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Very few cities can compete with Jerusalem in history and religious importance. It is one of the most beloved destinations in the world and a powerful place where past and future melts to create this singular experience. Jerusalem is the heart of many religions and a great place to visit by those who love archeology, architecture and local traditions. It is impressive that a city not that big has so much to offer, here are ten things not to miss while in Jerusalem
1- Church of Holy Sepulcher: This is the heart for Christians from around the world. In fact the ancient church is divided in a very complex arrangement between different denominations. Tradition dictates that it was built in the place where Jesus was crucified and buried.
2- Via Dolorosa: It follows the ancient way that Christians believed Jesus Christ walked when he was condemned to die on the cross. To walk the via Dolorosa is to be immersed in an intricate labyrinth of narrow streets and beautiful ancient buildings, there is probably no better way to see the daily life of Jerusalem evolving.
3- The Western Wall: The most sacred place for Jews, they believed this is the last remanent of the ancient temple built by Solomon. There is a section for men and another for women. Here one can witness in a very unique way the devotions and rich traditions of the Jewish people.
4- The Old Market: It is a fabulous place to buy souvenirs, enjoy a delicious traditional meal or just get lost. It is an area to walk without worries, a unique theater of people of different cultures. At times it seems one has been transported to centuries ago when things used to happen in a different pace.
5- The Dome of the Rock: It is a very sensitive place but probably one of the most representative symbols of Jerusalem. The golden dome is visible from kilometers away. It is regarded as one of the most sacred places for Muslims. Tourists can visit the esplanade at certain hours. There is another Mosque and the whole place is located in what the Jews know as the Temple mount. This is certainly a must see when visiting Jerusalem.
6- The Jewish Neighborhood: The Old City is divided into four ancient neighborhoods. The jewish side is a wonderful one to appreciate the culture and traditions of this ancient people. There is a place regarded as the Tomb of King David and one can see many schools for the teaching of their religious principles. There are as well several important Christian landmarks such as the Cenacle.
7- Mount of Olives: Another very important focus for Christian pilgrimages. There are different beautiful churches in this mount among those the one built in the Garden of Olives where Christians believe Jesus spent the last night before being arrested. From this mount one can enjoy probably the most beautiful view of the old city.
8- Israel Museum: A wonderful place to learn about the ancient and modern history and archeology of this land. One of the most important sections is the one known as the Shrine of the book that houses the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in the 1940’s.
9- Yad Vashem: The memorial of the Holocaust is a place that strives to keep alive the memory of those who where killed during that dark chapter of history. It is very graphic and as such it can be even disturbing for some adults and certainly for children.
10- Tower of David Museum: It is located along some of the ancient walls that surrounds the old city. The tower itself was not built by David, but there is a great museum with excellent expositions about the history of Jerusalem, it is possible even to see miniatures of Jerusalem at different points of its development.