This hike in Nahal Og bears no resemblance to the classic lower Nahal Og hike with the three waterfalls. This is probably the most “technically” difficult hike I have ever done, with a number of spots where my fellow hikers had to help each other. Having said that, it was amazing and great fun – but it should not be attempted alone or by inexperienced hikers.
Zechariah’s tomb in the Kidron Valley is associated with Zecharia son of the priest Jehoiada. According to the Book of Chronicles (Divrei HaYamim), he was stoned at the behest of King Yoash of Judah when Zechariah berated the Jews for not following God’s commandments. Zechariah lived in the 9th century BCE, during the first temple period.
The tomb of Bnei Hezir is the burial cave complex where members of the Hezir family were buried during the second temple period. The cave is located in the Kidron Valley, in Jerusalem, between the tomb of Zecharia and the tomb of Absalom.
Park Gilo is a lovely park located in a forest in the southern Gilo neighborhood of Jerusalem. In addition to a children’s playground, there is a rollerblade and biking trail, tennis court, basketball court, walking trails and climbing structures.
The original gates to the Knesset complex were designed by sculptor David Palombo. The gates are a memorial for the destruction of world Jewry during World War II by the Nazi regime. The gates were moved in 2007 so that they are now a stand-alone structure.
The Knesset Menorah is located opposite the Knesset building in the Rose Garden. The menorah was designed by Benno Elkan; it is a seven branched candelabra like the menorah from the ancient temple. The six branches on the outside depict the struggles of the Jewish people in the Diaspora, while the center branch depicts the history of the Jews since the establishment of the state of Israel.
Wohl Rose Park (Hebrew: גן הורדים) is a garden between the Israeli Knesset and the Supreme Court.
The Orson Hyde Memorial Garden is a park in the Emek Tsurim Valley of Jerusalem. It was built in 1979 by the Jerusalem Foundation, with donations from the Orson Hyde Foundation. The Garden is located below the Brigham Young University, where Mormons from abroad come to study in Jerusalem.
Israel’s Supreme Court Building was built by architects Ram Karmi and Ada Karmi-Melamed. The building was opened in 1992; previously rented premises were used for the court. The building was donated by Dorothy de Rothschild; pictures of the architects and letters from Rothschild can be viewed in the Court building.
Jerusalem’s Nature Museum is dedicated to wildlife and plant life in the area. The museum focuses on life sciences, the human body, and the environment.
The U Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art has a display of Judaica from Italy. The museum was established in 1982 and includes artifacts which date back to the 16th century.
The connecting path between Yad VaShem and Har Herzl brings us from the years after the Holocaust to the creation of the state of Israel. The path, which is an easy stroll, is marked by historical signs which explain the major Jewish events leading up to the state. One of the markers, depicting the declaration of Independence, includes a recording of Ben Gurion’s famous speech. Later markers show the Arab attacks on Israel immediately afterwards.
The ancient synagogue in Motza was built in 1871 on the remains of older buildings. The current building was built as an inn by Yehoshua and Sarah Yellin. The Yellin home is behind the synagogue.
The Herzl Museum, located on Har Herzl, tells the story of Herzl’s life and explains why he has been so significant in the history of the state of Israel. The hour long audio-visual presentation presents Herzl’s heritage.
The burnt house, also known as Katres House, is the excavated remains of a house in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem which was destroyed at the time of the destruction of the second temple. The house is believed to have been owned by a priestly family.
Yad Vashem is Israel’s official Holocaust Museum. The original museum was established in 1953. The museum complex contains the holocaust history museum, hall of remembrance, museum of holocaust art, children’s memorial, and a research institute. Yad VaShem’s goals include education, documentation, commemoration, and research of the Holocaust.
The Conegliano Veneto Synagogue is an Italian synagogue located in the center of Jerusalem. The synagogue was relocated from Italy in 1951, and is still used by the Italian Jews in the city.
The ramparts walk along the top of Jerusalem’s old city walls provides a new view into parts of the old city which are otherwise inaccessible, and a view into the lives of the inhabitants of the old city. The views from the walls of the old city as well as the new city are spectacular.
The tomb of Absalom (Yad Avshalom, in Hebrew) is located in the Kidron Valley in Jerusalem. The Kidron valley is located between the mount of olives and the temple mount.
Ben Yehuda Street is a pedestrian mall in the center of Jerusalem. Often called the “Midrachov”, the street is lined with shops, sidewalk cafes, and restaurants. The midrachov runs from King George Street to Jaffa Street, making a triangle which is the center of the city.
Gan HaPaamon, also known as Liberty Bell Park, is located in the center of Jerusalem. The park boasts playgrounds, a skating rink, a children’s theatre, and lots of shady lawns.
The Jerusalem Botanical Garden is a magical area, removed from the hustle and bustle of the city while being very near the center of town. The garden displays plants from around the world as well as endangered plants.
The Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem, officially known as the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, was originally opened in 1928 by Aharon Shulov of Hebrew University. The Zoo was a small children’s zoo at that time, in the center of Jerusalem. In 1947, the zoo moved to the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus (Har HaTzofim, in Hebrew). The animals were traumatized by the shelling during the War of Independence in 1948, so they were moved once again to the Ezrat Torah neighborhood. The zoo remained there from 1950 to 1991; over time the zoo became dilapidated and overcrowded. In 1991, the zoo was closed and reopened in 1993 in the Malha neighborhood.
Ein Yael is a living museum where children can experience life in ancient Israel. Children learn ancient arts and crafts techniques used centuries ago.
The Bloomfield science museum in Jerusalem is geared towards deepening the scientific and technological understanding of the museum’s visitors. Interactive exhibits engage the interest of young children and youth. Guided tours and demonstrations are available for adult groups.
The Hurva Synagogue is an 18th century synagogue which was destroyed in 1948. In 1967, a single arch was built on the site, commemorating the synagogue. The synagogue was finally rebuilt in 2010.
Mahane Yehuda Market, known in Hebrew as Shuk Mahane Yehuda, is the main outdoor fresh food marketplace in Jerusalem. Aside from the fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, cheese, fish, meat, and spices, you can also purchase houseware and clothing. The market has recently attracted some upscale shops and restaurants as well.
The Artists’ House is home to the Association of Jerusalem Artists. With 500 members, the Association of Jewish Artists displays national and international exhibits which are changed as often as every three weeks. The artists’ work is sold in the gallery on the main floor.
Lifeline for the Old (Yad Le’Kashish in Hebrew) provides employment to the impoverished elderly in Jerusalem. Many of the impoverished elderly are immigrants who have no savings from their working years. Although often they are educated people, they have no skills which could provide them with income after retirement. Yad La’Kashish provides them with jobs as well as a social framework.
Ammunition Hill, known as Givat HaTachmoshet in Hebrew, was the most heavily fortified Jordanian stronghold in 1967. It was also the site of one of the fiercest battles during the six day war. When the Israeli paratroopers captured the hill, the liberation of the old city of Jerusalem was possible.
The Old Yishuv Court Museum depicts life in the Jewish quarter of the old city of Jerusalem from the Ottoman period until the end of the British Mandate in 1948. Artifacts of daily life are displayed in the museum.
The Herodian Quarter, which is the largest roofed archaeological site in Israel, encompasses over 2700 square meters and the remains of 6-7 large houses from the second temple period. When the Jewish quarter was rebuilt from 1969-1982, the remains of second temple period homes were found at the site of the Yeshivat HaKotel building. Photographs of the excavations can be seen in the museum.
The Museum of Psalms was established in 1995, featuring the works of Moshe Tzvi HaLevi Berger. These paintings are a visual rendering of the psalms of David, where each psalm is a visual Kabalistic rendering onto canvas. The paintings which cover all 150 psalms, took over seven years to complete.
The Crusader Church was first built during the 12th century when Jerusalem was under Crusader rule. The hospice was run by the Teutonic Church and the Order of the Teutonic Knights. The hospice was known as St Mary’s of the German Knights, and was used to care for the sick crusaders who arrived in Jerusalem.
This tour begins at the Jaffa Gate and ends on Mount Zion at Oskar Schindler’s grave. Bring plenty of water and comfortable walking shoes.
Jerusalem has beautiful pictures painted on the sides of buildings in the center of town and in the Mahane Yehuda Shuk.
The Jewish Quarter was rebuilt after the six day war. Reconstruction of the Jewish Quarter took place from 1969-1985, at the end of which 600 Jewish families were housed there; the reconstruction included excavations and archeological digs, as well as building modern homes and institutions. This tour winds through the Northern part of the Jewish Quarter, taking you through the ancient sites and new buildings.
Zedekiah’s cave, called Ma’arat Tzedekiyahu in Hebrew, is one of the largest caves in Israel. The cave is about 220 meters long, and lies under the Moslem quarter. The cave was blocked in the 11th century, and only rediscovered in 1854, when an American missionary discovered it by chance. The entrance to the cave is through the park by the Damascus Gate.
The Israelite tower is a tower gate on ramparts from the Israelite, or first temple, period. The tower is well preserved, and imposing. It is 8 meters high and the walls are 4 meters wide.
The Tombs of the Sanhedrin are located in a park in Jerusalem’s Sanhedria neighborhood.
King David’s Tomb, on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, has traditionally been viewed as the burial place of David. There is, however, some disagreement on this issue, as David is traditionally considered to be buried in the City of David (Ir David, in Hebrew).
By the mid 19th century, about 15,000 Jews, Muslims and Christians lived in the old city of Jerusalem; about a third of the residents were Jews. Despite the overcrowding conditions, the poverty and filth, the residents of the city were unwilling to leave the holy city. The area around the city was filled with marauders and thieves, as well as wild animals. The gates of the old city were locked at sunset each day and opened only at sunrise, thus protecting the inhabitants of the city.
Abraham Isaac Kook (HaRav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, in Hebrew) was born in 1865 in Griva, Latvia. He studied in the Volozhin Yeshiva from the time he was nineteen. At the age of 30, he became the rabbi of Bausk. While being deeply religious, he was a Zionist and a mystic, concerned with the well being of other Jews. In 1904, he came to Ottoman Palestine where he became chief rabbi of Jaffa city. After the First World War, he became the chief rabbi of Jerusalem; two years later he became the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of British Palestine.
The Temple Institute (Machon HaMikdash in Hebrew) is a non-profit organization founded in 1987 by Rabbi Yisrael Ariel. The Temple Institute is located in the Jewish Quarter of the old city of Jerusalem.
Har Herzl is the national cemetery and the Jerusalem military cemetery. It is more than that, however, as memorials have been added which honor Jewish heroism, victims of terror, and soldiers who were missing in action.
The Chamber of the Holocaust is the oldest museum dedicated to the commemoration of the horrors of the holocaust. This museum was built in 1949 by Holocaust survivors. It is located on Mount Zion, known in Hebrew as Har Tzion, just outside the old city of Jerusalem.
The broad wall protected the ancient city of Jerusalem from Assyria during the first temple period. Built initially by Hezekiah to fortify the city, it was rebuilt by Nehemiah when he rebuilt the second temple.
Shai Agnon’s house is located in the Jerusalem Talpiot neighborhood. Large sections of the house, particularly his library, have been preserved as it was. The house is also used as a small cultural center.
The Great Synagogue of Jerusalem is a beautiful building, with stained glass windows depicting biblical themes. A large mezuzah collection is on display in the foyer of the synagogue.
Gan HaTekuma is a park inside the Jewish Quarter of the old city of Jerusalem. Excavations in the park have uncovered remains of three different buildings. The park is located between the Zion Gate and Dung Gate, opposite the main parking lot in the Jewish Quarter.
The Jerusalem Archaeological Park includes the southern section of the western wall as well as the southern retaining wall of the temple mount, in addition to the excavations alongside these walls. The Davidson Center, located in an ancient Umayyad palace, has a museum which provides additional information, displays, and context for the archaeological garden.
The Wolfson Museum of Jewish Art has a collection of antique Jewish artifacts from Jewish communities around the world. These include Chanuka menorahs, miniature models of synagogues made of matchsticks, a display on Jewish holiday customs from various countries, and a display of Jewish ceremonial art for birth and wedding ceremonies.
The Ariel Center for the History of the First Temple Period has three exhibits.
The first illustrates life in the first temple period. It shows the development the Hebrew characters and writing. This exhibit contains ancient inscriptions from the 7th and 8th centuries BCE. It also shows copies of archaeological findings, such as a plaque engraved with the Priestly blessing, as well as models of a burial cave.
The museum of underground prisoners commemorates the Jewish political prisoners in the time period leading up to the establishment of Israel. These prisoners were active in the Haganah, Lehi (also known as the Stern Group), and Irgun underground groups. The prison depicts the lives of the prisoners and tells their life stories.