Via Dolorosa#12 in Best Things To Do in Jerusalem
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- 0.0Food Scene
Flanking the northwest corner of Temple Mount lies Via Dolorosa, which translates to "way of sorrows." This passageway led Jesus from Pontius Pilate's sentencing to Golgotha, where the crucifixion is believed to have taken place. While Christian hymns depict this road as quiet and lined with olive trees, today's Via Dolorosa can oftentimes feel crowded and noisy as it brims with ancient stone buildings and souvenir shops. The street leads to many notable sites (all of which are marked) that Jesus passed, including the Praetorium, where he was sentenced, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where he is believed to have been laid to rest.
To make the most of your walk down the Via Dolorosa, recent travelers suggest wearing comfortable shoes. And according to one TripAdvisor user, it "doesn't really take too long to walk down the entire way […] but is really important to have a knowledgeable tour guide who will explain the significance of every station."
Via Dolorosa is open at all hours, and you don't have to pay to explore it. You can learn more about Via Dolorosa (as well as guided tours) on the Israeli Ministry of Tourism website.
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#1 Old City
Chances are that you'll spend much of your time here. The Old City is home to many of Jerusalem's most sought-after attractions, including the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and Temple Mount. Originally built by King David in 1004 B.C., the walled Old City comprises four distinct areas: the Jewish Quarter (or the Cardo), the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, and the Armenian Quarter. Each quarter exudes its own unique atmosphere, with religious sites, shops, and food offerings reflecting its respective heritage. Yet the Old City's winding alleyways and ancient stone plazas allow mixing and mingling among these cultures, making a very eclectic environment.
It's easy to lose yourself (both metaphorically and geographically) in the Old City, but make sure you devote some attention to its boundaries. You can access the Old City from seven entryways: the New Gate, Damascus Gate, Herod's Gate, Lions' Gate, Dung Gate, Zion Gate, and Jaffa Gate. Each doorway marks a significant era of Jerusalem's history. For example, Jaffa Gate is where the Tower of David (the city's primary defense point) can be found.
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