Mt of Olives in Jerusalem
A Magnificent, Authentic Jerusalem Gem!
Mt of olives in Jerusalem is truly a unique place, associated with Christian, Jewish and Islamic history (and is mentioned through the Old Testament and the New Testament). Situated near Mount Scopus in east Jerusalem, the nearly 3,000 foot hill is named for the many olive trees that once covered it. The hill faces the old city of Jerusalem.
When I was a kid, we used to go there on weekends, walk around and even ride a camel (there were always many people there offering a camel ride at this location!).
What You Will See at the Mt of Olives
- Jewish Cemetery: For the past 3,000 years (including from biblical times!) the mount has been used as a Jewish cemetery. According to Jewish tradition, the Messiah will appear on mount, and thus it is considered so sacred. There are about 150,000 graves on the mount, including those believed to be of Jewish biblical prophets such as Zechariah.
- Magnificent views of Temple Mount: Mt of olives overlooks
the Temple Mount
and the City of David. Being about 100 meters higher than the old city, it provides a truly unique angle of the Temple Mount, and actually allows a view of it from the top (so you can actually see the top of the platform). I don't believe there is any other place in Jerusalem that offers this magnificent view of temple mount, so be sure not to miss it!
- Churches and Christian Holy Sites: The most famous church on the Mt of olives is the Church of Mary Magdalene, a Russian Orthodox church. It was built in 1888 in honor of the czar's mother. There is magnificent mosaic inside the church that shows the legend of Mary Magdalene presenting an egg to the Emperor Tiberius, which then turned red, like Jesus' blood.
Other churches on the mount include the Church of the Holy Ascension, Dominus Flevit Church (where according to tradition Jesus wept over the future destruction of the city), Church of the Pater Noster (where according to tradition Jesus taught his disciples the Lords prayer), and the Church of all Nations 9see photo below, where according to the Christian tradition, Christ prayed his last prayer).
- Garden of Gethsemane: This of course is the site where it is believed that Jesus prayed just before his crucifixion.
- The Tomb of the Virgin Mary: Mary's Tomb is regarded as the burial place of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
How To Get There
By all means, take a taxi there! Nowadays, it became a bit harder to get to Mt of Olives, which is situated in East Jerusalem. You safest bet is simply to take a taxi. There will be plenty of taxis there waiting to take you back, so don't worry about that. The cab fee shouldn't be too high if you take it from the city center (I would estimate about 40 NIS (about $10).
Oh, and don't forget to take that camel ride. You won't regret it, and it is really a good opportunity (there aren't that many camels in Israel as some would think!).
Return from Mt of Olives to Jerusalem Travel (Top 10 Attractions)
Return to Homepage