Jewish Jerusalem Private Tour
I always like to start my Jewish Jerusalem Private Tour with an overlook from either the Hebrew University Campus on Mount Scopus, the Hass Promenade or the Mount of Olives. The lookout allows us to take in the Old City of Jerusalem, and aside from great photos, to better understand how the city developed over the ages. This will also help us stay oriented later on, as we navigate the allies.
We'll return to the car and drive to the Old City, where we'll visit Mount Zion, upon which a single building is attached to three religions: The Room of the Last Supper, aka King David's Tomb. Yes, there is a great story to be told here, and as a matter of fact, when I guide private tours this is my favorite spot to demonstrate how the stories of the three religions intertwine and work of each other, manifesting in our holy sites.
We will enter the city via Zion Gate and walk into the Jewish Quarter, where we'll quickly descend into the ancient main street from Byzantine times - the Cardo. Walking down the Cardo we'll see first hand how layers of history pile one on top of the other.
We'll also see a segment of the Broad Wall, built 2700 years ago by King Hezekiah to protect Jerusalem from the Assyrians. This very wall is mentioned in the Bible! We'll go on to an observation platform, overlooking Temple Mount, the Shrine of the Rock and the Western Wall, and learn why the replica of the Temple's Menorah that's placed there doesn't quite look right.
We'll descend into the Western Wall Plaza and learn why this seemingly random area of the wall has become the most sanctified and longed-for place for Jews during the past 2000 years. You are welcome to take a personal moment with this monument and put a note in its cracks.
Other sites (with admission fees) that we can add to the Jewish Jerusalem private tour include:
- The Davidson Archaeological Park - at the south-western corner of Temple Mount, with 2000 year old findings from the time Jews came here to worship.
- The city of David - this is the original Jerusalem. This amazing archaeological site has yielded many findings that are mentioned in the Bible. The highlight (among many) is a walk through King Hezekiah's 2700 year old water tunnel, which still works to this day.
- The Burnt House - an audio-visual experience, retelling to story of the destruction of the Temple through archaeology.
- The Herodian Quarter - an underground museum, based on the remains of several villas from 2000 years ago.
- A variety of other Jewish Quarter museums, focusing on different topics, from the First Temple period to 1948.
- Also available are locally-guided tours of the Western Wall Tunnels and of the Hurva ("The Ruin") Synagogue, which must be booked in advance.
My favorite place for lunch with private tours in the Jewish Quarter is a sweet family restaurant, 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 here or anywhere else.
Any item in this Jewish Jerusalem Private Tour can be changed or removed, and other items can be added at your preference.