Showing posts with label Jerusalem. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jerusalem. Show all posts

Cramim Resort & Spa with Susan Loves Israel

Escape from the hustle and bustle of city life to the wine country of the Judean Hills and treat yourself to an incredible five star resort & spa experience at CRAMIM, located only 15 minutes from Jerusalem. Indulge in a unique vinotherapy treatment, sample the wine bar's delicious locally produced wines and breath in the region's pure mountain air from the balcony of your spacious room!

Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem with Susan Loves Israel

Located in the heart of Jerusalem, the five star Inbal Hotel within walking distance to the Old City will cater to your travel needs. Choose from it's executive rooms, spacious suites or family units that will accommodate up to 6 persons. The property's state-of-the-art facilities & large swimming pool open year round, will insure a perfect & relaxing experience!   

Mamilla Hotel, Jerusalem with Susan Loves Israel

Envision yourself in Jerusalem's centrally located, five star Mamilla Hotel with it's understated elegant decor.  Highlights of the property are the holistic spa, indoor swimming pool, vegan cafe & rooftop restaurant with a spectacular view of the Old City!

The David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem with Susan Loves Israel

Enjoy the stunning views of Jerusalem's Old City from the family friendly 5 star elegant David Citadel Hotel located within walking distance of the Western Wall and experience firsthand the property's outstanding personal service!

Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Jerusalem with Susan Loves Israel

Experience the newest 5 star hotel in Jerusalem with Susan Loves Israel and see why this luxurious property has recently received the #1 hotel ranking in the Middle East from Conde Nast Traveler Readers.

The King David Hotel with Susan Loves Israel

Allow Susan Loves Israel to show you why the King David is the hotel of choice for celebrities and world leaders when staying in Jerusalem. History, tradition and elegance--the King David Hotel has it all!


Travelers to the Old City of Jerusalem can now tour the city's historical, religious and cultural sites with new self-guided digital JerusaleMP3 walking tours.

The digital tours come complete with maps and written explanations available in four languages, enriching the touring experience through the Old City. The multimedia audio tours also include video and can be operated from a smartphone or similar audio device, and are free for download.

The JerusaleMP3 tours include:

    The Jewish Quarter
    Via Dolorosa
    Jerusalem in the First and Second Temple Periods
    From Mount Zion to Jaffa Gate
    The Temple Mount Compound
    In the Footsteps of the Christian Sects
    The Herodian Quarter
    Ramparts Walk, Southern Section
    Ramparts Walk, Northern Section
    Marketplaces in the Old City

Several of the tours will also be handicapped-accessible. Color brochures detailing the tours in four languages are available at hotels, tourist sites and tourist offices around the city.

To download a JerusaleMP3 walking tour, visit 

The Jerusalem Hills

The Jerusalem hills are another region that vies for the description of the Israeli Tuscany. Unlike the original, however, the Jerusalem hills offer many secrets from a deeper past as well as fascinating nature sites and tremendous beauty all year round.

As their name indicates, the Jerusalem hills are a hilly region in the Judean mountains, with Jerusalem nestling in the middle. Seven long extensions of these hills stretch toward to the coastal plain in the west and the Jordan Valley in the east. 

The Jerusalem hills are known for their great historic importance, due to their proximity to the Holy City. Pilgrims past this way thousands of years ago, making their way to the holy sites for prayers, sacrificial offerings and just to visit; armies and many divisions of soldiers fought here, forcing their way between the mountains to the beloved city. Jews rebels from the days of the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 132 CE hid here from the Roman occupiers; and the Crusaders marched this way on their campaigns to free Jerusalem.

Today this area is dotted with urban communities (Mevaseret Tsiyon, Tsur Hadassa) and rural communities. Large areas of the Jerusalem hills are covered with natural forests and forests of planted pine trees, making this area a pleasant place to hike on hot summer days. 

This region is blessed with some 100 springs, in the valleys between the hills and on the hillsides. Most of the springs flow from cracks in rock formations and every one of them is a celebration of nature. Many of the hillsides have ancient terraces built on them, silent testimony to ancient agricultural efforts. 
Scattered among the hills are also the remains of agricultural settlements from the First Temple period (3,000 years ago); such as Khurvat Kfar Sum, farm houses and agricultural systems from the Second Temple and Roman-Byzantine periods, such as Sataf and Ein Khandak; and Crusader sites such as the Abu Gosh church, the Tsuba fortress and the Ein Khemed monastery. The Jerusalem hills also have many sites commemorating the fierce battles waged here in the 1948 War of Independence, such as the Kastel in Mevaseret Tsiyon and the Burma Road.

The many natural, historic, archeological, social and cultural sites in this large area make it an ideal and fascinating destination for tours. There are paths for hikers, roads for cars and bicycles and areas that can be reached with all-terrain vehicles. 
You can crawl through hidden tunnels, wade in the spring pools, pick sweet fruit in season, go horseback riding and take a tour of the hilltops with their magnificent views. Many of the rural communities have opened wonderful restaurants and visitors can also tour the local wineries, art galleries and studios of artist who live in this area.

Jerusalem | Filmed in Imax 3D

Jerusalem | Filmed in Imax 3D from JerusalemGiantScreen on Vimeo.

After a year of research and preparation, the giant screen film JERUSALEM advanced into production with an unprecedented aerial shoot throughout Israel and the West Bank. Scheduled for worldwide release in 2013, the film will take audiences on a spectacular tour of the Holy Land and the city once believed to lie at the centre of the world.



The ancient City of David, the original settled neighborhood of Jerusalem, has announced this week a new selection of innovative tours highlighting recent and past archeological discoveries taking place throughout the summer, including:

  • The Archaeological Experience at the Emek Tzurim National Park: Discovering the Past Hidden in the Dust: A unique exploration of the Temple Mount's glorious past, travelers will be able to sift through rubble that originated in ancient buildings atop the Temple Mount while learning about the artifacts from on-site archaeologists and guides.   
  • Tour of the biblical City of David: A tour bringing travelers through Jerusalem's biblical sites and places where the city's the most stirring, remarkable artifacts were unearthed. Tour guides will lead travelers through an impressive underground world in Warren's Shaft, the city's ancient water system, as well as an illuminated walk in the waters of the Gihon Spring that flows through Hezekiah's Tunnel.  
  • In the footsteps of the Pilgrims - New Discoveries and Revelations from the Second Temple Period: A tour leading travelers in the footsteps of the architects of the city and incorporating recent archaeological discoveries as well as the Shiloah Pool and the Herodian Road.  
  • Enchanted Jerusalem-the New Nighttime Experience at the City of David: The new evening tour of the City of David begins at the Hatzofeh lookout point emphasizing the unique, low position of the biblical City of David in comparison with Jerusalem's Old City walls. The tour will conclude with an innovative light show projected onto various antiquities, telling the story of the City of David through movement and sound.   
  • Twilight at the City of David: A magical three-hour tour in a special nighttime ambiance allowing travelers to view the city through a course of excavations including David's Palace and Hezekiah's Tunnel. The tour concludes with harp music under the ancient olive trees in the King's Garden.   
  • Following the Water to Jerusalem - Hasmonean Aqueduct Tour: A flashlight tour highlighting the two 2,000-year-old aqueducts constructed to bring water from the Pools of Solomon to the Temple Mount and Upper City. Travelers will also witness the incredible views of ancient Jerusalem and the sophisticated water system built by King Herod on 150 BCE.
  • Kidron Monuments Tour: A tour of the massive, elaborate monuments in the Kidron Valley around the Old City's original municipal border between the City of David and the Mount of Olives.

King David Street

A page of Jerusalem’s history is written into nearly every building on and around King David. What better way to explore than on foot?
The best place to begin your walk down King David Street is where all of modern Jerusalem started – at the Montefiori windmill. As you enjoy the view of old and new Jerusalem, it might be hard to imagine that as late as 1860, this was the only structure standing outside the walled city. The windmill was named for the British Jewish philanthropist Moses Montefiori, although the money for the purchase came from an American Jew, Judah Touro, who left $50,000 for the good of the Jews of Jerusalem. Montefiori was the executor of Touro’s estate. Touro did get the main street of the adjoining gentrified neighbourhood of Yemin Moshe named after him, which you’ll discover if you wander down that way.

Before returning to the busy King David, enjoy a saunter through the strip of public park that parallels the street. You’ll get a magnificent view of the Old City walls, from Jaffa Gate to Mount Zion. On a clear day, you can look eastward into the Judean Desert, and even the Mountains of Moab across the Dead Sea.

Aside from the usual assortment of trees and flowers there’s something you don’t find in every park: 2,000-year-old tombs. The grouping, known as Herod’s family tomb, looks like a cave cut into the rock in a way typical to multi-generational burial chambers of the wealthy at the time of the Second Temple.

Walk through the park until it connects with Emile Botta Street, which will lead you back to King David. First, you’ll pass the Pontifical Biblical Institute, built in 1927 in neo-Renaissance style. The institute has a small museum, where you can view a real Egyptian mummy. 

Head to the entrance of the King David Hotel, built between 1929 and 1931 by the Egyptian Jewish Mouseri family. In 1938, the southern part of the hotel became an administrative centre for the British Mandate. You’ll see a hint of the trauma that struck the building July 22, 1946, when it was blown up by the underground army, the Etzel, in protest over British anti-Zionist policy killing 91 people.
Across the street is a YMCA that is like none other in the world. Its architect was Arthur Louis Harmon, who also designed the Empire State Building in New York City. If the King David is a near-Eastern festival, the “Y” is no less of a party, to which 2,000 years’ worth of architectural styles have been invited – from the Herodian-style masonry, to the red-and-beige interlocking stones typical of the 13th century Mamelukes, down to the Art-Deco angel that graces the main entry.

Continuing to walk down King David Street toward its junction with Agron Street, you’ll reach David’s Citadel, another luxurious Jerusalem hotel that has been giving the King David some stiff competition in recent years.

Before you get to David’s Citadel, however, bear left on to Ben Shimon Street. Another left past the Gesher Center (a seminar centre specializing in programming that bridges the Orthodox-secular divide) will lead you to a parking lot, at the far end of which is the World Center for the Heritage of North African Jewry. The interior has been renovated in Spanish-Moorish style, and the building’s piece-de-resistance is a magnificent clerestory, adorned with intricate wood and bas-relief plaster work, and mosaic baseboards and walls executed by builders who came from Morocco especially for the project. Rooms surrounding the clerestory are used for lectures and study sessions, as well as art and folklore exhibits, to honor the long and glorious history of North African Jewry, and educate future generations about it. 

Where to next? Depending on time and inclination, you can cross Agron Street and walk though Independence Park to Solomon Street, and the restored Nahalat Shiva area of downtown Jerusalem, where fun shopping, good eating, and countless opportunities for people watching await. Or, you could turn right at Agron, and head toward the Jaffa Gate to explore the Old City markets. 

Strings Bridge, Jerusalem, Israel

In an ancient, tradition-bound city famous for its Wailing Wall, Temple Mount, and Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Strings Bridge provides a much-needed jolt of modernism—and a chance to relieve traffic congestion. Santiago Calatrava’s bridge will be used for Jerusalem’s light rail, which has overcome construction delays and some opposition to finally open in Summer 2011. Made of gleaming Jerusalem-stone and glass, the bridge resembles the shape of a set of chords, inspired by King David’s harp.


Beginning June 15 through June 22, Jerusalem will host its second annual Jerusalem Light Festival transforming the Old City into a living light art display with illuminated images projected onto its various ancient sites and attractions. 

The festival will feature artistic light exhibits designed by local and international light artists throughout the Old City, as well as street events and performances, a lighting fair in the Davidson Center Archeological Garden and four different routes around the Old City following the illuminated sites and installations. Also, the former Jerusalem Municipality Building will replicate the celebratory lighting display created in honor of the coronation of King George VI in 1937, and a video mapping tour will be projected on the Rothschild House taking visitors on a journey from city to nature.

In addition, the TILT Group (France) will create a futuristic garden of light in an exhibit that encircles the audience and creates an innovative urban environment using advanced technology at the Jaffa Gate; and Italian artist Richi Ferrero will present "Bwindi Light Masks" featuring illuminated African masks alongside a soundtrack of Mongolic music accompanied by a Bulgarian chorale group at Zedekiah's Cave.

The Jerusalem Light Festival is a unique event that showcases some of the world's most creative artists transforming the Old City of Jerusalem into a living work of art. This special combination of modern and ancient will create some additional excitement for travelers arriving in Israel this summer.

Also, the city's El Wad Street will be transformed into a festively lit marketplace beginning at the Damascus Gate to the entrance of the Western Wall.


The holiest city in the world, the city that has been united, the eternal city first built thousands of years ago, whose history can be heard in the whispering of the wind along the walls, where every stone tells a wondrous story of a city that has drawn millions of faithful pilgrims for thousands of years. Such is Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, the only city in the world that has 70 names of love and yearning, the city that in old maps appears at the center of the world and is still adored like a young bride.

Jerusalem is a city of overwhelming emotions, a city that promises a religious and spiritual experience, excitement and pleasure, interesting tours and entertaining adventures. Here, alongside Jerusalem’s fascinating historic and archeological sites, there are amazingly modern tourist attractions for all lovers of culture, the arts, theater and music, architecture and gastronomic delights.

At Jerusalem’s heart is the Old City, which is surrounded by a wall and divided into four quarters - Jewish, Armenian, Christian, and Muslim. Inside the walls are the important holy sites of the three major religions: the Western Wall, which is holy to the Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. The Western Wall plaza is visited by millions of worshipers. Here, at the base of the massive wall that is a remnant of the Holy Temple, prayers are offered and notes containing heartfelt wishes are wedged between the crevices.

Surrounding the Western Wall are other important Jewish sites - the Western Wall Tunnels, the unique Davidson Center, the Jewish quarter with its magnificent Cardo and David’s Citadel, towering proudly in its beauty. South of the Old City is the City of David, from which the ancient Can’anite and Israelite Jerusalem grew. This is a fascinating site with amazing findings that provide an unforgettable experience.

Jerusalem is also very important to Christianity, as Jesus Christ lived and died here. The Christian quarter alone houses some 40 religious buildings (churches, monasteries and pilgrims’ hostels). One of the most prominent and important sites in the Christian quarter is the Via Dolorosa, the “Way of Sorrows,” Jesus’ final path, which according to Christian tradition led from the courthouse to Golgotha Hill, where he was crucified and buried. Many pilgrims come to Jerusalem to follow Jesus’ footsteps along a route that starts in the Muslim Quarter, at Lions’ Gate, and passes the 14 stations of the cross, ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Several of the most important Christian relics are housed in this church, including the anointing stone (on which Jesus’ body was laid before his burial) and Jesus’ grave. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is a pilgrimage site for millions of Christians from all over the world.

Southwest of the Old City is Mt. Zion, where the Dormition Abbey was built on the site Christian tradition believes Mary spent her last night. The abbey was built about 100 years ago and in the basement there is a statue of the sleeping Mary. Beside the abbey is the Room of the Last Supper, where Jesus ate his last meal.

East of the Old City is the Mount of Olives, where there are other important Christian sites, and several churches: The Ascension, Pater Noster, Dominus FlevitMary MagdaleneGethsemane, Lazarus and Abraham’s Monastery. According to Christian tradition, Mary’s tomb is in the Kidron Valley, below the Mt. of Olives.

Apart from the holy places throughout the Old City, there are several charming sites that are well worth visiting. There is the wonderful market, which is one big sensual celebration. Here you can buy Armenian-style decorated ceramics, beautiful strings of beads, authentic clothing, embroidered cushions, colorful wool carpets, candles and amazing glassware, and countless different souvenirs. From the promenade along the tops of the Old City walls you can look out over the Old City and the New City. Tours along the walls are a wonderful night-time activity, too, when the city’s lights sparkle making the sights even more unforgettable. The Armenian Quarter has its own unique charm and is well worth visiting.

The construction of the new city’s Jewish neighborhoods began in the late 19th century. Some of the neighborhoods have retained their original picturesque charm, and wandering among the houses is a real pleasure. Some of these neighborhoods are Even Yisrael, the German Colony, Yemin MosheMe’a She’arim, Makhane Yisra’el, Nakhla’ot, Nakhalat Shiv’a, Ein Karem, Komemi’ut, Rekhavia, the Bukharian Quarter and the Ethiopian Quarter. There are many other interesting and unique sites from different periods throughout the city, such as Armon HaNatsiv and the Promenade, Ammunition HillYad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum, Mishkenot Sha’ananim, the Monastery of the Cross, Elias Monastery and the YMCA building. Among the more modern sites are the Supreme Court, the Israel Museum, the Biblical Zoothe KnessetMt. Herzl, Makhane Yehuda market, with its unparalleled variety of exciting sounds, colors, flavors and aromas.

Young people who like to go out in the evenings will love Jerusalem’s main night life regions: the German Colony, the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall, Nakhalat Shiv’a, Shlomtsiyon HaMalka Street, and the Russian Compound.

Museum lovers will be delighted to discover that Jerusalem is dotted with dozens of museums full of rich exhibits, such as the Israel Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Bloomfield Science Museum, Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Rockefeller Museum, the Bible Lands Museum, the Islamic Art Museum, the Old Yishuv Court Museum, the Armenian Museum and the Museum of Italian Jewish Art.

Children will enjoy the Time Elevator (an interactive, three-dimensional presentation on the history of Jerusalem), the spacious Biblical Zoo, Ein Ya’el - which offers workshops in Biblical arts and crafts, the Armon HaNatsiv tunnels, the beautiful botanical gardensand the hands-on interactive exhibits at the Bloomfield Science Museum.

Since Jerusalem is a city that has become home to people from many different faiths, traditions and ethnic groups, the city’s culinary culture offers something for everyone. Alongside Bohemian gourmet restaurants you will find eateries where the food is cooked slowly over ancient stoves, coffee shops with style, ethnic restaurants, fast food stands and bars that come to life in the evening hours. In addition to an abundant variety of dining opportunities, Jerusalem also has many different types of tourist accommodations, from luxury hotels to inexpensive youth hostels.

If you are wondering how Jerusalem became such a center of religions and spirituality and a pilgrimage site for millions of tourists from around the world, the answer begins thousands of years ago. Jerusalem’s history is one of wars and struggles. Its strategic location attracted many nations that wanted to capture the city, and some of them did rule over it for various periods. This city has known war and peace, love and hate, riches and poverty, destruction and renewal, happiness and pain.

According to Jewish tradition, the creation of the world began (5766 years ago) with the foundation stone on Mount Moriah (under the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount). This is where an important royal Can’anite city was built (about 4,000 years ago), and which was conquered from the Jebusites by King David in 1004 BCE and became the capital of his kingdom and a holy city. David’s son Solomon built the First Temple and his descendents (Hezekiah, Zedekiah and the Judean Kings) continued to enlarge and fortify the city’s boundaries, and to build a water supply system (Hezekiah’s tunnel). These efforts paid off, and when King Sennacherib of Assyria besieged Jerusalem he could not subdue the city and withdrew. Only in 586 BCE did Nebuchadnezzar conquer the Jewish capital. The city was destroyed and most of its inhabitants exiled to Babylon. In 538 BCE Xerxes, the King of Persia, who has conquered Babylon, permitted the exiled Jews to return to Judea and Jerusalem, where they rebuilt the city and built the Second Temple. For 370 yearsJudea was an autonomous district, first under the Persians and then under the Greeks. After the Hasmonean Revolt in 168 BCE,Jerusalem again became the capital of a Kingdom, that later became under the rule of the Roman Empire. King Herod the Great further expanded the Temple in the years 73-4 BCE.

At the end of the Second Temple period Jerusalem was a city of great social and religious tension. It was during this period that Jesus was preaching in Nazareth. In 66 CE the Jews rebelled against the Roman Empire and took over Jerusalem. The suppression of this revolt ended in 70 CE, and the Romans, led by Titus, conquered the capital, destroyed the Temple completely and exiled the city’s inhabitants. For the next 60 years Jerusalem was desolate, until the Bar Kokhba Revolt, when the Jews returned for a short while. In 135 CE, the Romans rebuilt and renamed the city Aelia Capitolina and barred the Jews from living there.

After the Roman Empire accepted Christianity in 324 (and later became the Byzantine Empire), Jerusalem again became an important city. The site’s connected with Jesus’ life and death were located and declared holy, and many magnificent churches were built, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (the Church of the Resurrection) and the “Mother of all the Churches,” on Mt. Zion.

In 638 the Muslims conquered Jerusalem and built the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa mosque over the next few centuries. Following the Muslim conquest the Jews returned to Jerusalem, and around the 10th century this city again became the spiritual capital for the Jews of the Land of Israel.

The Crusaders also wanted to rule Jerusalem. They conquered the city in 1099, massacred the Jewish and Muslim residents and made Jerusalem their own capital. Less than 100 years later, in 1187, the Crusaders were defeated by Saladin a battle at Khitin. At that time the Jews returned to Jerusalem and have been here ever since.

In 1250 the Mamluk dynasty rose to power in Egypt and its rulers conquered this region and became the new lords of Jerusalem. In 1517 the Ottoman Empire spread to Jerusalem and for 400 years was under Turkish rule. During the first 100 years the city flourished and its walls were rebuilt. In the second half of the 16th century, as the Ottoman Empire began to decline, so did Jerusalem’s fortunes.

By the beginning of the 19th century Jerusalem was a small neglected city inside its walls, and only toward the end of the century (from 1860 onward), did the New City begin to grow, thanks to the generosity of British philanthropist Moshe Montifiore, who financed the construction of Mishkenot Sha'ananim. The success of this new neighborhood led to more neighborhoods being built outside the walls. More Jews began moving to Jerusalem, becoming a majority of the population in 1873.

In 1917, with the start of the British Mandate period, Jerusalem retained its status as the capital of the land. When Israel was established in 1948, Jerusalem was declared the state capital, and all the major government institutions were built here. These including the Knesset (Israel’s parliament building), the Supreme Court and the various government offices.

During the War of Independence, following bloody battles and ceasefire agreements, Jerusalem was left divided between Israel and Jordan, until the capital’s liberation in the Six Day War in 1967, when the two parts of the city were united and Jerusalem became Israel’s largest city.

From the very beginning, Jerusalem has been the one and only, a unique city second to none in the whole world.