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The Old City of Jerusalem

The Old City of Jerusalem, a prime destination for visitors coming to tour Israel, occupies an important place in the hearts and minds of Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. From the Western Wall, the focal point of Jewish hopes and prayers, to Islamic Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aksa Mosque atop the Temple Mount and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, a tour of Jerusalem's old city helps understand the unique need for coexistence amongst Jerusalem's religiously diverse residents.

The Old City from Above

A great way to jumpstart any tour of the Old City is with a climb to the top of the Tower of David, which provides a panoramic view of the Old City of Jerusalem. This global view is particularly helpful for a family tour, as walking through the Old City of Jerusalem can prove challenging when traveling with the elderly or very young. Another great way to see the Old City from above is to walk along the ramparts of the Old City walls, offering a view into each of the four quarters.

A Family Tour of the Four Quarters

Entering the Old City through Jaffa Gate leads directly into the Arab market, known as the shuk or souk. The market is always bustling with activity and is a logical starting point for any tour of the Old City's four quarters. The Arab and Christian quarters of the Old City are located to the left of the shuk; while the Jewish and Armenian quarters are to the right of the market, and each offer a unique atmosphere and character.

A Bar Mitzvah Tour of the Old City of Jerusalem

Paying a visit to the Western Wall is an especially profound experience during a bar/bat Mitzvah trip or Jewish Heritage journey to Israel. The Western Wall, also known as the Kotel in Hebrew, is a holy destination for the Jewish people, and often used as the site for visiting bar mitzvah celebrations. Girls also make bat mitzvah pilgrimages to the Wall, although given the site’s delineation as an Orthodox synagogue, girls can’t read the Torah at the Kotel. Yet it is here, among the sea of Orthodox men dressed in traditional black garb that the sounds of prayer and the air of holiness translate into the true mood of the holy city of Jerusalem. The crevices of the Western Wall are open to all, filled with notes and slips of paper from every kind of visitor, including U.S. President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict XVI.

Related Links

* Israel Tours
* Bar / Bat Mitzvah Tours
* Jewish Heritage Tours

Israel Tours