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.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

FAREWELL JERUSALEM!





There is nothing unique about these photographs taken near Jaffa Gate . However, they are special to me for being the last two snaps I took from Jerusalem. During my 29 months tenure in Israel I experienced an amazing land of extraordinarily rich history with some gorgeous nature and wonderful people. When I started this blog it was mainly meant to upload photographs from places that are associated with the Holy Bible. However, it gradually turned out to be a process of not just knowing the land and its people, but also learning how deep and strong is the bond between the Jewish people and their ancestral land. Out of all the nooks and corners I have been in Israel , I feel there is no place as enchanting and unique as Jerusalem.

Looking back, I realize that I have made 36 visits to Jerusalem alone (excluding its neighborhoods), and most of them exclusively to the Old City. What’s more special is that for every trip, she had something new to offer me and that didn’t stop until my last visit. No wonder when I tried to figure out the number of sites I couldn’t make it through, it turned out to be a long list. Some were inaccessible due to religious-political complexities and others were under renovation or closed to public or opened at special occasions only. A few of them I avoided intentionally due to photography not being allowed. More sites keep on piling up as fresh archaeological excavations come out with interesting findings at regular intervals.  Maybe that’s one reason why I should say L'shanah Haba'a B'yerushalayim!!