Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Walking The (New Testament) Bible

Monday was spent walking around a rainy old city of Jerusalem. My mom would have been proud that I remembered some of the bible references that my guide showed me. As a friend named Gil pointed out on facebook, this was the tour of the new testament (with a Catholic bias for my benefit). Warning: today's story has tons-o-photos!

We started out on foot from the Montefiore Hotel where I was staying with a quick stop at the local coffee shop Aroma for some go-go juice. Yum; lattes in the rain. The first site we visited was the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock. You'd recognize this building as the one with the big gold (yes, it's real gold) dome on it. This was the location of the temple that was around 2000 years ago.

One of the interesting things about the Dome of the Rock is how the bottom half of is (supposedly) constructed of found building materials. Here's a close up of one of the walls. At the bottom center you can see a carved scrolling-type pattern that might have been part of temple or something.

From here we set out to follow the Via Dolorosa, aka stations of the cross. Here's the overview map I found on the side of one of the buildings:

Some of the station sites looked like this one; just a plaque on a wall and not much else. I'll skip the others that look like this one.

Station 9 had a cross available for photo opportunities I think. This one honestly confused me:

From here, we moved into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The next photo is me at the site where Jesus was nailed to the cross.

Here I am touching the rock where the cross was erected:

And finally, in front of the burial site of Jesus (note that it's inside a small building inside the church):

The church, as you can imagine, is important to lots of people; people with lots of different points of view. My guide told me that they have a book of ground rules to cover every detail of building maintenance, times of day when ceremonies can take place, and so on. Once outside though, he pointed out something that isn't covered. This photo shows a small ladder that has been in place since the 1800s (it's in some of the first photos of the church) and no one knows where it came from and no one knows what should be done with it. I think this is a bit of humor in an otherwise serious place.

After the visit to the Church, we went to a few other sites that I don't have good photos for. On the way back to the hotel we came across this spot that shows some bullet-hole evidence of one battle this wall has seen:

Here's a shot of me on a roof top across from the Wailing Wall with the Dome of the Rock in the background. This is the sort of place you can only get to with a guide since he knew where it was and how to get in (It's on a private building).

Wow. All in all, a great trip to the holy land. If you are religious, it's a must-do trip. If you want my guide's name, send me an email and I'll get you his information.

I'm writing this from Cairo as I left Israel very early today. Let me just say that Cairo is CRAZY!

1 comment:

  1. OFG! I totally want to see the Stations of the Cross! Can't believe you passed up that photo op of you holidng the cross. Come on. You make baby Jesus cry.


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