Saturday, June 1, 2019

May 27, 2019,    Haifa,  Israel,    Jerusalem and Bethlehem.               136/183

We docked in Haifa overnight. At 6:00 AM  we began our tour to Bethlehem with a beautiful scenic drive into the Judean Hills.  Bethlehem is located in the Palestinian Authority controlled West Bank area, behind a huge wall. Included a visit to Manger Square and the renowned Church of the Nativity.  This extraordinary church is built over a grotto which is believed to be the location of Jesus' birth place.  Remember we were taught that Jesus was born in a stable, but in those days people lived in caves.  During the winter, cattle were brought into the caves for warmth, consequently the manger interpretation.  See photos.

Next we proceeded to the Mount of Olives to the Gardens of Gethsemane, an ancient olive grove containing 1000 year old trees.  This is the location of the Church of all Nations.  Literally thousands of 4' by 6' national plaques adorned the walls and surrounding buildings.

Completed tour by visiting the Church of the Sepulcher, the Wailing Wall and a tour of Old Town.

See annotated photos.

Views on our drive to Bethlehem, located in the Palestinian Authority area (West Bank) behind the security wall.

Sections of wall separating West Bank and Israel

Leaving Jerusalem side to enter West Bank through a gate in the Wall on our way to Bethlehem.  

Portrait of a Palestinian freedom fighter.

Access to the Church of the Nativity. Note that the doorway has been lowered to 1.2 meters and reduced in size to stop looters from driving their carts and horses into the sanctuary.

Mosaic from the first Catholic church in the world

The Greek Orthodox Church commands the largest portion of the Church of Nativity.  This altar is built directly over the manger site.  The Armenians and Catholics also have partial authority. 

This is the Armenian section of the Church of Nativity

Catholics built a big church immediately adjacent to the Church of the Nativity.

Courtyard of Catholic Church

Interior of Catholic Church

Below Greek Orthodox altar.

Passages under the birthplace.

Jesus was born 5 feet away, behind this mural.

Place where Jesus was born.

Grotto of the Nativity

Last painting viewed before we leave the Church of the Nativity

More views of the Palestinian Area

Exiting West Bank

Mount Olive

Gate to Old Jerusalem

Mormon University in Jerusalem

Church of all Nations, consecrated in 1652, was built over the stone where Jesus sat and prayed the night before he was crucified.

Interior of Church of all Nations

East wall of the Old City of Jerusalem.  Muslims sealed this gate (Golden Gate or Gate of Mercy) because teachings predict that the Jewish Messiah will arrive through it.  To further impede movement, a Muslim graveyard was placed in front of the sealed gate.

3000 year old Jewish graveyard by Mount Olive.

1000 year old olive trees.

View of wall and Muslim Dome of the Rock Mosque (Gold Dome), which is located on Temple Mount.  It stands on the site that is sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Walk through the old city of Jerusalem

Jesus is thought to have carried his cross down these streets.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  Christians believe this is the site where Jesus arose from the dead.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  Oldest painting in Christendom.

Chapel of the Crucifixion-  12th Station

Stone of anointing where Jesus' body was laid after the Crucifixion 

Depictions of Jesus being prepared to be taken to his tomb

Believed to be Jesus' tomb - 14th station

Templar Inscriptions

Roman road depiction, as it ran through Jerusalem.

Map of the old walled city of Jerusalem

The Dan Family donated the "Aish World Educational Centre" for Jewish people.  Located directly across from the Wailing Wall.

Wailing Wall - Men and women are segregated

Leaving the Old city of Jerusalem and the Wailing Wall area. (Western Wall)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Show name