Jerusalems’ religious importance started with Abraham: commanded by God, Abraham took his son Isaac to Mt. Moriah to offer him as a burned offering to God. Today Jerusalem is holy to three monotheistic religions. The Temple Mount, also called Har HaBait or Haram al-Sharif, is often a center of dispute, contested by Judaism and Islam alike (in earlier times Christianity too).
The tour starts at the Mount of Olives, offering a grand view of the Temple Mount and the Old City. We descend by car to the site of the Temple Mount Sifting Project in the Kidron valley, where we participate in the search for ancient artifacts by sifting the debris from the Temple Mount that had been unceremoniously dumped by the Waqf.
From there we drive to Mount Zion and enter the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. We visit the Western Wall and ascend to the Temple Mount to see the Al-Aqsa mosque, the Dome of the Rock (both from the outside), as well as some superb Mamluk architecture such as the Fountain of Qayt Bay. We then exit the Temple Mount through the Chain Gate and walk through Shashelet street towards the Via Dolorosa, where we follow the Christian influences. After visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre we walk to the Cenacle and the Tomb of David. The tour ends with a visit to the Protestant cemetery and the Gobat school, from where we return to Mount Zion.
Optional: Visit a cafe / restaurant / pub to relax and to discuss the impressions and events of the day.
Duration: Full day, starting around 8 a.m.
Difficulty: Medium. We will be walking most of the time so I recommend comfortable shoes. We will make a lunch break as well as short breaks upon request.
Dress code: We are entering some of the holiest places in the world. Modest dress is mandatory. For men this means long trousers and a long or short sleeved shirt. Women need to wear long skirts, or long trousers, a long sleeved shirt or a short sleeved shirt with a scarf to cover the shoulders and upper arms.
- Sun hat or cap
- Sunscreen or sunblock with sufficient UV protection
Best time: All year round
From Jerusalem: $430*
From Tel Aviv: $490*
Additional quotes – for different locations, group or VIP tours – upon request!
* All prices are daily fees that cover planning and guiding.
Not included are transportation, entry fees (where required), meals, and any other personal expenses. I will be happy to organize a car or minibus with driver.