To most Christians, visiting the Holy Land is a dream come true. After all, this is the birthplace of their faith, a holy country and center of their religious pilgrimage. The culture, history, and beauty of this land make it a vacation spot where Christians can go to renew their faith, learn more about biblical history and enjoy a journey into the land of milk and honey.
Jerusalem holds special significance for Christians who come from all over the world. People of every faith come to visit Jerusalem annually. However, most of them are Christians who are thrilled to see the place where much of the Bible was played out. Consequently, many of the attractions, souvenirs, and tours are specifically designed for those who are of the Christian faith.
One of the first places that Christians enjoy visiting is the Old City of Jerusalem and its four quarters, which are surrounded by eight gates. The four quarters consist of the Christian Quarter, the Arab Quarter, the Jewish Quarter and the Armenian Quarter. Each quarter has different attractions and sites to visit that will prove interesting. Bear in mind that the environment of each quarter is different and it is best to get information about each before visiting so you will know what to expect and where to go.
The Western or Wailing Wall is the last remnant of the Jewish temples and was built more than 2,000 years ago. This wall provides the boundary between the Temple Mount of the Muslim Quarter and the Jewish Quarter. Due to the historical and emotional significance of the Wailing Wall, many Christians visit here. This is a place where many will stop to meditation, reflect and pray to God, with some leaving their own prayer request within the wall.
If you are interested in history and archeology, you will want to have a part of the Western Wall Tunnel Tour, which goes through the underground parts of the Western Wall. This tour shows the progress of the Temple Mount from the first temple period to today. The Temple Institute is another amazing place to visit where most of the ritual tools used in the holy temple have been reconstructed. Here you will find a book store, museum and a short movie describing the temple instruments.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is considered the holiest Christian site in the world. The church is located in the Christian Quarter of the Old City and is the location of the Via Dolorosa, or The Way of the Suffering. The Garden Tomb is located here and also, you will find a trail of fourteen Stations of the Cross, said to be the path that Jesus walked from the time of his arrest until the time of his resurrection. Inside the Church of Resurrection are the last five stations. Walking in the path of Jesus is something that Christians thoroughly enjoy and remember for a lifetime.
In the Armenian Quarter of Old Jerusalem is a fortress inside the city wall adjacent the Jaffa Gate called the Citadel. It has been used as a means of protection for centuries and excavations show that it may date back to the time of Herod. The St. James Cathedral, also in the Armenian Quarter, is one of the most beautiful of all the churches in Jerusalem. Built over the tomb of James the Apostle, it was built in the eleventh and twelve centuries. The vespers service is amazing, as the seminary students of the Armenian Orthodox seminary chant each afternoon from 3:00 – 3:30 PM, producing a moving and beautiful tone that is unforgettable. The inside of the building is lit by hundreds of oil lamps hung from the ceiling. There are no seats, but the floor is laden with thick Oriental rugs.
The City of David contains ruins which are the very oldest part of Jerusalem, dating back to the capture of the Babylonians in 586 BC. Here, you will find 13th century BC walls, along with fragments of King David's palace. The Mount of Olives contains many interesting places to visit, with recommendations to travel to the top of the mount by taxi and slowly make your way through the points of interest as you make your descent. The Mosque of the Ascension, Church of the Pater Noster, Tombs of the Prophets, and Cave of Gethsemane are just a few of the places you can visit on the slopes of the Mount of Olives.
Within both the Old Jerusalem and Modern Jerusalem are many places to eat and lodge. You will find the hotels in Israel to be of every size, shape, and cost to meet your traveling needs. There are many choices of hotels in Jerusalem, making this an easy task. Regardless of where you decide to lodge, however, you will not be disappointed in the Christian spiritual journey you find awaiting you in the city of Jerusalem.