A holy city for Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Jerusalem has forever had a symbolic value. Among its 220 historic monuments, stands the Dome of the Rock, built in the seventh century and decorated with beautiful geometric and floral. It is recognized by all three religions as the site of Abraham’s sacrifice.
Jerusalem was founded in the third millennium BC by the Chanaaiens, and called the city of Salem; it was surrounded by large walls. Successive walls have existed inJerusalemat different times. The town was captured by King David approximately in the year 1004 BC. His son King Solomon ordered the extension of the walls of the city. The walls would be destroyed during the Babylonian conquest by Nebuchadnezzar II.
Between 41 and 44, King Herod Agrippa had built new walls around the city, known as the « Third Wall. » In 135, after the destruction of Jerusalemby the Emperor Hadrian, the new Roman city, Aelia Capitolina, was built in its place and was surrounded by new walls.
The current walls of OldCitywere erected between 1535 and 1538 by the Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, in the Ottoman era. The previous walls had been razed by al-Moazzam in 1219.
Holy Jerusalem, at the crossroads of different civilizations where you will come across remains of ancient mosaics and treasures from the Roman and Byzantine period, the Crusaders and the Ottoman Empire to name but a few. In the Old City you will encounter oriental charm and be plunged into the souk’s colorful alleys which take you to the meeting places of the three major monotheistic religions: whether along the Via Dolorosa or the Holy Sepulchre, the Wailing Wall and the Dome of the Rock which was built in the seventh century and was decorated with beautiful geometric and floral. The Mount of Olives which stands at 827m high, not only offers a wonderful panoramic view over the Old City, it also houses places of high importance to the three monotheistic religions. The Chapel of Dominus Flevit, the Shrine of the Ascension, the Tomb of the Virgin and the Church of All Nations, « Gethsemane », and the Church of Pater Noster. On Mt Zion discover other places of significance: Monastery of the Dormition, the cave of the Last Supper and the Tomb of King David.
The capital of the State of Israel according to the Israelis and that of the future Palestinian state according to the Palestinians, Jerusalem was occupied in 1967 by the Israeli army and considered from then to be occupied territory by the international community. For more than four thousand years, Jerusalem has been in the heart of the Middle Eastern storm.