Israel Day 5
We spent all day Friday all around different parts of the old city of Jerusalem. Our family, Penny, Joe, Gary and Alexis all hopped into one of the big Jerusalem Center vans and started the day out at the Seven Arches. There was a great view of the Old City, just slightly south on the Mount of Olives from the Jerusalem Center. Gary and Alexis spent some time pointing things out to us and sharing scripture references and the history of things that had happened in the area.
In the picture below you can see the archaeological site on the south side of the wall. That is where we had gone on the tour the day before and where they had uncovered the 2000 year old steps, that certainly Christ would have walked up and down. Alexis said that there is a museum nearby where you can go and sift through some of the rubble. People are still finding ancient artifacts. It is truly mind boggling at how much history is right there in that relatively small tract of land!
From this view you can see the Garden of Gethsamane a little way down the side of the mountain. To the right (off the picture) and over the hillside is Betthany (technically in the West Bank). The New Testament tells us the Christ would walk from Betthany to the Temple. From this view we could see the general path he would have had to take, and the rugged terrain he must have walked.
While Sophie spent time with Penny, Joe, Gary and Alexis she passed this Santa who would dance. Sophie learned to swing her hip in a circular motion like this Santa, and gave everyone a good little chuckle!
We ate a fabulous Palestinian lunch with the Gunther/Howard clan in the Old City. It was delicious! I could have eaten the hummus by the spoon full!
We went on the Ramparts Walk, which is just a walk up and along the wall surrounding the Old City. We walked from the Jaffa Gate to Zions Gate. The kids loved it. I was a little more nervous someone was going to fall off somewhere. They were mostly the tall stone walls on both sides of us, but occasionally a metal railing that didn't look as sturdy as it should have been. We all survived and were glad we took time to walk on the city wall.
This is a view from the wall. It was the area where the Jews first settled when they left the Old City. You can see in the middle there is a wind mill that helped them get the energy they needed for their settlement.
I think this was the monastery where Orson Hyde stayed when he came here to Jerusalem.
From the wall we could see up to the Seven Arches, which is the area on the Mount of Olives where we started our day. You can see the arches in the middle of the picture if you look closely.
Sophie and me walking out of Zions Gate and down of the wall. I was a little relieved at this point that we all made it!
This was the door to an old Armenian Convent close by Zions Gate. I thought it looked so old and cool.
Next Alexis took Katie, Aaron and I to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Many churches believe that this is the place where Jesus was crucified, entombed and resurrected. Right next to the church is the Mosque of Omar. After the Siege of Jerusalem in 637 by the Rashidun army under the command of Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, Patriarch Sophronius refused to surrender except to the Caliph Omar (579-644) himself. Omar traveled to Jerusalem and accepted the surrender. He then visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Sophronius invited him to pray inside the Church, but Omar declined so as not to set a precedent and thereby endanger the Church's status as a Christian site. Instead he prayed outside in the courtyard, in a place where David was believed to have prayed.
The entrance is on the bottom left, but you can see how many of the entrances were blocked during the time of the Crusades. And for some reason, there is a ladder under the window you can see on the left. It has been there for as long as anyone can remember and it is protected. For some reason, it is a permanent fixture there!
For security, if a bag or package is left unattended it is put in here and detonated. It seems a little out of context with the ancient surroundings, but unfortunately it is necessary.
I was intrigued with the carving in the stone entry way. Pilgrims worldwide have come here and many wanted to leave their mark. Who knows how many hundred of years old some of these carving are.
The rock they believe Christ was crucified on.
Where they believe his tomb was.
Outside the city gate. Apparently this gate is the locations of some riots and things. There are a lot of political protestors that come here.
Finally!!!! I have wanted an olive wood nativity for 20 years! I was so excited to come to Jimmy's shop and see his amazing creations! Aaron was so good to me and bought me a beautiful set!