Israel 2017 (part II): Jerusalem & Bethlehem

Jerusalem & Bethlehem, Israel:

Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount

Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount

After my work in the Negev Desert was completed, I had the chance to see the major sights of Jerusalem and nearby Bethlehem.

The road from Tel Aviv slowly led into the mountains and once we passed the border wall between Israel and the West Bank, we reached the tiny town of Bethlehem. Here we visited the Church of the Nativity which stands atop a cave which is considered the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Since the spot is of utmost importance to all of Christianity, it is administered by the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Armenian Apostolic, and Syriac Orthodox Church together (leading to common disputes). The Grotto of the Nativity is divided into two parts of which we visited the side accessible from the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Catherine since the queue was shorter there. In general, I found the entire place lacking of atmosphere – possibly due to the large number of tourists or the ongoing reconstruction work. In contrast, I really liked our tour through the old city of Jerusalem with stops at such impressive sights as the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. Especially the Church of the Holy Sepulchre felt very special since it includes the place of crucifixion of Jesus Christ as well as his grave.

I was very impressed by Jerusalem with its rich history and the mixture of cultures and religions. I believe it would be no problem to spend an entire week in this incredible town instead of the short afternoon which I had.

One response to “Israel 2017 (part II): Jerusalem & Bethlehem

  1. Pingback: Israel 2017 (part III): along the Dead Sea | wild life weeks·

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