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10 places in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is one of the most popular tourist cities. In addition to the main attractions, in the new capital of Israel there are other interesting places that are usually not included in the excursion programs …
Jerusalem is a city with almost three thousand years of history. Being at the junction of cultures, civilizations and religions, it is one of the most important cities in the world. Thousands of foreigners come here every day, and travel agencies in vain offer guided tours of the holy places. That is why by noon in the Old City of Jerusalem crowds of tourists gather, closely watching the guides flags. To feel the special energy of the holy places, visit them before eight in the morning or after sunset, and in the afternoon explore those parts of the city steeped in the spirit of antiquity where there are never “package” tourists.
Ethiopian Deir al-Sultan monastery and Coptic church
The Ethiopian monastery of Deir al-Sultan is located directly on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The tiny monks’ cells, which are white clay huts with bright green doors, were built in the middle of the 19th century. It seems that time in the monastery stopped half a century ago. The monks living here are descendants of Ethiopian Christians who appeared in Jerusalem 1,500 years ago. Many of them are friendly and willing to communicate. If you know English, they will gladly tell you the story of their life. The monastery offers a beautiful view of the Armenian Church of St. Helena and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher with its blue domes. To win over the monks, leave as a donation from 1 to 10 shekels. You can take pictures of cells, monks – only with permission. It is highly undesirable to come to the territory of the monastery in revealing clothes and be photographed against the background of cells in playful poses.
Ethiopian Deir al-Sultan monastery and Coptic church
To get into the Coptic church of the XII century, you need to exit the territory of the monastery, to overcome several low stairs and enter the small arch in the wall. Next to the entrance to the church is another arch decorated with a cross, and the ninth stop of the Way of the Cross of Jesus Christ to Calvary. From the entrance to the church you can photograph the main dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The interior of the Coptic chapel is also interesting: the icons in the “childish” style are very different from the usual Orthodox and Catholic ones.
Previously, it was possible to climb onto the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher through a door located near the main entrance, but now it has been closed off from outside visitors. There is a secret path that is still open to sophisticated travelers: the most convenient way is to face the main entrance of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, turn right and follow St. Helena Street, then round the front of the Church of Christ the Redeemer, made of pink stone, turn left into Beit Street ha-bad An inconspicuous staircase leading up is hidden between the stalls on the left. Near the stairs hanging sign “Coptic orthodox patriarchate”. To communicate with the monks, it is better to come after 8-9 o’clock in the morning.
St. Helena Tank
A visit to the Coptic church and the Ethiopian monastery can be combined with a tour of the ancient reservoir, shrouded in many legends. Archaeologists believe that the underground lake served as a reservoir in the pre-Christian period, but already 2000 years ago was abandoned. Then quarries began to be carried out here, and the lake itself turned into a dump. Now the reservoir is cleared of ancient debris and illuminated by artificial dim light, thanks to which the atmosphere of the mystery of past times reigns in the dungeon. On each sound, the stone vaults echo loudly. If you have good vocal skills, be sure to sing a medieval ballad here, a Latin prayer or any lyric song.
St. Helena Tank
The dungeon is located right in the Coptic church. The caretaker sits at the entrance to it and lets to the ancient reservoir for 5 shekels. Tour groups usually don’t come here, but private enthusiasts and guides make an exception. It is better to ask the caretaker if there is a group in the dungeon: it may be difficult to disperse from a large number of people on a narrow staircase.
Ethiopian church
In Jerusalem, there is a church belonging to the Ethiopian branch of Christianity. Religious community appeared in ancient Israel fifteen hundred years ago and has a rich history. The church building itself was built in the XIX century, but its architecture and interior decoration reflected the originality of the ancient Ethiopian culture. The church has a round shape: this is due to the fact that during the service the parishioners move in a circle around the main center. The walls inside are painted in pink, white and blue and painted with frescoes, and the old icons look like funny comics. Church services from the outside look like shamanistic rituals: smiling monks beat the drums and burn torches.A walk around the old city along the fortress wall is one of the secret tourist attractions of Jerusalem. The Israeli Ministry of Tourism deliberately does not advertise this place so that tourists will not overwhelm it, as it happened with the Great Wall of China. Walking along the ancient fence, built in the first half of the XVI century, you can see from the height of 10-15 meters all four quarters of Jerusalem and the most significant sights. The teeth of the wall are at the level of the face of an adult of medium height, the risk of falling is close to zero.
Fortress wall
It is more convenient to combine a walk along the fortress wall immediately after the inspection of the “Tower of David”. Signs with the words “Rampart Wall” will appear at the exit of the complex. In an inconspicuous room, tickets for 18 shekels are sold, and with them a prospectus is issued. In order for tourists to bypass the fortress around the perimeter of a length of 5 kilometers, one ticket is valid for two days. Be sure to save it during this time: controllers are often found on the wall. Climb to the wall is near each gate.
The Church of Christ the Redeemer and the bell tower
A tall white tower with a pyramid roof is visible from anywhere in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is the bell tower of the German Lutheran Church of Christ the Redeemer, built at the end of the XIX century. Once on this place stood the temple of Mary Latin, built in the XI century. Some fragments have survived to this day: two-story galleries, a small chapel, a northern entrance with images of the twelve signs of the zodiac. The chapel and the green courtyard, surrounded by galleries, can be accessed from the main church building. The interior of the temple is modest: there are no murals or icons. Services are held here in German and Arabic. Also, tourists of any religion can attend a concert of organ music.
The Church of Christ the Redeemer and the bell tower
Tickets for the 40-meter bell tower are sold inside the church at the entrance and cost 15 shekels. Along with the ticket, tourists are given a prospectus (available in Russian) telling about the history of the Church of Christ the Redeemer. To climb to the observation deck, you need to overcome the 178 steps of a steep spiral staircase. From the bell tower, the domes of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and Muristan Square, as well as all four religious quarters of the Old City are clearly visible.
Austrian hospice
In the heart of the colorful eastern city is located a piece of Europe. The Austrian hospice was built in the 60s of the XIX century for Christian pilgrims who fell seriously ill on the road. Later there was the residence of the Austrian ambassador, and the military hospital, and at the end of the 60s of the 20th century the hospice became a hotel. Now on its roof is equipped with an observation deck. Her love and private guides who know every corner of Jerusalem, and sophisticated independent tourists.
The cost of a hotel room with breakfast starts from 70 euros per night, while admission to the former Austrian hospice is free. You need to ring the doorbell, and when the administrator asks in English what can help, answer: “Hello! I’d like to visit an observation deck ”. The observation deck is open from 10 to 18 hours daily. The staircase to it goes out of the hospice building, so along the way you can walk along the corridors and watch respectable guests from Western Europe. At the entrance to the observation deck you need to pay 5 shekels. The best end of the tour will be a real Austrian schnitzel for dinner and strudel for dessert, which are served in the hotel cafe.
Ultra-orthodox quarter Mea Shearim
In Mea Shearim, the ultra-orthodox quarter of Jerusalem, time stopped two centuries ago: this is exactly what Jewish ghettos looked like in the cities of Western Europe in the 18th-19th centuries. The inhabitants of the quarter, the ultra-Orthodox Jews, unconditionally observe all religious traditions and carefully preserve the traditions of their ancestors. They fundamentally do not enjoy the benefits of technological progress and do not recognize the state of Israel. All events in Mea Shearim ultra-Orthodox are recognized from the wall newspapers with which all the fences and walls of houses are plastered. Buildings throughout the quarter, built 150 years ago, were preserved in their original form: only pipes and electric wires were brought to the wall of houses.
Ultra-orthodox quarter Mea Shearim
Mea Shearim should definitely be visited by anyone interested in the cultures of different nations. The most convenient way is to walk from the Jaffa Gate using the navigator – the journey will take no more than 15 minutes. To avoid conflict with the ultra-Orthodox, you need to come to Mea Shearim in closed clothes. Women are best to wear a plain skirt that covers the knees, a sweater with sleeves on the buttons and a scarf on the head, men – dark pants and a shirt. Residents of the quarter have a negative attitude towards jeans, T-shirts with inscriptions, bare areas of the body and the absence of headgear. Taking pictures in Mea Shearim is not prohibited, but it is undesirable to do so.

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