Jerusalem may be the center of one of the most long-lived conflicts of the present, but this fact defines this glorious city in the least. Jerusalem is called "al-Quds" in Arabic, which means "the sacred" or "sacred", and that is exactly what it is. It is a unique city that is central to the three Abrahamic faiths. Christians, Muslims and Jews make pilgrimages to this unique city from all over the world.
The old city of Jerusalem is well preserved and quaint, but Jerusalem has also expanded to include the new and modern one. As Jerusalem attracts pilgrims from all over the world, you can interact with and make friends with people from all walks of life.
In order to get an accurate picture of the great diversity of the city, you should try to explore it on foot. If you walk just a few minutes, you can cross the Arab Quarter into the city's Jewish Quarter. From here, the Russian site is only a few streets away, and great monuments of Christianity such as the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity are located here.
Read on for 10 of the best things to see and do in Jerusalem.
1. Visit the Dome of the Rock holy sanctuary
The golden dome of this beautiful mosque is an icon and central to the landscape of Jerusalem. At the heart of the holy sanctuary is the great stone that Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad ascended heaven on the night journey. The mosque itself was built in the 7th century AD by the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan.
The structure and shape of the Dome of the Rock is octagonal, which also makes it exceptionally striking and memorable. The beautiful blue tiles on the outside are wonderful to look at on a sunny day. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is also at the end of the sanctuary. Both mosques are still actively used for Muslim prayer, and Muslim visitors come from countries around the world to pray there.
Due to the sensitivity that surrounds the place, tourists are not allowed to enter the sanctuary most afternoons, but the mosque buildings must not be entered. However, the sanctuary itself offers a great view of the buildings and the surrounding area. Tourists should dress modestly and cover their legs and shoulders. The holy sanctuary is also known as the Temple Mount and is also sacred to the Jewish and Christian beliefs.
Faz is a mother and writer who enjoys traveling and spending time in different countries around the world. She is an enthusiast for everything cultural and linguistic and also works as a translator. [Read full bio]
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