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Jerusalem Overview

Jerusalem lies at the cross roads of three major religions. There are few cities around the world that have meant so much for so many different cultures and people.  How many other cities contain a large number of historic sites that are thousands of years old?  Jerusalem, located in the center of Israel, is simply a destination like no other.

Jerusalem is the largest city in Israel.  It’s located on the Judea Mountains between the Mediterranean and the north tip of the Dead Sea.  But not everything about Jerusalem is historic.  Although it dates as far back as the fourth Millennium B.C.E., there’s also a vibrant modern side to the city that has developed outside the old walls of the ancient city. 

Old Jerusalem is small in comparison to other cities and despite this fact, it contains an array of important sites for Judaism, Islam and Christianity.  Jerusalem visitors will want to see world renowned icons like the Temple Mount, the Church of the Holy Sepulcre, Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall to name but a few. 

Jerusalem can be visited any time of the year.  It’s hot through the summer and cool during winter.  Snowfall is rare, but when it does happen it makes the city postcard-worthy.    

Jerusalem has something for everyone.  Most tourists see it as a location with religious importance.  Yet aside from this, Jerusalem offers an impressive selection of cultural and artistic events.  The long list of museums exhibit permanent and temporary collections of Judaica, archaeological discoveries, Israeli and European works of art.  The Israel Museum for instance, houses an amazing finding made during the 20th century.  We’re referring to the famed Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in the Qumran caves near the Dead Sea.  The Islamic Museum is another fine example of venues where tourists can enjoy browsing through ancient manuscripts. 

When it comes to music, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra ranks high.  It has appeared at important locations in nations around the globe.  This city is also home to the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra as well as a number of events.  Among these are the Jerusalem Film celebration, the Book Fair and the Israel Festival.  The latter is a yearly production featuring national and international artists, concerts and theater. 

Jerusalem is also for those who love to shop.  Local crafts boutiques sell amazing artifacts made from copper, glass and bronze.  At open-air markets, visitors will delight in haggling for good prices.  There you will see olive wood chess sets, nativity scenes, Christmas tree ornaments and Judaica items.  And you won’t want to miss the establishments at the Arab bazaar known for carrying quality Bedouin style jewelry.  They also sell rugs and textiles made from wool, goat or camel hair.  But if you’re looking for the latest in couture, Jerusalem’s boutiques feature the trendiest American and European fashion. 

Dining in Jerusalem can also be described as somewhat of a religious experience.  Its Middle Eastern cuisine is simply sublime.  Pork is not commonly seen on menus except in the eastern Jerusalem eateries that cater to the travelers.

Jerusalem is magical.  Spend a day here and you’ll feel as if you experienced several cultures in one day. 


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