The Zionist movement is named after Mt. Zion, the site of King David’s tomb outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.
The Old City is divided into four quarters: Jewish, Moslem, Christian and Armenian. The wall surrounding it is four kilometers long and has ten gates. The Jewish Quarter is accessible from the Zion Gate and Dung Gate; the marketplace is in close proximity to the Jaffa Gate and Damascus Gate.
Jerusalem’s Old City has many attractions including: the Western Wall and Western Wall Tunnels, Church of the Holy Sepulcher and Tower of David Museum.
West Jerusalem is abounding with hotels, restaurants, clubs, and shopping malls; it has over 1,500 parks and public gardens and many charming residential neighborhoods.
Jerusalem has more than 2,000 archaeological sites, sixty museums, and seventy cultural centers.
The Mount of Olives has around 150,000 graves dating back to the 15th Century. Jerusalem is the focal point of the Pesasch, Shavuot and Sukkoth festivals.
There’s much to know about Jerusalem, and a whole lot more to be seen, but we’ve collected for you a few funny and interesting facts about Jerusalem:
- Jerusalem is not just a city; it’s not just brick, stone, and mortar. There are about 80 real live people in Israel today who go by the name of Jerusalem. And no, they don’t all actually live within Jerusalem, but rather only about 8 of them.
- Since the days of old, Jerusalem has known quite a few conquests, wars, and campaigns. Actually, from the days of King David and up until our time, Jerusalem had been conquered an astonishing 40 times. Out of these 40 conquests, it had been taken over from the North for 39 times, and only once had it been taken over from the East.
- The Western Wall Tunnels are home to one of the heaviest stones in the Middle East, a stone weighing about 570 tons. It would be prudent to avoid trying to lift that stone with your bare hands should you stumble upon it.
- The British Military Cemetery actually has a plot bearing the name of one William Shakespeare, who was a British soldier.
- The Simpsons dedicated an entire episode to the Jerusalem Syndrome as Homer Simpson, upon visiting the holy city, was inflicted by it.
- Spread throughout Jerusalem, there are olive trees over 800 years of age.
- In 1912 it was suggested that the Pope’s residence will be transferred from Rome to Jerusalem.
- Jerusalem boasts about 60 different museums and over 2,000 archeological sites.
- Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon, had visited Jerusalem and the Southern Wall in the 1970s, and had actually said he found it just as thrilling to visit there and to walk the same stairs Jesus had walked 2,000 years earlier as to have set foot on the Moon.
Jerusalem is the only city in the entire world held sacred by all three major religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.