Jerusalem, Day 1

Feb. 14-16, 2010

We spent a couple of days exploring Jerusalem. The following list represents some of the places we saw:

Day 1 - Generally east and south of the walled city.

* The city of Jerusalem
* Old Jerusalem's walls and gate and the Dome on the Rock
* Garden of Gethsemane, the Church of All Nations
and the Church of Saint Mary Magdelene

* Church of Saint Peter and the Palace of Caiaphas

Day 2 - Generally west and southwest of the walled city

* Around the western wall
* The Rabbinical or Western Wall Tunnels
* Inside the old city
* The tomb of David and the Upper Room
* The Garden Tomb

We apologize that our pictures are not complete and may have inaccurate captions. We saw so many sites in one day it has been very difficult to make sure we remember what each picture shows. We would appreciate your letting us know of any errors (big or small) so we can correct them. Thank you.

The Magnify symbol beside some selected pictures indicates a larger image is available by clicking the symbol.

The City

These pictures represent some notable things we saw while traveling in the city.

Light rail night in Jerusalem
Above: The streets outside our hotel window. What is the angled vertical line in the upper center of the picture?
Right: It is a bridge for the new light rail system in Jerusalem. Its very modern looking even in the morning light.
Light rail bridge in Jerusalem
Jerusalem: decorated doors of synagogue Synagogoue welcoming gentiles in Jerusalem
The night we arrived in Jerusalem, our guide took us on an unscheduled walk through an old section of town that was built about 1900. We went by several Orthodox synagogues. Many of the Orthodox synagogues collect money to be used to support their poor. While Orthodox Jews do not serve in the army, they have formed teams to help clean up after bombings.
Left: This synagogue had beautiful doors.
Right: The synagogue on the right had a sign saying they welcomed Gentiles.
City of Jerusalem Magnify
Modern Jerusalem is built beside two intersecting valleys. The Kidron valley on the east side of the old city and the Valley of Hinnom on its south side. This picture gives a good view of the latter.
Moslem section of Jerusalem
This is a Arab section of Jerusalem. One of the gripes the Jews have is the Palestinian areas tend to be messy and environmental practices are poor.


Old Jerusalem City Walls, its Gates and the Dome of the Rock

David built some walls around what is referred to as the "City of David" which was south-west of the current walls. Solomon extended them (1 Kings 3:1). Nehemiah (chapters 3 - 7) rebuilt them after returning from Babylon. They were rebuilt by Herod before Jesus was born. Since that time, they were demolished and rebuilt again several times.

The current city walls were built by the Muslim Ottoman Empire in 1538. They stretch about 2.8 miles. They are 16 to 49 feet high and are about 10 feet thick.

Just a few days after our return, Hebrew University archaeologists announced the discovery and excavation of 230 feet of a 20 foot high wall along with a gatehouse that are believed to be built by Solomon. "The finding is significant because not only does it showcase the incredible engineering abilities of the time, but also it's the first evidence of a structure that correlates with 'written descriptions of Solomon's building of Jerusalem,' Mazar told Science Daily." Wikipedia. Another link contains a video with an interview with Dr. Mazar, the leader of the archaeological dig.

For more information about the Old Jerusalem walls and the Dome of the Rock: The Old City Gates, Wikipedia: Old City (Jerusalem), Wikipedia: Dome of the Rock, Bible Places: Dome of the Rock, Wikipedia: Golden gate.

Jerusalem: East wall and Kidron Valley Magnify
We are looking across the Kidron Valley at old Jerusalem's East wall.
The golden dome is the Dome of the Rock, a major Moslem Mosque.
It is built on the location of Herod's temple.

A video showing the East wall.
Jerusalem: Corner in the East wall
This is a corner of the East wall.

Jerusalem: Jewish cemetery facing the Kidron Valley Magnify
Above left: This Jewish cemetery is across the Kidron Valley from the wall near the Golden Gate.
Jerusalem: Golden gate

Above right: The "Golden Gate" was built 6th or 7th century which makes it the oldest of the existing gates. It was sometimes called the "Gate of Mercy" or "Eastern" gate. Arabs call it "Gate of Eternal Life". In ancient times it was known as the "Beautiful Gate". It was sealed by Moslems to prevent the Messiah from entering it. (In Ezekiel 43:1-2, Ezekiel says that he was taken to the east gate "and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east." After God arrives, in 44:1-3 he says the gate is to remain shut "...because the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered through it."*) Moreover a Moslem cemetery was put in front of it so Elijah, who was thought to proceed the Messiah, could not pass through it. That was a false hope because Elijah's sect was allowed to go into cemeteries of non-Jews.

*Thanks to our pastor, John Johnstone, for these references.

Jerusalem: Dung gate
Above: The Dung gate is the southern wall and was rebuilt to be big enough for cars to pass through. It is the closest usable gate to the Temple Mound. In ancient times, it was used to dump refuse out of the city.

Right: The Zion Gate is also in the southern Wall. Today it leads to the Armenian and Jewish quarters. The bullet "holes" are from the 6-day war when in 1967 Israel Defense Forces entered and captured the Old City.
Jerusalem: Zion gate - notice bullet holes
Jerusalem: Dome of the Rock and the east wall
The Dome of the Rock behind the east wall.


Garden of Gethsemane, the Church of All Nations
and the Church of Saint Mary Magdelene

The Roman Catholic Church of All Nations is located next to a garden that is believed to be the Garden of Gethsemane. It is located at the foot of the Mount of Olives. The Church of Saint Mary Magdalene, a Russian Orthodox church is located higher on the hill.

After the last supper, Jesus took his disciples to Gethsemane to pray. His disciples were too sleepy to stay awake and pray with him. Then Judas arrived with a large group with clubs and Jesus was arrested. (Matthew 26: 36-56 and Mark 14:32 -51). Luke says that they went to the Mount of Olives and John says they crossed the Kidron valley to an olive grove. Putting these passages together says that Gethsemane was an olive grove on the Mt. of Olives.

These links are some useful references: Wikipedia: Garden of Gethsemane, All About Archaeology: Garden of Gethsemane, and Wikipedia: Church of All Nations,

Jerusalem: Sign for the Garden of Gethsemane Jerusalem: Garden of Gethsemane Magnify
Jerusalem Tree in Garden of Gethsemane
An old olive tree in the garden.
Jerusalem: Jesus Praying statue Church of Nations
A statue in the garden showing Jesus praying in it.
Jerusalem:  Church of All Nations Magnify
The Catholic Church of All Nations, which is next to the garden, maintains it.
Jerusalem: Windows in Church of  All Nations
Windows and a dome in the church.
Jerusalem: Dome in Church of All Nations
Jerusalem: The Church of All Natons and the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene
The Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Mary Magdalene with its golden turrets sets a little higher on the Mount of Olives.
Jerusalem: Church of Saint Mary Magdalene Magnify


Church of Saint Peter and the House of Caiaphas

The full name of this Catholic church is "Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu". The Latin word "Gallicantu" means "cock-crow". The fairly modern church was built in the 1930's over what is believed to be Caiaphas' house where Jesus was taken after his arrest and may have been imprisoned there overnight.

In the gospels, we read that after Jesus was arrested, he was taken to the house of the high priest - Caiaphas. He was brought before the Sanhedrin which condemned him to death. While this was happening, Peter was in the court yard outside the house. Afraid, he denied knowing Jesus three times before the cock crowed. (Matthew 26: 57-75, Mark 14: 53:72, Luke 22: 54 - 62, John 18: 12-27.) The next morning Jesus was taken to Pontius Pilot who could officially pronounce the death sentence.

Some links to the church and Caiaphas' home include: Wikipedia: Church of St Peter in Gallicantu, and Bible Places: Mt. Zion".

Jerusalem: The Church of St. Peter
Above: The Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu.
Right: Our guide points out features of its doors that show Jesus telling Peter that he will deny him 3 times before for the cock crows
Jerusalem: Doors of the Church of St Peter Magnify
Jerusalem: The Church of St. Peter Magnify Jerusalem: Mosaic in the Church of St. Peter Magnify
Mosaics above the doors of the church.
Jerusalem: Sign in Caiaphas' house Magnify
Above: The sign points out some reasons why this is believed to be Caiaphas' home.
Right: The opening in the main floor of the church provides a view to Caiaphas' home.
Jerusalem: Pit in Church of St.Peter showing Caiaphas' house
Jerusalem: Opening to the pit in Caiaphas' house
Jesus had to be held overnight somewhere before he could be taken to Pontius Pilot in the morning. It is quite possible that he was held in the pit below these openings.
Jerusalem: Inside the pit in Caiaphas' house
Paster John led a short devotional in the pit.
Jerusalem: Court yard at Caiaphas' house Magnify
This is believed to be the ruins of the court yard where Peter denied knowing Jesus three times.

Jerusalem, Day 2, Recommended
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Last revision: 4/2/2010, Ezekiel reference added 3/25/2010. Updated links: 7/19/2018