The Mount of Olives in Jerusalem

September 13, 2012 by

Sightseeing, Things To Do, Top Attractions, Travel Tips

The Mount of Olives in Jerusalem

The Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Photo courtesy of israeltourism via Flickr.

Israel is filled with several priceless monuments and locations equally as important to the worlds big three religions. One such location is the site where Jesus is said to have ascended to heaven: the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Given its name for the olive groves that once inhabited the area, the Mount of Olives is now an important historical destination that now includes the most important cemetery in the Jewish faith, holding approximately 150,000 tombstones now home to deceased rabbis, writers and politicians.

One of the most troubling things about the slopes of the Mount of Olives is the recent times of discourse for the troubled area, which saw the desecration of nearly 40,000 tombstones during Jordanian rule about 70 years ago. In the ongoing conflict between Israel and its regional neighbors, the Palestinians have demanded to assume control of the area, and there has been a history of attacks on mourners in there.

Today, the Mount of Olives contains of a number of interesting landmarks attached to its stoic significance in religion, including the Arab neighborhood of At-Tur, located at the mountains summit. Then there is the Church of All Nations, also known as the Basilica of the Agony, where Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest, and the beautiful Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene.

In order to get there; make sure to take a bus or taxi going to the Damascus gate of the Old City. Then, it is simply a matter of talking a right when you walk out of the gate and walking along the wall of the Old City a short time until you reach the Mount of Olives.

- John Reality

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