Jerusalem. The name evokes visions of life thousands of years ago when the world’s main religions were just taking root. That is exactly why, in 1982, it was inscripted on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Wow! The old city of Jerusalem is more than impressive, it’s awe-inspiring.
To think three of the world’s major religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, view it as a holy place is mind-boggling. The Dome of the Rock holds special importance for all three, since it is the site where Abraham made his sacrifice. The Dome of the Rock is currently under Muslim control, and only Muslims may enter the building, but what a gorgeous view!
The Western Wall, or the Wailing Wall, is of special importance to the Jews, unfortunately it is always so crowded. I like how this man wanted to pray there, but he didn’t want to be jostled by all the visitors.
Today, people from all three religions, people from all over the globe, go to Jerusalem to visit these sights. To me the visitors, as well as the people who live and work there, were the draw! The different cultures, the mix of dress, it is just an amazing experience to walk among them.
In fact, walking through the marketplace, we saw and heard many Christians following the path that Jesus took to his crucifixion on the Via Dolorosa, complete with the twelve stations of the cross. Likewise, the women buying their daily produce in the souk are Muslim and most have their heads covered. Interspersed were the many Jewish families, again doing their shopping, wheeling the baby carriage and holding onto the many hands of their children.
As you can see from this photo, all kinds of people are hanging around or entering the gorgeous Damascus Gate, entering the marketplace in the Old City of Jerusalem. Believe me when I tell you, all the sights within the city walls are as beautiful as this one.
Don’t think that just a few days will suffice. There are over 220 monuments in the Old City alone. We just scratched the surface, and we enjoyed every minute of it.
Have you been to Israel? Jerusalem? When we were going, so many people related their fears in visiting this awe-inspiring, beautiful city. In my next post, I’ll talk about safety and how we planned and then felt during our travels.