Photojournal - Jerusalem, Israel #travel #VisitIsrael

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city of david entrance
Excavated site of the City of David:
excavated city of david
Stepped-stone structure, possibly a retaining wall for David's palace. The first rightful king of Israel was David. He brought the Ark of the covenant to Jerusalem and placed it in the tabernacle.

Side note: Notice the square stone with a hole in the middle, at the very bottom of the photo - that is an ancient toilet seat found in the four-room house of Ahi'el.
city of david structure
Hezekiah's Tunnel under the City of David - 1750 feet long - and we were able to walk through it.
hezekiahs tunnel jerusalem
We also saw the Pool of Siloam, where Jesus healed a man who was blind since birth:

John 9 1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
pool of siloam
The Western Gate (below) into Jerusalem is the only one (of eight gates) that is open for the Christians and the Jewish to use. 
jerusalem israel western gate
The Dome of the Rock is a golden shrine located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It is one of the most important religious sites in the entire world, with significance to the Christians, the Jewish, and the Muslims.
dome of the rock
Since it was cold and rainy, I'm looking super fashionable layered up in my winter coat with a poncho over it, plus my knit cap. The Dome of the Rock is on the left and the Western Wall is on the right. The Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, is the most holy place accessible to the Jewish people because of Muslim control of the Temple Mount.
dome of the rock western wall
Here are some more pictures I took of the Western Wall. It was built by Herod the Great as the retaining wall of the Temple Mount complex. It is a holy place for prayer (believed to be the most physically close proximity to God).
western wall jerusalem
Notice how the wall was built taller over time, using different kinds of stone:
western wall stones

western wall courtyard
Many people who visit the Western Wall, will write down their prayers and stick the notes into the cracks in the wall. Since it was raining, I chose to instead simply place my hands on the Western Wall and say a prayer.
prayers in western wall
Under Muslim control of the Temple Mount, non-Muslims are only allowed in at certain times (unfortunately not at the time I was there) so I didn't get to see inside. Additionally, non-Muslims must enter only through this rickety bridge near the Western Wall.
bridge to temple mount
After visiting the Western Wall, we walked into the Arab Market (Shuk).
arab market jerusalem
We stopped for hot coffee and lunch at this nice little shop:
jerusalem coffee shop

jerusalem coffee shop decor
And I tasted my first-ever falafel sandwich. It was delicious!
falafel sandwich israel
Then we headed to the Yad Vashem, the National Memorial and Museum of the Holocaust. There really are no words to describe how deeply the museum affected me. If you ever have the chance to go, you simply must walk through the museum. No photos are allowed, of course. Outside the museum is the Garden of Righteous Among the Nations, where trees are planted in honor of non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.
garden of righteous
Have you ever seen the movie Schindler's List? If you haven't seen it, watch it.

A tree is planted in this garden for Oskar Schindler and his wife Emilie Schindler. Interestingly, I was told that there was some pushback to allowing Oskar to be honored here because he earned money helping Jewish during the Holocaust, so they were only going to honor Emilie, but later decided to honor both. Even more interesting, the tree that was planted grew up into TWO trees anyway.
schindlers tree
I didn't get a great shot of the placard with their names on it, but you can still make out the name Schindler on it.
oskar schindlers plaque
Next, we visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, a church within the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. It is considered, by Christians of Catholic faith, to be the place of both of the crucifixion and the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth.
Rock of Golgotha, according to Catholic faith:
catholic golgotha
Catholic Calvary/Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified:
catholic calvary
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher contains 30 different worship areas and it's all kind of confusing. They were added over the years and contain a conglomeration of ornamental displays.
franciscan church
The Stone of Unction (or Stone of the Anointing), where it is believed Jesus' body was prepared for burial:
stone of anointing
Two small first-century tombs were excavated under the Church of the Holy Sepulcher:
first century tombs
Jerusalem is steeped in history and there is so much to see! We spent two days in Jerusalem and I could have easily spent an entire month exploring the city. Perhaps someday I'll be able to return for another visit.

Read more about my trip to Israel HERE.
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