This Jerusalem half-day tour begins on Mt. Scopus where we enjoy breathtaking views of the Jerusalem skyline. From this elevated position, we see across the walls of the Old City to Temple Mount, the site of the sacred Temple until its destruction in 70 AD. On the slopes of Mt. Scopus, we pass a 3,000-year-old Jewish cemetery; the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Church of All Nations. We drive past large ancient Jewish tombs of the biblical Kidron Valley.
The tour takes you through the Zion Gate, one of several gates in the Ottoman-era Old City walls. We reach the picturesque Jewish Quarter where a 1,500-year-old Byzantine street, the Cardo has been excavated. The tour stops at the iconic Western Wall, the most sacred Jewish landmark in the world. This section of wall is only a small part of the outer retaining walls that once surrounded the Second Holy Jewish Temple on Temple Mount. In 70 AD the Romans destroyed the Temple and only this section (and its continuation below ground) has survived. You’ll have time to place a prayer note in the crevices of the wall.
We continue on our tour and join up with the Via Dolorosa at the 5th Station of the Cross. We retrace the path Jesus took bearing his cross from his judgment to his crucifixion at Calvary. The Way of Sorrow culminates at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre which encompasses the final Stations of the Cross where Jesus died on the cross and was placed in a burial tomb. Today the ornate 4th-century church is shared by several Christian denominations and holds more than 30 chapels. To end this Jerusalem half-day tour we walk through the traditional Old City bazaar where you can enjoy the colorful character of a Middle Eastern market.