Mount of Olives - Jerusalem Travel Information
Photos from Mount of Olives
Mount of Olives is located on the east of Jerusalem, Israel. The mountain is named after the olive trees that used to cover its slopes. Mount Olives is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims, and many religious traditions are tied to it.
Hotels in Mount of Olives
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Mount of Olives in Judaism
During the time of the first and second Temples, Mount Olives was the place where the high priest used to slaughter and burn the 'Red Cow', who's ashes purify the impure.
After the destruction of the Temple, Mount Olives remained important, and was a kind of a 'temporary replacement' to Temple Mount, during times when Jews were not allowed to enter. The mountain was where fires were lit, declaring the Jewish first day of the month and Jewish Holidays to Jews in the diaspora.
Church of All Nations - The Basilica of the Agony
The Church of All Nations is at the foot of Mount of Olives. Its real name is "The Basilica of the Agony", but since the completion of the church's construction in 1924 was done through donations collected from all around the catholic world, the name "Church of All Nations" became the name mostly used.
In this place, according to the Christian tradition, Christ prayed his last prayer, before he was turned over to the Romans by Judah.
The Russian Church of Maria Magdalene
This Russian church is dedicated to Miriam from Migdal (Maria Magdalene), who was a prostitute who reformed, and turned into Jesus' follower. Maria was the first to see Christ after he was resurrected. Though she was very close to Jesus, she was never recognized by Christianity as one of the Apostles.
The church is built in a traditional Russian style, which includes seven onion shaped domes. The church was founded in 1886 by the Tzar Alexander the Third.
Dominus Flevit Church - The cry of the Master
The meaning of the Church's name is "The cry of the Master". In this place, according to Christian tradition, Christ cried when he got to Jerusalem, and that is where is predicted the destruction of the Temple, which was indeed destroyed in the year 70 AD.
The church was built in the year of 1954 in the shape of a tear, remembering Christ's tears. The church stands on the ruins of an earlier church, from the 7th century, of which some mosaics remain until today. Today, the church is held by the Franciscan order.
From the church's window, there is a wonderful view of Temple Mount.
The ancient Hebrew cemetery
The beginning of the Mount Olives Hebrew Cemetery is during the period of the first Temple, but the tombs seen there today are from the 16th century and on.
There are two good reasons to want to be buried here. First, the view to the old city is spectacular. Second, when the Messiah arrives, all the dead will be resurrected, and since the messiah will arrive through the golden gate, then people who are buried on Mount of Olives will be 'First in line' to rise from the dead.
Many Jews saw the benefits of Mount of Olives as a burial place, and came here especially to be buried.
During the 1948 war, the cemetery was taken by the Jordanian Legion, together with the Old City of Jerusalem. The stones of the ancient tombs were used by them for construction purposes.
Among the famous people buried on Mount of Olives: Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, Boris Shatz, David Yelin, Rabbi Cook, Yoel Moshe Solomon, Menachem Begin and others.
The tomb that is today know as "Yad Absalom" is located in the Kidron valley (also known as Jehoshaphat valley), between the Mount of Olives and the Temple Mount. The tomb is dated by archaeologists to the first century AD, which apparently rejects the connection to Absalom, son of King David.
Muslim tradition links Yad Absalom to a family of pharaohs, so it is called the "Pharaoh's hat" by Muslims.
Absalom was the son of David, who refused to wait for the death of David, and tried to take his kingdom when his father was absent. With the return of David, Absalom fled, but his long hair caught in a tree during his horse ride, and he was hanging on his hair. Joab, David's army minister, arrived and finishes the job.
Absalom did not trust his sons to build a tomb for him, and therefore built a monument in his lifetime, which is what we today know as "Yad Absalom."
An old Jerusalem tradition is that fathers who want to educate their children, bring them to Yad Absalom, and throw stones at the monument, to remind kids what happened to the boys who rise against their parents.
The Tomb of the Virgin Mary
האמונה הנוצרית מצביעה על מערה הנמצאת בערוץ נחל קדרון כמקום קבורתה של מרים (מריה) אמו של ישו (קבר מרים). המערה נמצאת לא רחוק מכנסיית כל העמים. אל הקבר מובילות מדרגות היורדות אל תא קבורה תת-קרקעי בו ניתן לראות את המצבה הממוקמת על הקבר.
האמונה אומרת כי גופת מרים לא נשארה במקום, אלא עלתה לשמים מן הקבר.
הכנסיה נבנתה בתקופה הביזנטית (המאה ה-5) ושופצה בתקופה הצלבנית (המאה ה-11).