We left Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee, headed for the main focus of our journey — the exciting and historic city of Jerusalem. The road we took passed with several hundred yards of the Jordanian border, marked by an electrified fence and barbed wire.
When we arrived in Jerusalem we went first to the Israel Museum
which introduced us to two significant exhibits:
1 — a miniature version of Jerusalem (1:50 scale) at about the time of Jesus (when the Second Temple was built by Herod). It is a great orientation to the Old City.
2 — The Dead Sea Scrolls, one of the world’s greatest archaeological finds, were discovered in Qumran (southern Israel) in 1952. The scrolls contain manuscripts of Biblical writings from before Christ and have been invaluable to historians in understanding many of the events described in the Bible. The actual scrolls are enclosed underneath a section of the museum known as the Shrine of the Book.
We actually decided to take a group picture here:
From here we drove along the Old City Walls, passing quite a few of the eight (8) gates into the city. The Damascus Gate is the most impressive.
We stopped at St Peter in Gallicantu Church, built over what was once the House of Caiphas (the High Priest at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion), and commemorating the denial of Jesus by St Peter (“before the cock crows”).
Above the church, on what was referred to a Mount Zion, we visited several other notable sights. The Dormitian Abbey is associated with the Assumption (when Jesus’ mother, Mary, was taken up to heaven).
Nearby is the Tomb of David, founder of Jerusalem and Israel’s first king. This is an important religious site for Jews.
Lastly we visited the Coenaculum, a small church where the Last Supper likely took place. Father John said Mass here.
We made a slight detour to a panorama point to get our first glimpse of the Temple Mount (from outside the gates).
We finally reached the Olive Tree Hotel, our home for the next four nights, at 6:30 PM, exhausted as usual.