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Jerusalem, Israel

Sights and Museums
in Jerusalem and Judea
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What today’s headlines mean to tourists to Israel.
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Absalom's Pillar or Absalom's Tomb

Magnificent structure in the Kidron Valley - Absalom's Tomb. A lofty 22 meters in height, it was hewn out of the rock and is completely separate from the slope behind it. Columns and capitals decorate the massive lower part of the monument, which is distinguished by a round top ending in a long, thin point. The shrine dates back to the first century B.C.E - nearly a millennium after Absalom rebelled against his father King David and was run through with a javelin by the King's captain. In earlier centuries passersby of all religions would throw stones at Absalom's mammoth structure. Indeed Moslems, who revere King David, almost covered it with rocks. It is said that Jewish parents would bring disobedient offspring to the almost hidden monument, point out the stones, and warn them that "this is what happens to children who behave badly to their fathers!" A tomb believed to be that of King Jehoshaphat is situated behind and to the left of Absalom's monument. Uncovered in 1924, it contains several chambers and a beautifully decorated lintel. The Bible says that "Jehoshaphat rested with his fathers and was buried with them in the city of David his father. And Jehoram his son succeeded him." [1 Kings 22:50]. Discovery of the tomb helped strengthen an identification of the Kidron Valley with the Valley of Jehoshaphat. For it is written: "I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land." [Joel 3:2].
Aviva Bar-Am - Isreal Travels

Abu Ghosh (Fontenoid)

A Crusader church built by the Knights Hospitalers in 1142. 10 miles west of Jerusalem, an Arab village, where the Ark of the Covenant rested for 20 years prior to being taken by David to Jerusalem; the site of a Roman fortress of the 10th Legion and a Crusader church.

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Abu Tor Observation Point

Abu Tor neighborhood is an even newer walkway - the Gabriel Sherover Promenade. This promenade descends through beautifully landscaped and carefully tended gardens, with equally magnificent views over the Old City and the surrounding areas.

Agricultural Museum

Inside Rehov Heleni HaMalka 13, an open-air display of ancient local farm tools.

Allenby Memorial

Kikar Ilit, Romema, commemorating the British entry into Jerusalem in 1917.

Ammunition Hill (Givat Hatachmoshet)

Imagine it is 1967 and you are a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces. For two days you have been fighting endless battles in an effort to liberate Jerusalem from the hands of the Jordanians. From this hilltop you can see all of East Jerusalem and the walls of the Old City in the distance. You know that this battle will determine the fate of Jerusalem. On this spot, Ammunition Hill stood the main Jordanian command post and served as a link to the Jordanian chain of positions. The hill was part of the borderline that divided Jerusalem since its partition in 1948. Ammunition Hill is the main official memorial symbolizing the liberation and reunification of Jerusalem. The fortification is preserved as it was in the war and there is an underground museum that commemorates the soldiers who fell in the battle as well as an exhibit displaying the stages of the battle of the three brigades, the Air Force and the Central Command who liberated Jerusalem. 183 soldiers fell in those six days of fighting and the museum of Ammunition Hill is dedicated to their memory. It was here that many lost their lives and it was the capture of this hill that made it possible for the Israeli soldiers to forge ahead into the Old City and eventually allow the paratroopers to reconquer the Old City of Jerusalem.

Antonia's Fortress

was erected by Herod the Great on the eastern edge of the city, near today's Lion's Gate. This is the starting point of the traditional "Via Dolorosa," which runs westward to the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher.

Aqua Bella (Ein Hemed)

A spring guarding the ruins of a Crusader convent.

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Armenian Museum

The collection comprises hundreds of items, which show the history of Armenians on the Holy Land. Opening hours: Mon. - Sat - 10:00-16:00 Entrance fee, Saint James St., Jerusalem

Armenian Quarter

In the Armenian Quarter only one sector is actually occupied by the Armenian compound. The Armenian compound has a wall around it enclosing the big cathedral and its adjoining buildings. The rest of the quarter had to have a name. It wasn't Jewish, it wasn't Moslem, it wasn't Christian. So they applied to this section the name of its neighbor Armenian - simply a convenient fiction. Recently, an American Christian scholar made a study of the divisions of Jerusalem, and rightly calls this sector Hart el Yahud that means "The Jewish Section (of the Armenian Quarter)." Thus, here is an admission, from a non-Jew, that the 'Armenian Quarter' had a very heavy concentration of Jews.

The Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center

It is really unique - one of its kind in the world. You are invited to travel with us through 2700 years of Babylonian Jewry history - Since they were exiled from the land of Israel and until their eventual return from Iraq to their former homeland. The Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center is both a Research Institute and a Museum, with an impressive collection of ethnographic material, judaica, archival documents, books and manuscripts. The BJHC publishes research work and journals, organizes exhibitions and holds cultural events and conferences. We have strong ties with Jews of Iraqi origin both in Israel and in the Diaspora, and are in the process of compiling an extensive genealogical database of families originating in Iraq.

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Bane Hezir's (St. James) Tomb

Tomb of St. James and Zachariah (Family of Bene Hezir) - rock cut tomb in Kidron Valley, East of Temple Mount. Tomb of St. James - 2nd half of 2nd Century BC, several burial chambers behind loggia-like facade with decorated architrave. Tomb of Zachariah - 1st Century BC, rock cut with Ionic columns and pyramidal roof.

Beit Agnon

16, Rehov Klausner, Talpiyyot, the house of S.Y. Agnon, winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. It contains his study and extensive library, pictures, a display of his books and a reproduction of his Nobel Prize Certificate. Sun. to Thurs. 9--12 a.m. Guided tours for groups and afternoon visiting hours are available by advance arrangement.

Beit Hisda Pool (Bethesda)

The Pool of Bethesda is adjacent to St. Anne's Church. It is mentioned in the Gospel of John (5:2ff.) in conjunction with Jesus' healing of a paralyzed man.

Beitphage

Church of Beitphage, during construction of a Franciscan monastery in the year 1876, a wondrous stone was revealed. Shaped like a cube and covered in plaster, the rock had been an integral part of a twelfth-century Crusader church once located in the ancient village of Beitphage. The Crusaders believed that Jesus used this rock to mount the colt before taking that last fateful journey to Jerusalem. It is called the Stele (stone monument) of Beitphage. Yet the site where the stone was discovered had been considered holy for hundreds of years before the Crusaders constructed their sanctuary. In fact, there was already a shrine in Beitphage in the fourth century. That chapel commemorated the encounter between Jesus, Lazarus, and Martha. Visiting hours: Daily 8:00-11:30, 14:00-16:30 To enter the gate, pull the rope. A guard will let you in.

Beit Shemesh

Mentioned in the bible a number of times. Excavations from the period of the Judges. Fortification from the Israelite Monarchy Period.
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Beit Tzur

Tel in Judean Hills, on the Bethlehem-Hebron road, 6 km. north of Hebron. Site of ancient Beit Tzur, which controlled the Jerusalem-Hebron road and was therefore a battle ground at various periods. Inheritance of the tribe of Yehudah (Joshua 15, 52). One of the cities fortified by Rehoboam (Chronicles II, 11, 7). The town was re-fortified by Shimon the Hasmonean. Belt Tzur is mentioned in the Shivat Zion period as an important town whose citizens took part in building Jerusalem Excavations revealed remains form Israelite period and nearby at Hurbot Baraj-a-Tzur, remains of a Crusader fortress. Built on remains of a Byzantine fortress. Also findings which indicate habitation from the Shivat Zion to the Ottoman period.

Ben Yehuda Street

Is packed with cafes, restaurants and snack bars of every description. Once a rather old-fashioned shopping area, it has now become the haunt of buyers, jewelry artisans, flower and newspaper vendors.

Bet Zayit

On the outskirts of Jerusalem, a holiday village, where Dinosaur footprints were discovered.

Betar

Village in Jerusalem hills, 7 kilometers southwest of Jerusalem. Built on the ruins of the ancient town of Betar. It was an important center after the destruction of the 2nd temple. Bar Kochba fortified it and made it the center of the revolt against the Romans for 3 years until he died and the town was destroyed. Remains of the town wall and of towers can be seen, other remains indicate that Betar was inhabited in Israelite time and in the Mishnaic and Talmudic periods. Today a new town is being built in the area, populated by orthodox Jewish communities.

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Bethany Village (El 'Eizariya)

To the east of the Mount of Olives where Jesus lodged during his stay in Jerusalem. The home of Mary and Martha and the site of Lazarus' resurrection. An Arab village with a beautiful church on the outskirts of Jerusalem, identified with Bethany, where Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead.

Bethlehem

A few miles south of Jerusalem, nestled in the Judean Hills, is the town best known as the place where Jesus was born. It is also King David's birthplace. The name Bethlehem means, "house of bread". Under administration of the Palestinian Authority since 1995.

Bethlehem-Church of Nativity

The facade: above the small entrance a small arch o4 the Crusader entrance. The building was captured intact by the Crusaders (1099). The Crusaders concentrated especially on decorating it. Mosaic pictures of numerous saints. The St. Catherine's cloister. Medieval columns support two Crusader arches.

Bethlehem-Church of the Milk Grotto

The "Milk Grotto" over which today a small Chapel rise, is frequently visited by local women, Christians and Moslems alike, to ask for the intercession of Mary. Mother of Jesus. A legend recalls how some Mary spilt some milk while breast feeding baby Jesus and this is the reason for the "white" stone of the cave. A tradition going back to the VII century located at this site the burial place of the innocent victims killed by Herod the Great after the birth of Jesus.

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Bethlehem-Kings David's Wells On Star Street

A few minutes walk from Manger Square and inside the premises of the Catholic Action Club, there are three large cisterns, still in use, hewn in the rock; they are the cisterns of David mentioned in the Bible. The wells mark the site where David's followers broke through the Philistine lines in order to fetch him drinking water from the well of Bethlehem. David and his 400 men were in the Cave of Adullam, when the Philistines garrisoned Bethlehem. He expressed the desire to drink water of the Well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate. The wish was overheard by three of David's bodyguards who set out to grant the desire of their master. Breaking through the Philistine lines, they secured the precious water and returned with it to the cave. But David refused to drink the water for which the lives of his followers had been endangered, and "poured it out unto the Lord". (2 Samuel 23, 14-16). The three large cisterns are the only monument in Bethlehem to the famous king who was born here. Beyond the cisterns there do also St. Paula and an underground cemetery found remnants of a church. In 1895 a fragment of a fine mosaic pavement belonging to the church was found. In the Byzantine era, between the fourth and sixth century, a convent and church were built on the site. Open: 8.00-12.00 a.m. 12.30-20.00 p.m.. Monday through Saturday

Bethlehem-Shepherds' Field

It is located in the town of Beit Sahour 2 km east of Bethlehem. This is the site where the angel of the Lord appeared before the shepherds bringing them the good tidings of the birth of Jesus, joined with a multitude of heavenly hosts. Today, a Greek Orthodox Church marks the Shepherd's Field, with paintings and mosaics depicting the revelation of the angels to the frightened shepherds. Not far from there lies the Protestant Shepherds Field, with a grotto where the shepherds are said to have camped at night. Also this is where Ruth met Boaz. Opening Hours: Mon. - Sun 8:00 - 11:30 - 14:00 - 17:00

Bezalel School of Art and Artists' House

On Rehov Shemu'el Ha-Nagid 10-12. The school, founded by Boris Schatz 60 years ago, has trained many Israeli artists. Regular exhibitions and other programmes for visitors. Restaurant on premises. Open Sun. to Thurs. 10:00 am-1: 00 pm and 4:00 pm-7: 00 pm, Fri. 10:00 am-1: 00 pm, Sat. 11:00 am-2: 00 pm Fee.

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Bible Lands Museum

Houses one of the world's most important collections depicting the cultures and civilizations of the ancient lands of the Bible.
Open Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 9:30am - 5:30pm
Wednesday 1:30 pm - 9:30pm
Friday & holiday 9:30am-2pm
Saturday 11:00am - 3:00pm
25 Granot St. Tel: 02-5611066. Entrance Fee.

The Bloomfield Science Museum

"Hands-on" Science & Technology. A celebration of the world in motion, the strange and wonderful behavior of moving things. Tel: 02-5618128
Open Mon., Wed., Thurs. 10am - 6pm
Tues. 10am - 8pm
Fri. 10am - 1pm
Sat. 10am - 3pm
Sun. closed
Ruppin Road, next to Hebrew University, Givat Ram campus.

Botanical Gardens of Jerusalem University

occupy the territory of 13 doonams. The Gardens were opened in 1953. The main idea is scientific research in the field of planting greenery taking into account climate and geographical position of the country. Opening hours: Sun, Mon., Tue, Wed, Thu 10:00-14:00, Till 16:00 in winter Burla St., Jerusalem, Givat Ram. Phone: 972-2-6794012

The Burnt House (Katros House)

Six meters under street level a luxu-rious residence from the end of the Second Temple period which was burned on September 2nd 70 C.E. An audio-visual presentation in 6 languages is shown at the site every half-hour. Tel: 02-6287211.

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