5. From Tel Aviv: Highlights of Jerusalem Biblical Trip
The journey begins at the Mount of Olives. As you stand above the Jewish cemetery and look out over the Old City, you'll see the Temple Mount where Solomon’s Temple, destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, once stood, as well as the Second Temple, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. Additionally, you'll see the Garden of Gethsemane, the Church of All Nations, and the Kidron Valley with its ancient Jewish burial tombs.
Entering the Old City via the Zion Gate, pass through the Armenian Quarter on route to the Jewish Quarter and the 1500-year-old Byzantine Cardo. The excavated Crusader shops are now modern stores. Stop at the Kotel, the Western Wall where Jews have prayed since the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE.
The Via Dolorosa, also known as the Way of the Cross, is the route many pilgrims follow on their way to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the church built on the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and his burial tomb. Although the Byzantine church was partially destroyed during the Persian and Muslim conquests, the rebuilt and redesigned Crusader Church preserved much of the earlier church.
Exit the Old City via the market and the Jaffa Gate for a short tour of the new city. A visit to Yad VaShem, the Holocaust Museum, reveals artifacts and photographs documenting the discrimination, persecution, and, finally, the annihilation of Jewish communities across Europe. It also honors the righteous among the nations who risked their lives while trying to save Jews.