Jerusalem inside the city Ottoman walls is a mere square kilometer, yet it embraces the hearts of more than half the inhabitants of the globe. The dynasties that ruled it over the ages have expressed this relationship with timeless and immortal structures; the Church of the Holy Sepulcher depicts the dawn of Christianity, and has been complemented by hundreds of churches and convents over the past seventeen centuries, some of which continue to exist, others were reduced to antiquity, which still attracts visitors. Whether existing or are relics of the past, they continue to store within them the religious heritage, faith, and the recurrence of events. The Via Dolorosa, with its churches, convents, and archaeological sites represents a unique artistic spiritual experience unmatched by any other. What is exciting about the Christianity of Jerusalem is it diversity, with every significant Christian sect in the world enjoying a presence and an impact on the city. Seeingthe various Christian denominations represented in the city, the visitor is transported from the world's east to west and back; from Catholicism with all its colors, to the Orthodox Church with its various forms, to the Lutheran church and its modernism. The visitor travels among Germans, Austrians, British, Scottish, Russian, Greek, Egyptian, Ethiopian, French, Italian, Serbs, Iraqi, Syrian, etc. The list is endless. Undoubtedly, Jerusalem is the only place to host all these people in one tight enclave.
Not far from the Holy Sepulcher, the Dome of the Rock stands high and proud. Considered the oldest Islamic structure remains standing until this day, and continues to be considered one of the most beautiful structures of the world. The Noble Sanctuary (al-Haram al-Sharif), with its mosques, gardens, gates, open spaces, and surrounding buildings, represents a unique complex of building which grew over a period of fourteen centuries. The Sanctuary, with its structure and the spiritual experience it embodies, is unmatched throughout the Muslim world.Walking around the perimeter of the Holy Sanctuary, in the neighborhoods that developed throughout the Mamluk period (13thto 15thcenturies), with its high-façade ornamented and colorful buildings, takes the visitor to the heart of the middle ages' educational centers, and showcases a host of Sufi and worship institutions.
A visit to the Western Wall (al-Buraq) represents another outstanding experience, with thousands of followers of the Jewish religion praying at the foot of the Wall. The numbers of the faithful increase on Friday and Saturday evenings every week, and reach their peak during Jewish holidays. Visiting the Jewish neighborhood of Mea Shearim, a bare 300 meters north west of the Old City, the visitor will delve into the heart of the religiously and socially conservative Judaism, as well as witnessing the tight and crowded buildings.It is also exciting to visits the fortifications of Jerusalem, with its grand citadel. Jerusalem is considered one of very few cities of the world that preserved its medievalwalls intact, although development extended outside the city walls over one and a half centuries ago.
Doubtlessly, a visit to the markets of the city remains an unmatched experience. Most of these 'souqs' go back to the Roman era, while the rest prospered during different Islamic and Crusader eras. Walking through the souqs of Jerusalem, a visitor smells the aromas of the scents, incense and spices of the orient, and is transferred to the Arab city of the middle centuries. Indeed, one must observe the peddler women squatting along the souq sides, selling their vegetables and other village products, wearing their traditional hand-embroidered dresses from the surrounding villages.Only Jerusalem (al-Quds) offers you the whole range of religious garb from the three monotheistic religions.