Temperature
01/05/2017
17ºC
4.7km/h

Paths And Trails

The Mount of Olives

The Mount of Olives
The Mount of Olives

The Mount of Olives proudly dominates the Old City from the east, with its peak representing an outstanding viewpoint, sometimes considered a doorway to heaven and connected to the judgment day.  Various churches, mosques and burial sites were built on it, in celebration of different events and religious beliefs.

 

Trail’s Nature and Stations

 

The Mount of Olives Trail is one of the most enjoyable ones and is considered a basic trail, since one can see the Old City as one complete, yet varied unit. This trail can provide a number of sub-trails where the visitor sees a wide range of buildings, archaeologicalsites and interesting locations.

 

The Mount of Olives is between 2 and 3 kilometers from the Old City, and hence, it is for young and active site seers and can be considered a hiking trip. For those who wish to reduce the time and effort, a vehicle can be used, with parking space available for cars and buses at the various stations. It can also be accessed by public transportation, using Bus Line 75 from Bab al-‘Amud (Damascus Gate) station on Sultan Suleiman Street, or using the shared taxi service across from Bab al-Sahira (Herod’s Gate). ‘Egged’ bus system can also be used (Lines 9, 23, 26, 28) to the Hebrew University campus, then walking to the Jerusalem viewpoint and on to al-Muttala’ Hospital (Augusta Victoria), the first station of this trail. The trail head is located at the top of the mountain at al-Muttala’ complex, and the trail commences south through Rabi’a al-‘Adawiyyah street towards the Gethsemane Church, the burial site of Mujir al-Din al-Hanbali, the historian of Jerusalem and Hebron, and St. Mary’s Church.

 

The trail’s stations are:

 

1- Al-Muttala’ Hospital (Augusta Victoria)

2- Salman al-Farisi Mosque

3- Ascension Dome Mosque

4- Al-Zawiya al-Asa’diyya

5- Elona Church / al-Zaituna

6- The Seven Arches Hotel Panorama Point

7- Church of Dominus Flevit (The Lord Wept)

8- Gethsemane Church (Basilica of Agony)

9- St. Mary’s Church (Mary’s Tomb)

10- Mujir al-Din in al-Hanbali Tomb

 

Introduction

 

Mountain Peaks and Religious Events

 

Mountains have always attracted individuals and groups, and many mountain tops were connected to events that rendered them holy sites for religions and beliefs, due to the fact that they were venues for critical events in the history and soul of some societies and civilizations. It seems that the height of mountains, their geological formations,  the fact that they are closer to the clouds and the sky, and being associated with the believe that God is there, rendered these high places ideal for religious connection.

 

The Holy Land is full of mountains connected to important events, including Mount Tabor near Nazareth, Mount Carmel near Haifa, Mount Jirzim near Nablus, and Mount Nibo near Madaba. The three Abrahamic monotheistic faiths connect the Holy Land mountains either to prophets receiving instructions and the holy scripture from God, or to prophets ascending to the heavens from high places. Moses received the commandments on Mount Sinai, Jesus Christ ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives, and Prophet Mohammad passed over to Jerusalem to ascend from the Rock of al-Aqsa Mosque.

 

Mount of Olives Peaks (Sections)

 

The Mount of Olives is located east of the Old City of Jerusalem and extends from north to south of the city, comprising a number of peaks over 3.5 kilometers, namely, Jabal al-Masharef (Mount Scopus, 826 meters) where al-‘Isawiyya village and the Hebrew University are located, Jabal al-Tur (816 meters), which hosts a large number of churches, mosques, monuments, and hospitals like al-Maqased and al-Muttala’, and Batn al-Hawa Mount (746 meters), where Ras al-‘Amud and the eastern part of Silwan are. Many people do not realize that this is part of the Mount of Olives.

 

Names and their Origin

 

The Mount of Olives is the most commonly used name for this mountain, due to the large number of olive trees growing on it. This name was mentioned in the Books of the Old and New Testaments and Roman sources. In Islamic heritage books, it was known as Tur Zita, or al-Tur, a word which means the high mountain, while Zita is an Aramaic word meaning ‘olives.’ Sometimes, parts of the mountain have other names, like al-Masharef for the northern part, al-Tur for the middle part, and al-Muttala’, al-Suwaneh, and al-Hardoub for other parts.

 

Status of the Mount of Olives

 

The Mount of Olives is considered an important mountain in Jerusalem, not only due to its holy status for the three Abrahamic monotheistic religions, but due to its importance in transportation routes and the fact that its history is connected to the history and events of Jerusalem. It is separated from the city by a relatively narrow ravine and it overlooks al-Aqsa Mosque. It has been part of the Holy City’s daily life, and that of its religious and civil leaders and beliefs, especially as far as concepts like the dayof judgment are concerned. Parts of the mountain are connected to areas around it, forming, as a whole, a group of cemeteries for various religious groups (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). The Mount of Olives is considered the eastern boundary of the city, meeting visitors arriving from the eastern Jerusalem wilderness, as was the case with most travelers arriving from the east or south. Since the Mount of Olives is only 100 meters higher than the Old City, this gave it a number of interesting and irresistible viewpoints. It also enjoyed deep interest from Arab and foreign pilgrims, travelers and historians, who concentrated on its monuments as related to their religions. Among these are Schick, Beiruti, and Vincent. 

The Mount of Olives proudly dominates the Old City from the east, with its peak representing an outstanding viewpoint, sometimes considered a doorway to heaven and connected to the judgment day.  Various churches, mosques and burial sites were built on it, in celebration of different events and religious beliefs.

 

Trail’s Nature and Stations

 

The Mount of Olives Trail is one of the most enjoyable ones and is considered a basic trail, since one can see the Old City as one complete, yet varied unit. This trail can provide a number of sub-trails where the visitor sees a wide range of buildings, archaeologicalsites and interesting locations.

 

The Mount of Olives is between 2 and 3 kilometers from the Old City, and hence, it is for young and active site seers and can be considered a hiking trip. For those who wish to reduce the time and effort, a vehicle can be used, with parking space available for cars and buses at the various stations. It can also be accessed by public transportation, using Bus Line 75 from Bab al-‘Amud (Damascus Gate) station on Sultan Suleiman Street, or using the shared taxi service across from Bab al-Sahira (Herod’s Gate). ‘Egged’ bus system can also be used (Lines 9, 23, 26, 28) to the Hebrew University campus, then walking to the Jerusalem viewpoint and on to al-Muttala’ Hospital (Augusta Victoria), the first station of this trail. The trail head is located at the top of the mountain at al-Muttala’ complex, and the trail commences south through Rabi’a al-‘Adawiyyah street towards the Gethsemane Church, the burial site of Mujir al-Din al-Hanbali, the historian of Jerusalem and Hebron, and St. Mary’s Church.

 

The trail’s stations are:

 

1- Al-Muttala’ Hospital (Augusta Victoria)

2- Salman al-Farisi Mosque

3- Ascension Dome Mosque

4- Al-Zawiya al-Asa’diyya

5- Elona Church / al-Zaituna

6- The Seven Arches Hotel Panorama Point

7- Church of Dominus Flevit (The Lord Wept)

8- Gethsemane Church (Basilica of Agony)

9- St. Mary’s Church (Mary’s Tomb)

10- Mujir al-Din in al-Hanbali Tomb

 

Introduction

 

Mountain Peaks and Religious Events

 

Mountains have always attracted individuals and groups, and many mountain tops were connected to events that rendered them holy sites for religions and beliefs, due to the fact that they were venues for critical events in the history and soul of some societies and civilizations. It seems that the height of mountains, their geological formations,  the fact that they are closer to the clouds and the sky, and being associated with the believe that God is there, rendered these high places ideal for religious connection.

 

The Holy Land is full of mountains connected to important events, including Mount Tabor near Nazareth, Mount Carmel near Haifa, Mount Jirzim near Nablus, and Mount Nibo near Madaba. The three Abrahamic monotheistic faiths connect the Holy Land mountains either to prophets receiving instructions and the holy scripture from God, or to prophets ascending to the heavens from high places. Moses received the commandments on Mount Sinai, Jesus Christ ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives, and Prophet Mohammad passed over to Jerusalem to ascend from the Rock of al-Aqsa Mosque.

 

Mount of Olives Peaks (Sections)

 

The Mount of Olives is located east of the Old City of Jerusalem and extends from north to south of the city, comprising a number of peaks over 3.5 kilometers, namely, Jabal al-Masharef (Mount Scopus, 826 meters) where al-‘Isawiyya village and the Hebrew University are located, Jabal al-Tur (816 meters), which hosts a large number of churches, mosques, monuments, and hospitals like al-Maqased and al-Muttala’, and Batn al-Hawa Mount (746 meters), where Ras al-‘Amud and the eastern part of Silwan are. Many people do not realize that this is part of the Mount of Olives.

 

Names and their Origin

 

The Mount of Olives is the most commonly used name for this mountain, due to the large number of olive trees growing on it. This name was mentioned in the Books of the Old and New Testaments and Roman sources. In Islamic heritage books, it was known as Tur Zita, or al-Tur, a word which means the high mountain, while Zita is an Aramaic word meaning ‘olives.’ Sometimes, parts of the mountain have other names, like al-Masharef for the northern part, al-Tur for the middle part, and al-Muttala’, al-Suwaneh, and al-Hardoub for other parts.

 

Status of the Mount of Olives

 

The Mount of Olives is considered an important mountain in Jerusalem, not only due to its holy status for the three Abrahamic monotheistic religions, but due to its importance in transportation routes and the fact that its history is connected to the history and events of Jerusalem. It is separated from the city by a relatively narrow ravine and it overlooks al-Aqsa Mosque. It has been part of the Holy City’s daily life, and that of its religious and civil leaders and beliefs, especially as far as concepts like the dayof judgment are concerned. Parts of the mountain are connected to areas around it, forming, as a whole, a group of cemeteries for various religious groups (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). The Mount of Olives is considered the eastern boundary of the city, meeting visitors arriving from the eastern Jerusalem wilderness, as was the case with most travelers arriving from the east or south. Since the Mount of Olives is only 100 meters higher than the Old City, this gave it a number of interesting and irresistible viewpoints. It also enjoyed deep interest from Arab and foreign pilgrims, travelers and historians, who concentrated on its monuments as related to their religions. Among these are Schick, Beiruti, and Vincent.