Jerusalem has been so high up on my list for so long that when Hawaiians asked me to go on a trip to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, I screamed with happiness. I was so excited to travel to one of the holiest cities in the world and experience centuries of rich culture and history.
I’m not a very religious person, and I class myself as a spiritual being preferring meditation at home over a visit to a church. I did, however, grow up in a religious household as a Christian Orthodox. My Serbian family paid respect and thanks to many saints and Sundays were considered as a sacred day. We were not allowed to do any physical work apart from prepare food and enjoy it with the family. It was lovely, and I have to admit that lazy Sunday gene is still with me to this day.
I always believed in the energy and that God is with us. Thought my spiritual practice, I have learned that the source energy is in all of us and available at any time. We can manifest our dreams and receive anything we ask for, which doesn’t fall too far behind from my initial religious teachings at home. Praying for what you want and being a good human is the core of most religions. I, however, choose to be spiritual and believe in the energy of the universe over specific church teaching.
Being in Jerusalem, I saw it as being closer to the source. A highly spiritual place that so many people find solace in. Why does it have such a turbulent past, I wondered? I know so clearly that change is the only constant, and that is inevitable to evolve and change your beliefs in specific things as you plot along with this beautiful life.
I wanted to see the streets that Jesus walked. I wanted to be present in this highly religious energetic field. It was absolutely beautiful, but I couldn’t help but feel confused with the split between the three main religions, Judaism, Islam and Christianity. I tried hard to understand our guide, but he talked really fast with broken English, which didn’t help to feel more clear. So I turned to the History.com to research and understand the history and the modern time of Jerusalem better.
Brief History of Jerusalem
According to History.com, the first settlement in Jerusalem happened during the Early Bronze Age 3500 BC. 2500 years later King David conquered the city, making it a capital of the Jewish kingdom. This was the case for almost the next 500 years where Babilionians occupied the Jerusalem sending the Jews to the exile destroying their first holly temple built by Kings son Solomon. Fast forward to 50 years after the exile, the Persian king Cyrus allowed Jews to come back to Jerusalem and build their temple.
But this wasn’t the end because in the next 200 years or in 332 B.C to be more previse The Alexander the Great took control over the city followed by Romans, Persians, Arabs, Turks, Crusaders and many others. Battles continued for the following 200 years after Alexandar the Great conquest.
Following the cities turbulent history and wars, the temple that was previously destroyed was built back by King Herod in 37 B.C which was again destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Jesus crucifixion in 30 A.D outside the city known as Golgotha back then plays one of the most critical events in Jerusalem. The crucifixion is on the site of Church of the Holy Sepulchre which back then was outside the city walls as the Church was built in 335 A.D. The Church resides in the Christian quarter in Jerusalem, and it’s considered to be the holiest Christian site in the world.
The Dome of the Rock
In 632 A.D, the Islamic prophet, Muhamed died, and the history says that he had ascended to heaven from Jerusalem. The Dome of the Rock is built on the exact spot where Muslims believe that this happened and its the oldest surviving Islamic building.
During the Crusades in the first century, the Christians turned the Dome of the Rock into a church. The Dome was later re-designated as a shrine and adjacent to it sits a silver-domed mosque called al-Aqsa.
The Western Wall
The Western Wall also is known as Wailing Wall is the ancient remnant from the Second Jewish temple. This is an essential place for Jews, and many come here to pray and cry at the site of the destroyed temple. Millions of Jews visit the wall every year, and this is considered to be the holiest place for them to pray.
The Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Dome of Rock is called the Temple Mount comprised of around 35 acres on a hill of Jerusalem. This is the holiest place in Judaism, and the legend has it that to the area date back to Abraham’s near-sacrifice of his son Isaac in Jewish scripture. The first and the second Temples were also at this spot, and it plays very hight importance for jews.
Our tour ended at the Western Wall, and it was an important day in my travels. Having visited such an important place historically and walk the streets that Jesus himself walked and many other prominent figures of our history even today will stay with me forever.
I would recommend to read up before you go so when you experience the place, you will know each and every area historical significance. The City of Jerusalem is so pretty covered with flowers and cobbled streets. We spent a day and my favourite part was exploring the old city and The Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Jerusalem is a very sacred place for so many people therefore extra care must be taken before the visit. Make sure your clothing covers your knees and shoulders and that you are respectful of everyones religion, culture and history at all times. The Jerusalem can be added to your itinerary as a day trip from Tel Aviv.
I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know in the comments below if you have been to Jerusalem or planning to visit?