The Mount of Olives

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by phileasfogg on July 4, 2002

The Mount of Olives lies in East Jerusalem and is stop #1 for anyone keen on churches- this is where they all are. A low hill, covered with cypresses and olive trees, it’s traversed by a quiet road which meanders its way up, past historic churches, to the top, from where you can look out over Jerusalem. It’s a must-do for any Christian pilgrim, more so because this tranquil mount has many associations with the Bible: Jesus entered Jerusalem- on Palm Sunday- by coming down the road along the mount; this is where the Garden of Gethsemane was- and still is, and this is where he ascended into heaven.

A short walk from Nablus Road- where we were staying- brought us to the first of the churches on the Mount of Olives. This is the Church of All Nations, with its beautifully crafted mosaic façade and its multiple domes. It’s been built from donations by countries from across the world, hence the name. The Church of all Nations is also known as the Basilica of the Agony, for this is where Christ prayed- in the garden of Gethsemane, next door. They say that the eight gnarled old olive trees in the grove are the same ones which stood here during the days of Christ.

Higher up on the Mount of Olives is the golden-domed Church of Mary Magdalene, and the unusual black-and-white tear-shaped building of the Sanctuary of Dominus Flevit (`He Wept’- an allusion to Jesus’ weeping when he saw the city of Jerusalem). The latter, in particular, was a beautifully quiet place to sit for a while- very serene and peaceful.

You can walk further up the Mount of Olives if you wish- the view from the top is a stunning one, and it’s a great place to take photographs of the Old Walled City of Jerusalem.

Mount of Olives
Mount of Olives Road
Jerusalem, Israel
Not applicable

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