the Cross. It is not so easy to find these points by yourself, so it is better to go with a guide. As a rule, passages from the Bible and certain prayers are read at the stands. The atmosphere is far from reverent: numerous merchants are actively encouraging tourists to buy something. Religious souvenirs are predominantly presented on the shelves.

Wailing Wall

The sights of Jerusalem are the most important shrines of both Christianity and Judaism. It is this Wall that is the surviving part of the Second Jerusalem Temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. e. Anyone can see the Wailing Wall - don't just forget about respect for another culture. It is customary to put notes between the stones with personal requests to the Almighty. There are no specific canons or patterns, the main thing is that the request comes from the heart. Thousands of notes appear on the Wall every day, so prepare a small piece of paper to make it easier to find free space for it. Once every six months, they are harvested and burned on the Mount of Olives. and the appearance of women is strictly monitored by representatives of the Hasidic community: they will not let you in with bare shoulders and in shorts. Men at the entrance must be given a headdress - a kippah. The territory is divided into two parts: male and female, and if on the latter one can only offer prayers, then on the male part they sing and dance during Jewish holidays. Turning your back to the Wall is undesirable: traditionally people leave it, backing away several meters. On Saturdays and during the holidays, it is also forbidden to photograph and film the holy place.

Temple Mount

The First and Second Jerusalem Temples once stood on the Temple Mount. From the latter, by the way, Jesus expelled the merchants. Now here you will find the Al-Aksu Mosque and Qubbat al-Sahra. The prophet Muhammad saw the first shrine during his night trip to Jerusalem - “the most distant mosque”. Qubbat al-Sahra with a huge golden dome is famous for the fact that there was a part of the mountain where Abraham tried to sacrifice Isaac and from where the prophet ascended to heaven. Only Muslims are allowed into it.

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