Jerusalem, the renowned city stands in the west of the Dead Sea in Central Israel. It is a city that attracts pilgrims from different parts of the world and followers of Christianity, Islam and the Jewish religion. The Old City still bears the significant sites that were famous from the Biblical era.
Fact 1: Historical background:-
According to historical evidence, Jerusalem occupied an area that was smaller than a square mile. But today it is spread over 125 square km. The walls and gates of the Old City were built during the 16th century AD by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent of Turkey. Among the 800,000 people of Jerusalem, 40,000 people live inside the walls of the Old City while the rest of the population lives in the neighborhood, outside the walls. The buildings are mostly made of Jerusalem stone.
Jerusalem is one of the most sacred cities of the world for almost half the population of the entire world. Jerusalem had been called by different names from time to time by the followers of the three religions. According to the Jewish Midrash, the city had 70 names among which the famous ones are Salem, Urushalim, Jebus, The City of David, Ariel, Zion, Aelia Capitolina, Al-Quds and many others. In Islam, this city is called the first Qibla. In the Hebrew Bible, the mane of Jerusalem has been mentioned 667 times. Although it is the seat of religion, there have been many conflicts and strife over the last 4000 years. It has been conquered 44 times, besieged 23 times and the change of religion happened 11 times and was destroyed twice. Yet it still stands today with all the glorious mosques and churches and towers.
Fact 3. Religion:-
Jerusalem is a city that is respected by the Christians, Jews and Muslims from around the globe. The depth of beliefs, fervor and sanctity of the 3 monotheistic faiths lie rooted in this city by love and respect. Jewish faith had flourished here for 3 million years and has been handed down to the next generations. And even after being exiled, the Jews regularly prayed to return to their sacred city of Jerusalem.
According to the Christians, Jerusalem is the birthplace of Lord Jesus. It is here that He lived, preached and passed away and was resurrected. The names of places like Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Site of The Last Supper, Garden of Gethsemane, Via Dolorosa with 14 stations of the Holy Cross has been mentioned in the New Testament.
Islam followers believe that their greatest prophet Mohammad was transported to Jerusalem miraculously from Mecca from where he ascended to heaven. The Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aksa Mosque was built here in the 7th century.
Fact 4. Places to Visit in Jerusalem
Pilgrims believe that Jerusalem is the most sacred place in the world and a must-visit city once in a lifetime. It is not only a holy land but is extremely beautiful. It is really difficult to name the best sites that a visitor must never miss out. However the most visited sites are the Dome of the Rock in the Old City, the Sacred Stone where Abraham offered his son as a sacrifice to God and it is also the place from where Mohammad began his journey towards heaven. The other interesting places are the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Wailing Wall, Jewish Quarter of the Old City, Zion Gate, Western Wall Plaza, Jerusalem Archaeological Park that preserve fascinating old remnants of Jerusalem, Western Wall Tunnels, St. James Cathedral, Tower of David Museum, The Citadel, St. Mark’s Chapel, Church of the Holy Sepulchur, Via Dolorosa Armenian Patriarchate Road, Sound and Light Show, Christian Quarter of the Old City, Jaffa Gate and many others.