Religious Places to Visit in Jerusalem

Exploring Israel

Which Religious Places to Visit in Jerusalem? So here are all the religious key sites in the Holy City and much more! For more click here! So in this post, we will get to know Jerusalem better. You can see this post as a little introduction to the city; before you come to visit the holy city. Situated on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world; and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Religious Places to Visit in Jerusalem

During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice; besieged 23 times; captured and recaptured 44 times, and attacked 52 times The part of Jerusalem called the City of David shows the first signs of settlement in the 4th millennium BCE; in the shape of encampments of nomadic shepherds. Jerusalem was named Urusalim on ancient Egyptian tablets; probably meaning “City of Shalem” after a Canaanite deity; during the Canaanite period (14th century BCE).

Religious Places to Visit in Jerusalem: The Israelite Period

During the Israelite period, significant construction activity in Jerusalem began in the 9th century BCE (Iron Age II); and in the 8th century, the city developed into the religious and administrative center of the Kingdom of Judah. In 1538, the city walls were rebuilt for the last time around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent. Today those walls define the Old City; which has been traditionally divided into four quarters. In other words, the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters. The Old City became a World Heritage Site in 1981. Since 1860 Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old City’s boundaries; the very first neighborhood outside the old city and thus marking Modern Jerusalem.

According to the Bible, King David conquered the city from the Jebusites and established it as the capital of the united kingdom of Israel; and his son, King Solomon, commissioned the building of the First Temple. Modern scholars argue that Jews branched out of the Canaanite peoples and culture through the development of a distinct monolatrous, and later monotheistic, religion centered on El/Yahweh. These foundational events; straddling the dawn of the 1st millennium BCE; assumed central symbolic importance for the Jewish people.

The Holy City in Christianity and Islam

So the holiness of Jerusalem in Christianity conserved in the Septuagint which Christians adopted as their own authority; was reinforced by the New Testament account of Jesus’s crucifixion there. In Sunni Islam, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city, after Mecca and Medina. Also in Islamic tradition, in 610 CE it became the first qibla. In other words, the focal point for Muslim prayer (salat), and Muhammad made his Night Journey there ten years later; ascending to heaven where he speaks to God. At least according to the Quran.

As a result, despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometers (0.35 sq mi); the Old City is home to many sites of seminal religious importance; among them the Temple Mount with its Western WallDome of the Rock, and al-Aqsa Mosque; and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Outside the Old City stands the Garden Tomb.

Religious Places to Visit in Jerusalem: The Holy City Today 

Today, the status of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and later annexed by Israel while East Jerusalem; including the Old City; was captured and later annexed by Jordan. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it into Jerusalem, together with the additional surrounding territory.

Furthermore, one of Israel’s Basic Laws, the 1980 Jerusalem Law; refers to Jerusalem as the country’s undivided capital. All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem; including the Knesset (Israel’s parliament); the residences of the Prime Minister (Beit Aghion) and President (Beit HaNassi); and the Supreme Court. While the international community rejected the annexation as illegal and treats East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory occupied by Israel; Israel has a stronger claim to sovereignty over West Jerusalem.


Hi! My name is Arik, an Israeli native who dedicated his life to sharing my passion for the Holy Land with those interested in knowing more about this incredible piece of land. I’m the Chief Guide at ‘APT Private Tours in Israel’.

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