Friday, Apr 1: Full Day In Jerusalem

On this day, we will spend the entire day in Jerusalem, leaving our bus about 8:00 am and being picked up again about 4 p.m.

Huldah Gates

Huldah Gates

We will enjoy a leisurely walk through the city, beginning at the Archaeological Park on the south side of the Temple Mount. Here we will see the Huldah Gates, the main entrance to the Temple.

Wailing Wall

Wailing Wall

After exploring the Archaeological Park, we will proceed to the Wailing Wall. It was not the wall of the Temple but a retaining wall to level the Temple Mount for the building of the Temple. Here is where modern Jewish boys and girls go for their bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah. Many visitors write a prayer on a small piece of paper and insert it in the crevices of the stones.

Temple Mount

Dome of the Rock

Leaving the Wailing Wall, we enter Temple mount, though there is no Jewish Temple there. Here is where Abraham offered up Isaac and the place where Solomon erected the first Temple and Herod the Great rebuilt the second Temple. But instead of seeing Jewish architecture we see the Dome of the Rock, the second most holy place to Islamists. This is where Muhammad is thought to have begun his night journey to heaven. It is a beautiful building.

Old City of Jerusalem

During our walks through Jerusalem, we will see the Pool of Bethesda, near Saint Anne’s church. We should be able to sing for a few minutes in Saint Anne’s and you will never forget the experience because of its amazing acoustics. We will walk along the via Dolorosa, a processional route in the Old City of Jerusalem. It represents the path that Jesus would have taken, forced by the Roman soldiers, on the way to his crucifixion, if his trial was held at the Tower of Antonia (most unlikely).

The winding route from the former Antonia Fortress to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a distance of about 600 meters (2,000 feet). Since the fourth century, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has been thought to be the place where Jesus was crucified and buried. This building, like the church of the Nativity was built by Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine.

Gordon’s Calvary

We conclude our day with a visit to Gordon’s Calvary, which has less likelihood of being the place where the crucifixion and burial of Jesus transpired, but gives one a much better visual picture of what the places looked like in AD 30-33.

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