Saturday, December 31, 2011

Old City of Jerusalem - December 30th, 2011

We met at the entrance to the King David Hotel in downtown Jerusalem.

After a short introduction by the guide we walked to the other side of the hotel, where we viewed King Herod's family burial plot. We then had a longer explanation facing the Old City Walls.

We walked through the Yemin Moshe neighborhood, down and up through the Chutzot HaYotzer Artists' lane and ended up at the plaza near Jaffa Gate.

Our next stop was the rood of the Petra Hostel, at the beginning of David Street in the Old City. From here we had a magnificent view of most the Old City, its churches, mosques, and other sites.

Our next stop was Christ Church. the first Protestant church built in Jerusalem. After a short stop for coffee and bathrooms, we continued through the 'fifth quarter' of Jerusalem, passing the Maronite Hostel, the Lutheran Hostel (The former home of Charles William Wilson) and ending up at Chabad Street at the edge of the Jewish Quarter. We climbed to another roof top, at the very center of the Old City, for another great view.

We continued near the Galicia Kollel (where they are very strict, and wear Tffillin all day), down to Qirami Street and up the Surrayya Ascent. We ended up at the 9th Station of the Via Dolorosa, at the Coptic Church. We descended down some steep steps, and visited a Byzantine water cistern which has very nice acoustical properties.. After climbing up, we walked through the Ethiopian and Greek Orthodox chapels of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and ended up at the main entrance plaza of the church.

We left the plaza and descended the Surrayya Ascent, towards HaGuy Street. We arrived there, just as the faithful were leaving the temple mount, so it was a bit crowded.

We made our way north towards the first part of the Via Dolorosa.

We visited the Sisters of Zion Nunnery. We descended below the Nunnery to see an old cistern from Roman times, and the street that Roman Emperor Hadrian built to commemorate his victory in the Second Jewish Revolt.

Our final stop was just outside Damascus Gate where we viewed the Roman Victory Arch.

Thanks to Elana B. for coordinating the walk, and to our guide Arnon.

Gadi's Pictures