There are many places in Jerusalem that have a special feeling of holiness, and many people – Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike – come from around the world to pray there. The Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall), is perhaps one of the most famous locations for worship in Jerusalem. This holy place was constructed over 2,500 years ago by King Herod the Great. In front of it lies an open area where many people find their private spots for prayer, reflection, or study.
All three religions share this location with deep reverence. People bring stones with them which they then place on a shelf alongside thousands of other stones in rows all along the Western Wall (some brought by Jews who traveled here from far away, others by Christians from the Holy Land, and yet others by Muslims who live in Israel).
The stones represent a prayer or wish of those people. They may ask for healing, the forgiveness of sins, safety while traveling, or any other kind of blessing. It is said that prayers are answered here even if they may be delayed.
In Jerusalem, people can also visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This church is built above the place where according to tradition Jesus was crucified and buried before his resurrection three days later. The building is comprised out of four churches: one Catholic (the center which represents around 1/3 of the edifice), one Greek Orthodox, one Armenian Apostolic, and it’s situated all right next to the Muslim’s Dome of the Rock.
The magnificence of this building can be seen in the details inside and outside, especially in the capital columns at its entrance which are full of biblical motifs like animals, mythological creatures, and other figures. The large dome (known as the “Dome of the Ascension”) is one of Jerusalem’s most recognizable landmarks. It was built on top of a hill overlooking the city by Emperor Justinian I in 542 AD. The church also contains many relics that Christians believe to be remnants from Jesus’ life including Christ’s crucifix, the table he used for communion, rock with imprints from Christ’s feet when he ascended to heaven as well as his burial shroud.
At last, all three monotheistic religions share one more important place for worship in Jerusalem: the Mount of Olives. Christians believe that the hill is where Jesus appears to his followers before his second coming on earth as written in the book of Revelation (21, 10). It’s also said a special location exists there called “Garden of Gethsemane” at which according to tradition Jesus prayed before he was arrested. The view from this spot is very beautiful and unique especially when you can see below it, with its old olive groves and fields, down all the way over to the city center, as well as up toward Herod’s the temple mount area; or you can take in views of waterfalls flowing off the slopes of Mt. Scopus or the Pool of Siloam.
In this city, there are many other places to see and feel, including the Temple Mount area with its Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque. There’s also the beautiful Rockefeller Museum which is located in a complex of buildings that were built on top of King Herod’s palace. And finally, one can’t forget seeing the old walls and towers of Jerusalem, like Jaffa Gate – also known as Damascus Gate; Lions’ Gate – traditionally believed to be where King Solomon had his throne placed; Tower of David – located inside the old walled city, just next to it lies Citadel Park (known since biblical times); or New Gate – a more recent addition to the Walls of Jerusalem.