Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Classic Walking Tour of Old City Jerusalem Part #2

When walking north to Lion's Gate you will see a memorial - a metal eagle with a broken wing - commemorating the falling soldiers of the Jerusalem Brigade that entered took control of the Old City in June 1967.

Stop to look at entrance to Lion's Gate - with special reference to the four lions, or are they panthers embossed on the wall. Refer to Baybars and Selim I - legends why the "lions" are there.

The first 150 meters inside the wall lead to the Via Dolorosa - here the Antonio Fortress stood in the days of Second Temple and the Jewish Revolt of 66 CE. If you have the time, it is worthwhile to stop at St. Anne's Church/Bethesda Pools - singing inside the church is wonderful as the acoustics are fabulous. The pools are very interesting archeological site. Further along the road is a boys school on your right - if you can get permission- you should go inside to get a wonderful view looking south to the Temple Mount.

If you do not have a guide or guide book, spend the 5 NIS and buy the pamphlet on the 14 stations of the cross. It will orient you to the next few site.

Stop at the 2&3 stations - the Churches of the Flagellation (inside to your right) and Condemnation (free). Further along you come to the Austrian Hospice where you turn left (and if you have the time go in for apple strudel and coffee.). Straight ahead you will come to the 5th station across from the iconic Abu Shukri middle east restaurant- take a right hand turn all the way up the stairs. At the 6th station on your right is "Mike's Shop" serving coffee and reasonable prices. At the top of the stairs - station #7 turn left and look for stairs going up about 75 meters ahead...leading to the roof of the Holy Sepulcher...To be Continued...

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