Christian Jerusalem Private Tour
I like to start my Christian Jerusalem Private Tours with a lookout from the Mount of Olives - this facilitates an understanding of the space the Old City lies in, how it developed to what we see today, and the outlines of its inner structure. Later this will help us to stay oriented as we navigate the allies inside.
From there we will take a short but steep drive down to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Church of All Nations within it (If you wish, we may also visit Dominus Flevit, a small chapel marking the traditional place where Jesus wept for the future destruction of Jerusalem, and from there you may walk down the Palm Sunday Road by yourself and wait at the garden of Gethsemane for me to bring the car down.) This Franciscan church breathes life into the dark story of Jesus' night of agony after the Last Supper, and consequent betrayal by Judas. The olive trees in the garden were found to be up to 900 years old, with roots that were even older.
Another short drive will take us past ancient graveyards, a perfect view of the churches of Mt. of Olives, a glimpse of the original steps leading up into Temple Mount from the south, Dung Gate and Mt. Zion. Then we will park and leave the car for a walking tour through the four quarters of the Old City.
This will include:
- Jaffa Gate and the curious tale of the "Tower of David" by its side.
- A walk through the Armenian Quarter; the Armenians were the first nation to convert to Christianity, 24 years before the Roman Empire did it.
- A visit to the Room of the Last Supper on Mount Zion, held sacred by all three religions.
- The Jewish Quarter with its archaeological remains of the Byzantine Cardo street and King Hezekiah's 2700 year old Broad Wall.
- A visit to the Western Wall, a seemingly random area of the wall that has become the most sacred and longed-for place for Jews in the past 2000 years. You are welcome to take a personal moment with this monument and maybe even put a note in its cracks.
- The Muslim Quarter, containing most of the Stations and the Cross, hidden within a bustling bazaar.
- The Christian Quarter, and of course a visit to the unbelievable Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.
On the way we can either stop for lunch at an authentic little Arab restaurant, making the best hummus and falafel in town since 1952, or at a sweet family restaurant in the Jewish Quarter, with excellent European-style food (fish, quiche, salad..) and a gorgeous view straight into Temple Mount. Of course the choice is yours whether to eat there or anywhere else.
Any item in the Christian Jerusalem Private Tour can be changed or removed, and other items can be added at your preference.