JERUSALEM-the 50 sites you may overlook
In a historic and religious city like Jerusalem there is so much to see no matter how much you tour. When time is a limiting factor, even the most efficient tour guides have to compromise while deciding what to incorporate in the itinerary. Although it depends on the interest of the individual visitor as well, there is still a huge must-see-list in Jerusalem that cannot be avoided. At every stop so much information is thrown on a visitor that sometimes s/he tends to forget the details after leaving the place.
I remember when I first visited the Church of Holy Sepulcher, it appeared to me more like a small museum than a church. I was virtually clueless inside a dark and dull overcrowded massive complex of more than 25 chapels with several curious artifacts and antiques scattered under some dusky arches and dingy columns. It took me at least three visits with a proper map in hand to understand the Church complex. A normal visitor for instance would be satisfied with Golgotha, the ‘Stone of Unction’ and the ‘Holy Sepulcher’, but the oldest part of the complex, viz. the first century tombs inside the Syrian Orthodox Chapel could be easily missed.
In the upcoming posts I plan to upload 50 such sites from Jerusalem that I believe can be easily overlooked or go unnoticed by an average visitor. I am incorporating the following sites from my previous visits, again with no specific order of importance. I am sure that a serious traveler who loves history, traditions and the Bible has noticed or been to most of them.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
St: Peter's Catholic Church (parts of walls inside the church from 1100 AD), Tiberias. The earlier Crusader Church was built to commemorate the "First Miraculous Draught of Fish" along with the Calling of Peter and Andrew as Apostles by Jesus (Matthew 4: 18-22 and Luke 5: 1-11). The nave of the church represented the hull of an overturned boat. At the 16th century when Muslims controlled Tiberias, the church was often used as a stable for animals! It was only in 1847 Franciscans could repair the Church.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
“Etz Hayim” (Tree of Life) Synagogue, Tiberias. Built by Rabbi Hayim Aboul’afia in 1740. The synagogue was built on the ruins of an earlier ancient synagogue, or according to some on the site of the Sanhedrin. The Jewish Sanhedrin of Jerusalem moved to Tiberias in 270 AD after the destruction of the Temple.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
VISITING ARBEL NATURE RESERVE-one of the most beautiful nature reserves in Israel. 'Beth-Arbel' in the Holy Bible (Hoshea 10:14) is most probably refering to the region of Arbel.
There are several hiking trails marked inside the park, from 30 minutes short walk to more demanding steep routes that can easily take 4-5 hours.We took some of the lengthiest trails. It was a bit tiresome feeling to walk under the scorching heat. However, the breathtaking views offered by Arbel's summit together with knowing its glorious past was a rewarding experience.
Horns of Hattim -Moshav Arbel-Kfar Hittim -Kfar Zeitim -Tomb of Nabi Shueib: Views from Arbel Cliffs.
Moshav Arbel-established in 1949 on the site of Arab village Hattin
Kfar Hittim-est. in 1936, it is the the first moshav shitufi and the first Tower and stockade settlement in Israel
Kfar Zeitim- or the'Valley of Olives' is a Moshav established in 1950 by Yemenite Jews.
Tomb of Nabi Shueib-holiest site of Druze community, the burial site of Jethro-the father-in-law of Moses.