Places to Visit
Jerusalem / Old City
Here is a list of Christian, Jewish and Muslim sites to visit in the Old City of Jerusalem and throughout East and West Jerusalem. The sites include both religious and cultural sites that are within easy walking distance or a taxi ride.
The Old City Walls, Jerusalem are open to the public during posted hours. All gates access the Old City.
Christian sites in Jerusalem
In the Old City of Jerusalem
The Church of the Resurrection (Holy Sepulcher) was originally built in the 4th century and rebuilt in the Crusader period, 12th Century. It enshrines Golgotha and the Tomb in which Jesus was buried.
Church of St. Anne marks the traditional site of the home of Jesus’ maternal grandparents, Anne and Joachim, and the birthplace of the Virgin Mary. It has remarkable acoustics.
Ecco Homo (Behold the Man) is located on the Via dolorosa at the Church marking the 3rd Station where Pontius Pilate presented a scourged Jesus, bound and crowned with thorns to the hostile crowd.
Via Dolorosa is the route that Jesus took between his condemnation by Pilate and his crucifixion and burial. There are 14 stations beginning at Lions’ Gate and ending in the Church of the Resurrection at Golgotha and the Tomb.
Outside the Old City walls
The Dome of the Ascension marks the place where Jesus is believed to have ascended. The rock in its center bears resemblance to the foot of Jesus as he ascended to heaven. The building is now owned by a Muslim family.
Church of St. Peter Gallicantu is on the traditional site of the high priest Caiaphas’ house. It also houses a first century prison.
Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations is at the foot of the Mount of Olives. The Garden is a grove of very ancient olive trees. The church is built over the rock on which Jesus is believed to have prayed in agony the night before he was crucified.
Church of Dominus Flevit (The Lord Wept), Mount of Olives, was built in the 1930s by Antonio Barluzzi on the site of the remains of old Bethany.
The Cenacle, on Mount Zion, is where two major events in the early Christian Church are commemorated: The Last Supper and the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles.
Church of St. Mary Magdalene brings a taste of the Kremlin to Jerusalem. This 19th-century church with its golden domes is an active community of orthodox nuns on the Mount of Olives.
Jewish sites in Jerusalem
The Old City of Jerusalem
The Burnt House was excavated in the Jewish quarter; it is believed to be destroyed by the Roman legions in 70 AD. The reconstructed room and an audio-visual presentation serve as a time capsule.
The Cardo in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City was excavated for about 200 meters. The portion of this Byzantine main road dates to the first half of the 6th c. A.D. It was uncovered in the 1970s.
Elijah the prophet and Yohanan Ben Zakkai, oldest synagogues, roughly 400 years old, are below street level.
Hezekiah’s Tunnel was cut through solid rock at the beginning of the 8th century BC. One of the most ingenious engineering accomplishments of ancient times, it bears testimony to the crucial importance of a water supply to Jerusalem.
Hurva, The Great Synagogue, 16th century, has been rebuilt and is in regular use.
The Jewish Quarter is located on the remains of the upper city from the Herodian period 37 BC to 70 CE.
Southern Wall Excavations, in the Old City of Jerusalem are on the south side of the temple mount. They reveal important Herodian findings, including the base of "Robinson" arch, a paved street, ritual baths and shops that were used by the visitors to the 2nd temple.
Tower of David is just inside the Jaffa Gate to the Old City of Jerusalem. It has wonderful dioramas of ancient and biblical times. It is also one of the areas where you can buy a ticket and walk on the old city walls.
Western (Wailing) Wall of the 2nd Temple, Old City, Jewish Quarter, is perhaps the holiest site for devout Jews.
Wohl Archaeological Museum contains what are now the underground remains of a residential quarter where wealthy families lived overlooking the Temple Mount.
The Shrine of the Book is a wing of the Israel Museum in western Jerusalem. The discovery of the Scrolls was made in 1947 by an Arab shepherd who was looking for a stray goat. Seven scrolls were found, the most famous being the scroll of Isaiah, which is one foot wide and 24 feet long .
Model of Jerusalem in AD 66, is outdoors at the Israel Museum. The model depicts in great detail the 2nd Temple and all of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus.
Tomb of King David, on Mt. Zion, is the traditional site of the “warrior” king of Israel.
Tomb of Kings is generally regarded as the largest and most beautiful tomb in Jerusalem. It is believed that is was the final resting place of members of the dynasty of David. It is located 820 m north of the Old City walls and a short walk from the Cathedral of St. George.
Yad Vashim is the Jewish people’s living memorial to the Holocaust. Through written and spoken stories, photographs and artifacts Yad Vashem safeguards the memory of the past and imparts its meaning for future generations. It is open every day but Saturday and closes at 2 pm on Fridays. Located at HaZikaron, 972-2-644-3400.
Muslim sites in Jerusalem
Haram esh Sharif (The Temple Mount) is the third most sacred city in Islam. Jerusalem was the original qibla (direction of prayer) before it was changed to Mecca. Jerusalem is revered because, in Muslim tradition, Muhammad miraculously traveled to Jerusalem by night and ascended from there into heaven. The two most important Muslim sites in Jerusalem are the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Security is very tight.
The most notable Muslim site in Jerusalem is the Dome of the Rock (Qubbat as-Sakhrah), which, like the Ka'ba, is built over a sacred stone. This stone is holy to Jews as well, who believe it to be the site at which Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac (Muslims place this event in Mecca). Non-Muslims have not been allowed entrance since the 2nd Intifada, 2000.
Al Aqsa is the large mosque on Temple Mount was originally built in 710 AD. It has 11th-century mosaics, a 12th-century mihrab, and Crusader arches. Non-Muslims have not been allowed entrance into Al Aqsa since the 2nd Intifada, 2000.
Dome of the Chain is on Haram esh-Sharif (Temple Mount). This small dome stands at the center of Temple Mount, which is the center of the world according to some accounts. The interior tiling is more splendid than the Dome of the Rock.
Islamic Museum, on Haram esh-Sharif (Temple Mount), Jerusalem, is filled with architectural details, including capitals and carved stonework from earlier structures on the Temple Mount as well as ornamental details from earlier periods of the El Aqsa Mosque’s existence. Unfortunately at the time of this posting the museum is closed to non-Muslims.
L.A. Mayer Museum of Islamic Art in West Jerusalem, is a modern, purpose-built museum and contains a well-presented collection of artifacts from the Islamic world beyond Jerusalem.
Madrasas or madrasas (Islamic colleges) surround the Temple Mount, all of which are interesting examples of Islamic architecture.
Mosque of Omar in the Christian Quarter, Jerusalem, is a 12th-century mosque built by Saladin's son in honor of Caliph Omar, who prayed on the steps of the nearby Church of the Holy Sepulchre instead of inside.
Wujoud Museum, inside Jaffa Gate a few steps down David St., is a museum that seeks to portray the way Palestinian life used to be during the British Mandate. It is a small museum, a modest beginning and a preliminary attempt to pave the way to a sanctuary wherein memory is housed. Nora Kort, the founder of the museum, is a member of the Greek Orthodox Church, and grew up in a cosmopolitan Jerusalem family.