Welcome to our travel blog! Join us as we walk the land in Israel that Jesus walked. We will visit where he taught and healed — from the bustling city of Jerusalem to the peaceful hills along the Sea of Galilee. We have completed our first full day of touring in Jerusalem — check out our pictures below:
Mount of Olives
The Mount of Olives (also Mount Olivet) is a mountain ridge in East Jerusalem with three peaks running from north to south. The highest, at-Tur, rises to 818 meters (2,683 ft.). It is named for the olive groves that once covered its slopes.
St. Peter’s en Gallicantu
The church takes its name from the Latin word “Gallicantu,” meaning cock-crow. This is in commemoration of Peter’s triple rejection of Jesus “. . . before the cock crow twice” (Mark 14:30). A Byzantine shrine dedicated to Peter’s repentance was erected on this spot in 457 C.E. but was destroyed by the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah in 1010. The chapel was rebuilt by Crusaders in 1102 and given its present name. After the fall of Jerusalem, the church again fell into ruin and was not rebuilt until 1931. Today, a golden rooster protrudes prominently from the sanctuary roof in honor of its biblical connection. This spot is also believed to be the location of the High Priest Caiaphas’ palace.
The Cardo in Jerusalem, Israel
The line of the Cardo Maximus is still visible on Jewish Quarter Street, though the original pavement lies several meters below the modern street level. In the 7th century, when Jerusalem fell under Muslim rule, the Cardo became an Arab-style marketplace.
Pool of Bethesda
The Pool of Bethesda is a pool of water located in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem today. The Gospel of John describes such a pool in Jerusalem, near the Sheep Gate, which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. It is associated with healing. The biblical narrative describes a visit to the site by Jesus, during which he heals a man who has been bedridden for many years and could not make his own way into the pool.
The Johannine narrative describes the porticos as being a place in which large numbers of infirm people were waiting, which corresponds well with the site’s 1st century C.E. use as an asclepieion. Some ancient biblical manuscripts argue that these people were waiting for the troubling of the water; a few such manuscripts also move the setting away from Roman rituals into something more appropriate to Judaism, by adding that an angel would occasionally stir the waters, which would then cure the first person to enter.
The “place of the skull” mentioned in the Bible as where Jesus was crucified. Around the corner General Charles Gordon identified an ancient tomb and, putting the two together, he located the hill of crucifixion and the nearby burial place.
The Garden Tomb (also known as Gordon’s Calvary), located in Jerusalem, outside the city walls and close to the Damascus Gate, is a rock-cut tomb considered by some to be the site of the burial and resurrection of Jesus, and to be adjacent to Golgotha, in contradistinction to the traditional site for these—the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. There is no mention of the Garden Tomb as the place of Jesus’ burial before the nineteenth century.
Due to the archaeological issues the Garden Tomb site raises, several scholars have rejected its claim to be Jesus’ tomb. However, despite the archaeological discoveries, the Garden Tomb has become a popular place of pilgrimage among Protestants. Though acceptance of the validity of the traditional site at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is not a tenet of faith for any major Christian denomination, many Catholic and Orthodox Christians ignore the potential of the Garden Tomb and hold fast to the traditional location.
While officially the Garden Tomb Association only maintains this as a possible site for Christ’s burial, some tour guides of the site are convinced of the authenticity. They note the large cistern nearby, which proves the area must have been a garden in Jesus’ day.
They maintain that there are marks of Christian veneration at the tomb which also prove its sanctity throughout the ages.