Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Walking the Streets of Old Jerusalem

As we walked along the Old City of Jerusalem, we were able to see many interesting sights....   
 Some of the cobblestones date back for hundreds (and thousands) of years.  As the street wears down, stones are added of different shapes to help differentiate the time periods.
 We passed the Birthplace of the Virgin Mary.  
 The Holy Rock Cafe (no Hard-Rock Cafe here!) was
 doing a pretty good business along the Via Dolorosa.  
The souks seemed to stay busy.  This one was in the Muslim Quarter. 
We passed many, many small shops as we traversed around the Old City.  
 This was on the Via Dolorosa in the Christian Quarter.  Notice the sign on THE PALACE -
 "Step back time 2000 years.  Second Station (of the Cross) Foundation"  
Gotta make a buck! :) 
There were some pretty pieces of pottery, but I didn't need any.  :)  

I LOVED this T-Shirt...... 
An outdoor coffee shop also has items for sale. 
More shops!
This bread looked so tempting!!  
The Muslim Quarter seemed to be less cared for than other Quarters in the city. 
We saw Israeli Police everywhere!  There is definite religious unrest in the city due to the Jewish/Arab conflict.  Things were peaceful while we were there, but the presence of the police was a reminder.  
I loved this door engraved with verses from the Bible and scenes from the Passion. 
The Panoramic Golden City Restaurant and Cafe treated our group of travel agents to a special lunch.  It was a buffet, but very tasty and a good variety of traditional Israeli food.  
The restaurant was on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the building.  
We ate in the dining room indoors which was very pleasant.  
And even had an option of Cokes - written in Arabic.  This says Coke Zero! 
The rooftop terrace was also nice and would be wonderful in the spring and summer months. 
This was the incredible view of Mount Scopus and the Mt of Olives.
Another terrace view of the Old City 
 This is part of the church of the Holy Sepulchre.
We also discovered the building for the Order of St John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller.  The Order of St John traces its roots to 11th century Jerusalem.   The Order's first institution was the Hospital of St John the Baptist located near the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. 
  The Order of St John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller is one of the oldest Orders of Chivalry in existence today.  It is the third oldest religious order and its origin dates back to the times of the Crusades beginning in Jerusalem,  moving to Acre (Akko), then Cypress, Rhodes and currently Malta.  It is famous for its countless works of mercy and charity performed by its members worldwide.  
The monument reads:
 Here in the muristan was situated the first hospital  of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.    
In 1882, the Grand Priory in the British realm of the most venerable order of St John of Jerusalem established an ophthalmic hospital in the Holy city in emulation of the humanitarian and charitable efforts of its mediaeval predecessors.  For the eleven years from 1949 to 1960 this work was centered in the adjacent properties known as Watson House and Strathearn House.  To commemorate these events the Most Venerable Order, owner of this site, constructed this garden and inscribed this stone in 1972  Pro Fide   -   Pro Utilitate Hominum 
The Maltese Cross - Symbol of the Order of St John
Pro Fide (For Faith) Pro Utilitate (For Service to Humanity) is the Motto
Walking around the Old City brought us to many excavation sites.
 This was right in the middle of a Jewish residential area.  The work that they are doing here is amazing!
This is the American Consulate building in Jerusalem.  The Embassy is normally located in the capitol city, but many in the UN do not recognize Jerusalem as the head, so the Embassy is located in Tel Aviv.
This is the Old City at night - Beautiful.
It was a bit chilly walking back, so we wrapped scarves around our heads and blended in with the locals!  :)   What a fun day exploring! 

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