Located on the eastern store of the Mediterranean Sea, you will find the city of Jerusalem in Israel, which is surrounded by many different countries in the Middle East. Although Israel is relatively small, the region offers a great deal of diversity on the geographic level. In this article, you will learn more about a location in Israel that possesses a significant religious history , Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is a holy city that is important to the history of Christians, Muslims, and Jews. According to the Old Testament of the Bible, Jerusalem has been the holiest city (in regards to the Judaic faith) since King David of Israel initially established it as a capital in about 1000 BCE. It was there that his son Solomon commissioned the construction of the First Temple in the city. The Christians identified with Jerusalem as a holy city since 30 CE when Jesus was crucified , according to the New Testament.
Some adherents of the Islamic faith view Jerusalem as one of their holiest cities with a connection to Muslim prayers that date back to 610 CE. There are accounts that suggest Muhammad made his ‘Night Journey’ to Jerusalem in the following years.
A Colorful History
The long history of Jerusalem has also been marked by the ups and downs of war, religion, and politics. It has actually been destroyed on two occasions and was besieged 23 times. It has undergone 52 attacks, and has been captured and recaptured 44 times. The oldest part of the city dates back to the 4th millennium BCE, which makes Jerusalem one of the oldest cities in the world. Because of this, the old walled city has been given the status of a World Heritage Site. Tradition has separated the city into four quarters that represents the Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Armenians. This practice emerged in the early 19th century.
Important Sites in Jerusalem
The Old City of Jerusalem is home to many different sites that possess a deep cultural meaning to a variety of religious groups. They include the following:
In Judaism, Temple Mount is one of the most important religious places for the people. It is regarded as the place where God chose the Divine Presence to rest where the world would expand into the form it is now, and where God gathered the dust used to create the first man , Adam. Temple Mount is also connected to two mountains that appear in the Bible: Mount Moriah (where the binding of Isaac took place) and Mount Zion (where the original Jebusite fortress was placed). This site stood for not only a religious center, but also supported the government and politics of the time.
The Western Wall
Also known as the Wailing Wall, the Western Wall is found at the foot of the western side of the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. The site offers a look at the ancient wall that once surrounded the Jewish Temple’s courtyard. It is considered one of the most sacred sites in Judaism outside of the Temple Mount itself. A little more than half of the wall (with some portions located under the street level) dates back to the Second Temple period that was built around 19 BCE by Herod the Great.
The wall has attracted many as it was a site for Jewish prayer and pilgrimage for centuries. An early account dating back to the 4th century links the Jews to the sacred site. Over the years, the Wall has been at the center of various conflicts between the Jewish community and Muslims who both make claims to the site.