Temple Mount

Today we spent a long day on the Temple Mount and in the Old City of Jerusalem.

We left our hotel at 7:15 and rode on our bus to the Temple Mount. We would not see our bus again all day. Today was a long day of walking.

Today you will only get a brief overview of what we saw. We visited so many places.

As mentioned above, our first stop was the Temple Mount.

20120912-210706.jpgThe most prominent feature on the Temple Mount is the Dome of the Rock. The Dome of the Rock is a Moslem shrine that is built over the rock where it is claimed that Mohammed ascended to heaven. The shrine was built near the end of the 7th Century A.D. This is also the traditional site for Solomon’s Temple.

20120912-211152.jpgAbout 300 feet north of the Dome of the Rock is this small dome. It is known as the Dome of the Spirits or The Dome of the Tablets. This dome stands over another proposed location of the Holy of Holies in the Temple. A third proposed location is south of the Dome of the Rock. We will not go into the discussions here.

After leaving the Temple Mount we visited Hadrian’s Arch. Hadrian was known for building arches in different places. He would have the arches built with a large opening in the middle and a smaller opening on both sides. Parts of the arch are inside buildings on both sides of the street. We visited one side that is in a chapel.

20120912-212016.jpgWhen we went back out on the street we could see the central arch.

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Hadrian’s Arch is at the beginning of the Via Dolorosa. The other end is at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

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20120912-213028.jpgVisiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was an interesting experience. The building itself is a mix match of many different architectural styles and in many places it reuses material from earlier temples or churches.

20120912-213423.jpgThe custody of the church building is divided among the Armenian, Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Syrians, Ethiopians and the Copts. Each of these denominations have their own areas that they administer. Inside the huge building is the site of Golgotha and also the tomb of Christ. The tomb of Christ is within a smaller building in the Rotunda.

After leaving the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, we walked through the Cardo area and also saw the remains of the city walls from the Hasmonean and Hezekiah periods.

After a nice lunch we visited the site of the Broad Wall.

20120912-214800.jpgThis wall was possibly built by Hezekiah as a later expansion of the city or may be the wall that was later rebuilt by Nehemiah.

We then visited two small museums. The Burnt House and the Herodian Mansion both give a glimpse into how wealthy Jews lived at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. The excavations of the Herodian Mansion are fantastic, but we were not allowed to take pictures there.

It was then on to the Western or Wailing Wall.

20120912-220248.jpgHere we had to divide our group between men and women as both have separate sections of the wall that they can visit. In the men’s section you can also see Wilson’s Arch in the tunnel area.

20120912-222819.jpgThe spaces between the stones of the wall are all filled with hand written notes or prayers. Some people believe that these petitions have a greater chance of being fulfilled.

Our last stop of the day was the Jerusalem Archaeological Park.

20120912-223336.jpgThis area encompasses the area south of the Temple Mount. Many interesting items have been, and continue to be discovered in this area. Just in the past weeks a new major find has been made in the water system.

There are many stones and walls to take pictures of in the park, but I thought I would share this little gem with you.

20120912-223719.jpgThis small little fragment of a clay tablet has writing on it in the Akkadian language. It comes from the 14th century B.C. and is considered the oldest written document found in Jerusalem.

After a long day I am looking forward to a little later start tomorrow. We will be visiting some museums tomorrow and don’t need such an early start.

Steven

For more information about the trip you can also read the following blogs by other tour members.

Ferrell’s Travel Blog

Exploring Bible Lands

Trent and Rebekah

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10 Responses to Temple Mount

  1. Glenda McDougal says:

    Almost unbelievable!! Wonderful pictures, thank you …

  2. MERLENE says:

    I AM LOVING THIS, SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE I AM RIGHT THERE WITH YOU

  3. Pingback: The Day of Pentecost | Braman's Wanderings

  4. FYI, the Dome of the Rock is not a mosque but a shrine built by Caliph abd el-Malik in 691 CE. Though it’s probably the most impressive building on the Haram (check out another interesting structure, the Dome of the Chain http://israel-tourguide.info/2013/01/17/dome-of-the-chain-on-haram-el-sharif/), the al-Aqsa mosque is the more important to Muslims, the third holiest site after Mecca and Medina.

  5. Pingback: Palm Sunday | Braman's Wanderings

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  7. Pingback: The Place of a Skull | Braman's Wanderings

  8. Pingback: Dome of the Tablets | Braman's Wanderings

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