Yad Vashem was established by the Israeli Parliament in 1953 as a memorial for almost six million Jews who passed away during the Holocaust. Among several divisions of Yad Vashem are the historical museum presenting an overview of the period, and the art museum, which displays works depicting Jewish life during those trying times. The Avenue of the Righteous commemorates those who helped to rescue Jews.
The Israel Museum is one of the largest archaeological and art museums in the country. Most of the objects that have been found during archaeological excavations around the country are stored and archived here. There are various sections in the museum such as the Shrine of The Book, Second Temple Model, European and Israeli art section and the Jewish Ceremonial Art Section; all these various sections will give you a deep insight into Jewish culture. Besides, the educational programs, lectures, artistic events and guided tours held here give you a broader perspective of the Jewish history and culture.
One of the most important religious places in the world, the Old City of Jerusalem has a place of reverence in multiple cultures and faiths of the world. Covering about 90 hectares (222.40 acres) within Jerusalem as we know it today, this ancient site lies within fortified walls that were built in the 16th Century by Ottoman rulers. Categorized into four distinct precincts - Armenian, Christian, Jewish and Muslim Quarters, the Old City, it is believed, has always had protective walls around it since ancient times. Not only are these walls a testimony of advanced architectural skills of that generation, but they also highlight aesthetic values that are reflected in the intricate artwork and motifs that feature within them. Within these fabled walls lie some 200 historic monuments including the Western Wall, The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Dome of the Rock, al-Aqsa Mosque and Temple Mount, collectively steeped in a heritage that transcends time and cultures.
For short-term travelers seeking a fascinating look at Israeli culture or long-term residents hoping to strike a bargain, this crowded, yet inviting market is a meaningful experience. Fresh, inexpensive produce is in abundance but the market's specialties include colorful spices, pre-made salads and spreads and newly baked pastries. Rumor has it that the bakery stall, 'Marzi-Pan,' makes the world's best ruggalah (rolled chocolate pastries). Finding the centrally located market is a breeze. Finding the best route out of its maze of lanes may require some keen navigation skills.
If you love to bird watch or are interested in birds and wildlife, then a trip to the Jerusalem Bird Observatory is what you need. Boasting of an active ringing station, the bird observatory sees all kinds of Israeli birds coming here to feed. Besides bird watching, one can also watch a few nature movies and learn more about bird migration and bird banding. Various workshop for beginners on sketching, photography and bird watching are also held here. Special guided tours for large groups, school children and corporates can also be organized by the staff. Not only are the admission prices reasonable but the Jerusalem Bird Observatory is also great place to bring along your children.
Built by Hezekiah in the 7th Century BCE, Hezekiah's Tunnels or Siloam Tunnel is beneath the City of David and is a wonderful tour for those who love history with a bit of adventure. The chronicles of this tunnel is mentioned in the Bible. The underpass was built to protect Jerusalem's water from the Assyrian raid and to bring the supply to the west of the City of David, thereby completely cutting off the water flow to the Assyrians. This ancient shaft was undiscovered for centuries and was only discovered in the 19th Century by Captain Charles Warren. It seems that there was a team of two digging teams at either ends of the tunnel. They carried out the digging by listening to the other's pickaxes and finally met at the middle. Marvel at this story as you explore this long passage while wading through the water. Narrow pathways, wet steps, ancient surroundings and stories that aren't just folklore, Hezekiah's Tunnels is indeed an interesting part of Jerusalem's history.
The first chapel here commemorated the early Christian martyr, Menas of Egypt. It was dedicated by Lady Bassa of Rome, who came to the Holy Land in 444 A.D. with the empress Eudokia. The present structure was built by Armenian Christians between 1142 and 1165. In the courtyard, notice the elaborately carved crosses. Inside, don't miss the tortoiseshell and mother-of-pearl inlaid doors to the chapels of St James (brother of Jesus and first bishop of Jerusalem), and the throne of the Armenian Orthodox Patriarch. The mid-afternoon vesper service at 3pm is often accompanied by the world-famous Armenian Patriarchate Choir.
Situated close to its precursor Gallery Anadiel, this new institution is geared towards local youth, providing a variety of workshops including drawing, photography and drama. The foundation has frequent exhibitions which reflect the workshop participants' learning experiences. These exhibitions are not aimed at the public, but those with an interest in art and education are welcome to visit the center. Such a visit provides an opportunity to discuss art with the participants and see vibrant works in progress by youngsters at the center.
Begin the 9 kilometere hike at Moshav Bar Giora and walk 100 metres beyond the entrance. This hike is chock-full of historical sites beginning with Ein Hod, a 40 metre tunnel and Bet Abtar, a crusader fortress atop a hill 678 metres above sea level. Two other large structures along the route include the 50 X 70metres Te'omim Cave and the Hirbet el-Omadan, a group of Byzantine buildings with mosaic floors and olive oil extraction posts. The hike ends at Moshav Zanoah with bus service to Jerusalem.
This colorful gallery has works on display by many of Israel's most celebrated Zionist artists. Permanent collections include works by Abel Pann, Ludwig Blum and Meir Alexrod. The works focus on portraits of ultra-Orthodox Jews and biblical scenes, as well as still life paintings. All the work is connected to Israel and Judaism in one form or another. Some oil paintings are for sale, transactions of which are arranged by appointment. Small prints are also for sale.
Constructed over a period of close to 2000 years, the caves of Maresha and Bet-Guvrin offer an insight into the cultural and historical influences that shaped the lives of those who resided within the ancient cities of Maresha and Beit Guvrin. Spread across the chalk hills of the Lower Judea, these man-made caves originated as a result of quarrying, and were later transformed into oil presses, underground water cisterns, stables, baths, tombs and were utilized for various other purposes. The caves can be divided in to distinct complexes, composed of numerous caves interlinked by passages carved into the rock. The caves have been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, and is currently managed by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority as a part of the Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park.
Enjoy a glimpse of Jerusalem’s nightlife as you participate in a pub crawl with Abraham Tours. Not only does the knowledgeable tour guide take you to various lively bars, pubs and clubs, but participants also enjoy a number of other perks including free shots, admission to the hip spots via VIP entrances as well as special offers on drinks. Patrons get the chance to visit iconic nightspots that are often missed by visitors on the tourist trail as well as interact with locals and other tourists alike. If you want to experience nightlife the way the locals do, then certainly book your spot for the Jerusalem Pub Crawl.