Complete Christian Tour day in Jerusalem (begins and ends in Jerusalem)
We begin at an observation point overlooking the Mount of Olives. It is from this location that Jesus came during the last week of his life. Here he predicted his death, perspired blood, and lamented his demise. Along the route from the Mount of Olives to the Old City are several sites of supreme importance: Dominus Flevit Church (The Lord Wept) symbolizes the tears that Jesus wept for the approaching end of Jerusalem, and in Gethsemane we’ll visit the Basilica of Agony and tomb of Miriam, that commemorates his agony and the place of burial of Miriam’s body, that according to the New Testament ascended to the heavens. From there, we will continue on to Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, that commemorates Peter’s denial of Jesus, and in its lower floors contains the rooms where Jesus was taken after his arrest, as well as the sacred stairs on which he walked – Terra Santa. Near the church, we will park the car and take a taxi to the Lions Gate (the taxi ride is on me), and from there will begin our tour of the Old City at the Saint Anne church, in memory of Anne, Miriam’s mother, and Bethesda, also known as the Sheep Pool, where cattle was washed before being sacrificed in the Holy Temple. From there, we will continue on Jesus’ “Path of Sorrow" – the Via Dolorosa, and we will stop at each station where I will explain which event it commemorates. We will end the tour at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus was buried and resurrected three days later. We’ll take a break from religion, and walk among the stands of the Arab market until we reach one of the city’s finest and most authentic Arab humus restaurants. With a smile on our faces and a full belly, we’ll continue to the Jewish Quarter, through the Cardo and reach the Kottel (Wailing Wall, Western Wall). This is a site that is sacred to all religion, and particularly Jews. The Wailing Wall is the western flank that supported the plaza leading to the Holy Temple, and was the only remaining part of the structure that was accessible to Jews following the destruction of the Second Temple - the tradition that the Wall is Judaism’s most sacred site dates back to this period. We will end our visit to the Old City by exiting the walls via the Zion gate, and advance towards Dormition complex, that includes the church commemorating the site of Mary’s death, the tomb of David and the location of the Last Supper, during which Jesus told his disciples that one of them was about to turn him in. This will also be our last stop.
The proposed tour plan is a framework, and we will try to visit as many sites as possible within the time constraints.