The cradle of civilization has seen the longest inhabitation of modern man. Thus the area has witnessed many comings and goings as well as some of the most important and dramatic contributions of man to the planet. Here is my estimation of the most significant of these man-made structures. Entries are listed in alphabetical order. A photo album will follow shortly.
Baalbek, Lebanon – The ruins of this ancient Roman metropolis, once the city of Heliopolis, are exquisitely detailed. The Temple of Bacchus is particularly well-preserved. It is a World Heritage Site.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem – This church, reputedly built over the grave of Jesus Christ, is one of the most sacred Christian pilgrimage sites. It is managed by several Christian sects.
Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, Israel – This church is located at the birthplace of Jesus Christ and is only a few miles from Jerusalem and, thus a popular excursion for visitors.
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, Israel – This sacred site of Islam is built on the site where King Solomon’s temple sat. Its gleaming golden dome is prominently visible above the walled city.
Masada, Israel – This location is a Jewish pilgrimage site and commemorates the mass suicide of Jewish rebels against Roman domination.
Petra, Jordan – This remarkable necropolis and city built into the sandstone was featured in the third installment of the Inidana Jones movies. It occupies an ancient trade crossroad.
Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel – This wall, all that is left of Solomon’s temple, is a pilgrimage and prayer site for Jews.