For millions of believers all over the world, the sacred land of Israel unites inseparably the shrines of three major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Having been in places of pilgrimage or having a rest in the tourist resorts of Israel, you keep an indelible mark on your soul for life.
ANCIENT CITY OF JERUSALEM
The capital of Israel, which has more than seventy names in different languages of the world, attracts tourists primarily by the incredible number of attractions, historical and cultural monuments of different nations. Starting a journey from the Mount of Olives, you can see the numerous domes and roofs of the temples of the Old City, where the shrine of Christians is located – the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Church of the Savior, Alexander Nevsky, Saint Helena adjoin it.
The Jewish Wall of Wailing – all that remains of the destroyed Second Temple – is of great importance for the religion of the Jews. And Muslims built the Rocks and Al-Aqsa mosques here at the place of the ascension of the prophet Mohammed to heaven. Each of the shrines means a lot to their religion.
The most ancient port city in the world is Jaffa, according to legend, founded by the son of Noah Japet after the Flood. The rock where Perseus supposedly freed Andromeda adorns the coastal region. And it was from Jaffa that the exiled Jews returned to Israel.
Old Jaffa has become a large modern tourist and art center, along the streets of which you can wander endlessly, meeting many artists and musicians on your way.
HILL OF SPRING TEL-AVIV
The first Jewish metropolis in modern Israel, originally built as one of the districts of the oldest Jaffa, is Tel Aviv. The city has offices of various countries and companies, the central offices of the largest banks and enterprises in the country. This city is not as rich in landmarks as other places in Israel, but still there are many museums, entertainment centers, theaters, libraries that hold historical documents of sacred Israel.
Tel Aviv, a center of business and cultural activity that does not stop for a minute, attracts tourists with its many shops and markets. One of these markets is the largest open-air bazaar – the Carmel Market in the Yemen Quarter.
Just a few kilometers south of Jerusalem is the holy city of Christians, in which Jesus Christ was born. This is a place of endless stream of pilgrims from around the world. Jesus was born in the cave of the Church of the Nativity, the main attraction of Bethlehem. Here is the tomb of St. Jerome and his cell, Greek, Armenian, Franciscan monasteries.
The place of the childhood of Christ is in the north of Israel, in the center of Galilee. Hundreds of myths and legends about him were laid down by people in the entire history of Nazareth. Thousands of pilgrims gather on Mount Tabor to see exactly where at the wedding Jesus turned ordinary water into wine. Preserved historical monuments of ancient times, such as the Orthodox Church of the Archangel Gabriel, the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation and the Sepphoris National Park with numerous sites and crusaders fortress.
After Jerusalem, the second most holy city is the capital of King David, revered in Judaism: Hebron. The largest city of Israel, which is inhabited by many Jews, Arabs and Jews. The main historical monument of Hebron is the cave of Machpelah – a cave where, according to legend, Abraham and Sarah, Jacob and Lia, Isaac and Rebekah are buried: the biblical patriarchs with their wives, equally revered by both Jews, and Christians and Muslims. Legend has it that the first people in the land of Adam and Eve are also buried in these holy places. The remains and ruins of various temples, churches, monasteries can be seen literally throughout the area of the ancient city.
For Jews who were expelled from Jerusalem, Tiberias became the spiritual center. The city was founded more than two thousand years ago and became one of the four holy cities of Israel. Near Tiberias there is a large number of healing sulfur springs, the waters of which are used to treat rheumatism and diseases of the upper respiratory tract. On the shores of the picturesque lake there are comfortable hotels, where thousands of people come annually.
Another of the oldest historical mysteries of Israel is the city of Safed, located on the mountain top of the Upper Galilee. The city-fortress of the zealots, the spiritual center of Kabbalah, is currently famous for various art galleries, workshops and communities of artists from all over the world. From the lake Yam Kinneret, from the east, and to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, a panorama from the height of the city blocks of Safed opens.
Those who wish to make a pilgrimage or visit the tourist sites of Israel will be able, having received spiritual satisfaction and the blessing of historical shrines, to return to their homes and leave in their souls memories for life.