Perhaps few other cities have such an interesting history, the city has been destroyed two times, attacked more then seventy five times, and captured and recaptured forty four times. The oldest part of Jerusalem was settled in the 4th century B.C, and in 1538 great walls built by Suleiman the Magnificent. Today the Old City is defined by these walls, which by tradition are divided by four quarters known as the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters. In 1981 the Old City of Jerusalem became a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Jerusalem today has grown ten fold and far beyond the boundaries of those walls.
One can easily say Israel and specially the city of Jerusalem is the Land of the Bible. The city has been the holiest city for Jews since King David of Israel established a Jewish capital in 1000 B.C.E., and King Solomon his son built the First Temple. Jerusalem for Christians is there Jesus was crucified, and as written in the New Testament raised from the dead. The Old City of Jerusalem is home to many sites of incredible religious importance, such as the Temple Mount and its Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque.
Today Jerusalem is first in importance in Israeli life and government. All branches of government are located in Jerusalem including the Knesset, the residence of the Prime Minster and President, and the Supreme Court of Israel. Jerusalem is also home to Israel Museum, the Shrine of the Book, where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, and Yad Vashem world center and Holocaust museum, recognized world wide having visited by presidents and leaders from all over the world.
A Christian tour of Israel would not be complete unless you visit “the city chosen by God,” Jerusalem, and by the Israeli’s as the “Golden City.” Enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, where it is said Jesus ascended into heaven. In the Old City, you can also walk the Stations of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa, where Jesus fell three times with his cross.
Visitors on holy land tours to Jerusalem often feel the bible comes to live right in front of their eyes, with incredible history, and biblical sites just about every step of the city. To read more and learn about Jerusalem visit the Jerusalem municipality website.