Top 5 Must-See’s In Jerusalem If You Only Have 24 Hours

Stand in front of the Western Wall, and feel the hallowed vibes.

Here’s my memory of Jerusalem: If God created the perfect paradise on Earth, it would be just as green as the hills that run through its city center. The fairytale-like windmill which sits atop a grassy bedspread is the holy equilibrium to the sea of 150,000 tombs on Mount of Olives. The plethora of men dressed in black busily maneuver through old stone wall alleys, anchored by the shimmer from Dome of the Rock. Jerusalem’s unforgettable picturesque montage leaves the heart of a female Buddhist like me, pulsing with divinity. Upon grounds of holiness, any living spiritual being succumbs to humility in gracious courtesy. Don’t believe me? Stand in front of the Western Wall, and feel the hallowed vibes. Even my Buddhas whispered, “Respect.”

SEE ALSO: Israel Lookbook: It May Change How You View Politics & Faith

Jerusalem isn’t a massive city, and it can be easily done in a day if you’re arriving in limited time. Here are the major, and religious, sites you shouldn’t miss. We’re not here to provide details of each historical landmark (evidently, you can better retrieve facts in books written by experts.) Here, however, we open the door to your perspective, so you can discover the world of Jerusalem just as it is, just as yourself.

1. Western Wall.

A stop at the Western Wall sets the tone for the rest of the trip. This “Wailing Wall” exudes: spirituality, conflict, history, and tradition. A human being’s connection with God is an undeniably powerful machine, and there’s not a more emotive proof than the sound of chants, ritual swaying of worshippers in unison. If your heart desires, then enter and follow the protocols. Write a prayer to God, then stuff it within the cracks of holy limestones.

2. Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The site where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, and where Jesus’s empty womb resides is the absolute religious Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The significance and symbolism of various corners and objects in the Church is infinite. Touch the hole where Jesus’s Cross was believed to have been planted. Immerse in the flutter of believers rushing to kiss the stone of the anointing as prayers hummed while olive oil glistens the Holy rock during a ceremony. Kisses are planted on the stone, and it’s deeply poignant to witness. You might happen to encounter an Armenian procession in progress. Again, for a Buddhist like myself, the sight is immensely humbling.

3. Dome of the Rock.

What UNESCO World Heritage Site hails as one of “Jerusalem’s most recognizable landmarks,” Dome of the Rock – an impressive Islamic shrine – was constructed between 451 and 458 on the road between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Walk up massive stairs to witness the dazzling collage of mosaics that wrap around this iconic monument. Sit under the trees lined around the shrine, and take in such magnificent view.

4. Mount of Olives & Church of All Nations.

It would be inappropriate to describe the site of the Jewish cemetery as “astounding,” but the panorama of approximately 150,000 graves from Mount of Olives is incredibly touching. Limited by the majesty of the Golden Gate walls, there lay famous Jewish rabbis, poets, Nobel Prize winners, victims of Arab riots…and multiple generations of Jewish families. The Golden Gate here does not refer to the bridge in San Francisco, but the sole eastern gate of the Temple Mountain. It has been in existence since the medieval times.

On Mount of Olives is the Church of All Nations, where you can place your hand upon a bedrock where Jesus prayed. Violet rays illuminate the church, despite the color may come out as blue on your digicam or iPhone. Folks remain on their knees and weep inside the Church. It’s quiet, solemn and triggers compassion.

5. Temple Mountain.

Reaching the famous Temple Mountain requires strolling through eleven gates. Ten of them are for Muslims and one is for non-Muslims. You’ll see Israeli police at the post of each gate. The view of this holy site can also be captured at the top of Mount of Olives.

Temple Mountain is considered as one of the most sacred destinations in both the Jewish and Muslim religions. In the Jewish tradition, it’s believed that the Third and final Temple will be built here. The mountain is so sacred to them that they will not walk here. In the Muslim religion, this is the exact location where Muhammad went to heaven, making Temple Mountain the third holiest place in Islam.

 

BONUS: Israel Museum

Derech Ruppin, Jerusalem, Israel (map, website)

If you have time left and would love a proper education on what you’ve been seeing throughout the city, here is Israel’s national museum. Situated near Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Israeli Supreme Court, the large museum carries unique artifacts including: Shrine of the Book, Dead Sea Scrolls.

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Wendy Hung

CEO, FOUNDER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and Russia because they were all so different! St. Bart's was pretty amazing too (wink)!

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