Israel: the country with the oldest cities and architecture

The most beautiful cities of Israel

Israel is considered an unusually beautiful country. It can offer clean and picturesque beaches, ancient cities, modern high-rise buildings sparkling with bright lights. Cultural heritage of the country is great, so it attracts millions of tourists, and even greater is the religious significance of Israel. However, this does not mean that only people of faith should visit Israel. It will be interesting to everyone who is interested in ancient architecture and wants to see with their own eyes how majestic looks of the cities of the country.

Top 10 most beautiful cities in Israel

  1. Jerusalem. The great and ancient city.
  2. Nazareth. Fascinating streets and nature.
  3. Netanya. A surprisingly beautiful resort.
  4. Petach Tikva. A village which is now a major city.
  5. Haifa. Here are many parks and nature reserves.
  6. Tel Aviv. Sophisticated and sophisticated.
  7. Eilat. Chic resort.
  8. Acre. One of the oldest cities in the world.
  9. Bethlehem. The biblical city.
  10. Cana. The city where the first miracle took place.

Jerusalem – the revived city.

Popular all over the world, Jerusalem should be visited by anyone who is seriously interested in religion. The city is really rich in attractions and has a special energy. Jerusalem is located on a hill, so from the observation decks you can see a beautiful view of the valley around it.

Jerusalem is known as the city of three religions and tourists come here to see the service of the different churches. Perhaps the most famous church is the Church of the Lamentations. It was founded in 1954 and designed by architect Barlucci. A characteristic feature of the church was the dome, which has the shape of a tear. After visiting the church you can go to the Kidron Valley, where there are beautiful temples, chapels and tombs.

In the ranking of the most famous religious shrines, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is at the top of the list. Like other important Christian shrines, it is also located in Jerusalem. Its popularity is due to a significant finding – the body of Jesus himself, who was buried in a cave. According to legend, this is the place where Jesus was resurrected. There is a large complex that includes a number of cathedrals and churches. In one complex you can learn about different variations of Christianity.

Looking into the Old City, you can see the Tower of David. It is over two thousand years old. Historians suggest that this tower was the palace of the famous king, whose symbol is depicted on the flag of Israel. It is worth a walk along Ben Yehuda Street, where there are many beautiful buildings, restaurants, souvenir stores, street musicians and artists.

Nazareth – the childhood city of Christ

Nazareth is often compared to Italian cities. Beautiful streets, cobblestone paths, and well-maintained homes will surround a tourist visiting the childhood city of Christ. The most popular building is the Church of the Annunciation, built in 1969. The place was not chosen by chance, according to legend, it stands on a cave, where she lived by the Virgin Mary. Nearby is the Church of the Archangel Gabriel, built in the XVII century.

One of the most important Christian shrines is Mount Tabor, near Nazareth. Its circular shape leaves a strong impression. Believers believe that it was on Mount Tabor that the transfiguration took place. There are two monasteries on the mountain that are accessible to the public.

Nazareth is home to many Arabs who practice Islam. The famous White Mosque is located here. It ranks among the top most beautiful Islamic buildings in the world. It is of atamanistic style and inside decorated with beautiful handmade carpets.

In Sepphoris you can see the ruins of an ancient city. The Catholic Church of St. Joseph is located in the place where the first temple of that time was built during the Byzantine Empire. It turned out to be resolved in the twelfth century, but its ruins served as the basis for the creation of a chapel in the eighteenth century. The temple was rebuilt in 1914. To this day, it serves as a striking example of the Romanesque direction of architecture. Inside there are beautiful frescoes and eye-catching stained glass windows.

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Another object of religious significance, the church of Mensa Christi, became famous because of the stone slab on which, according to legend, the table for the meal of Christ was organized.

Netanya – a beautiful resort in the Sharon Valley

Netanya is called one of the most beautiful cities in the country. There are many fountains, green areas, in many places you can see sculptures standing right in the streets. Some say that Netanya is a bohemian city. The high standard of living here, so tourists from all over the world come to see the city and sunbathe on its clean beaches.

Must-visit ancient palace, which stands directly on the reef. From it you can look at the whole of Netanya, and then go to Caesarea – amazingly beautiful national park. For lovers of partying Netanya offers a lot of nightclubs, located on the waterfront. Representatives of different nations perform their national dances right in the streets, which creates a special flavor. Fishing is allowed in Netanya, and in the park “Utopia” you can spend a day exploring the beauty of the area of 40 000 square meters. Thematic areas do not allow any tourist to get bored. In the park you can look at the rarest orchids in the world, see interesting insects, sit by the beautiful fountains and watch the animals, and run around the mazes. If you really want to see majestic structures, go to the ruins of Kakun Castle. There is an amazing atmosphere here, which is permeated with the spirit of adventure. On the stones are perfectly preserved ornaments from ancient times.

In the tractor museum there are almost 100 machines polished to a shine. And do not forget to explore the history of Netanya in the Museum of Beit Haber, which offers a variety of interesting exhibits, it even has the first tools used by farmers.

Petah Tikva – the Mother of Villages

The settlement of Petah Tikva was founded in 1877. Now it has grown into a major city. Here is the castle of Antipatris, which was built in the XIII century. Alexander the Great himself came here during his military campaigns to Persia. In the center of Petah Tikva is the famous Arch of the Baron, built in honor of Edmond de Rothschild, the representative of a legendary family that invested heavily in the development of the State of Israel.

The main market of the city also has many interesting things to see. The atmosphere alone attracts thousands of tourists, so you should visit the place by all means, and then go the standard route:

  • The most popular institution for cultural recreation is the art museum with three thousand exhibits, where you can look at works of art by artists from Israel and other countries;
  • there are many canvases dating back more than 200 years;
  • Music lovers should visit the Conservatory, which has several concert halls;
  • Then you can go to the central square with its beautiful fountains and sculptures;
  • The square is literally surrounded by fruit trees.

Haifa – the city of parks and gardens

Israelis say that Haifa is a working city. It is home to a major port, which receives ships of international companies. At the same time, Haifa serves as a tourist center. The city is located in Carmel Park, which is the largest nature reserve of Israel. There are many beautiful plants, flowers, many species of trees. Right in the park you can admire the representatives of flora and fauna. In Haifa, you can visit the cave of Elijah the Prophet. Christians, Muslims and Jews come here to worship St. Elijah.

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The Bahai Gardens are interesting because of their location. They are located on Mount Carmel and are the so-called hanging gardens. Despite its working status, the authorities position Haifa as a resort, so you can always relax and have fun. If you want to see the spectacular churches again, go to the famous Temple of Baba – this temple is located directly in the Bahai Gardens. The dome, glistening in the sun, is visible from afar. Baba is considered one of the most luxurious temples in terms of interior decoration. The entrance is open to pilgrims and tourists. Near Mount Carmel is the cathedral of the Holy Prophet Elijah. It is an ascetic building, but it has many artifacts, including an ancient font.

The famous Pelerin Castle, also in Haifa, was built in 1218. This is a closed place for tourists, but even at a respectful distance it is well discernible. Must-visit museum of Japanese art Tikotin. The exhibition has almost 7 thousand items, and there is a large library, thanks to it, the museum claims to be the largest in the Middle East.

Tel Aviv – the tourist center of Israel

Tel Aviv has become the largest city of Israel, it attracts tourists from all over the world and offers expensive vacation. The city has many cafes for vegetarians, restaurants, where tasting evenings are held. Tel Aviv is literally permeated with pathos and fashionability. In the historic center you can enjoy the atmosphere of old Jaffa, with narrow streets in the manner of Italian and Spanish cities.

In the area of Neve Tzedek you can look at the works of Israeli artists, visit local museums. Those interested in archaeology should head to Ramat Aviv and see the archaeological museum, which is located under the open sky.

Those who prefer modern architecture should see the Azrieli skyscrapers. These are three high-rise buildings, one of which has an observation deck with a beautiful view. In the White City, which is one of the districts of Tel Aviv, you can see the beautiful houses in the style of the twentieth century. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can even see the pagoda, built in 1925. Fans of Ilana Gur should see the work of the artist in her museum of the same name. Ilana Gur became famous because of her stunning artistic abilities. She never studied fine art, but her work fascinates many artists. Finally, Tel Aviv has another interesting attraction. A suspended orange tree sits on a historic street and grows right in a pot.

Eilat – the best resort in Israel.

Eilat is called the best resort specifically to attract as many tourists as possible. It really is good in many ways, but is considered one of the most expensive resorts in the world. The main attractions of Eilat, of course, are its beaches. Here you can do a variety of sports and recreation conditions are truly magnificent. Eilat attracts professional level surfers and lovers of yachting. For a cultural holiday you can arrange a visit to the Eilat Maritime Museum with an interesting exhibition, and for children there is an amusement park called King’s City.

In Eilat you can just walk around, look at the surroundings and enjoy the nightlife of the city. There are casinos, dance clubs, and restaurants for tourists. Near the city are popular nature reserves, provide remote beaches, where there are virtually no people. At the same time Eilat is absolutely safe, not without reason the resort is one of the top safest cities in the world. The most interesting findings for the tourist will be the numerous souvenir shops Eilat. Here you can buy unique charms, which are not found in other countries. Therefore, Eilat is more a city for shopping lovers, but its special atmosphere and crystal clear water in the sea attract a huge number of fans of beach holidays.

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Attractions of Israel

Sightseeing in Israel

Israel is a country in the Middle East, washed by the Mediterranean and Red Sea. It is a country with an ancient history. The standard of living and economy is the highest among the Middle Eastern countries. Half of the entire country is desert, but the other half of the tourist can see a great variety of nature, architecture and traditions.

Most of the sites and places in the country are of great importance to believers. Much of it is located in the capital, Jerusalem. There are many temples, some of which are the oldest in the world. The main areas of tourism in Israel are pilgrimage, beach holidays, sightseeing and medical tourism.

Sea coast with hotels of different classes make Israel attractive to fans of water sports. The Dead Sea, thermal and mud springs are popular with those who want to improve their health. Young people will find noisy discos and parties in Tel Aviv.

The country has many natural parks, there is even a marine observatory. Lovers of nature can choose a hiking route through the largest man-made forest of Yatir or spend a few days on the shores of the picturesque Lake Tiberias. Shopping and restaurants will complement any vacation with a great variety of goods and dishes.

How to get there and where to stay

What to see in Israel

The most interesting and beautiful places, pictures and short descriptions

Holy Sepulcher

Church of the Holy Sepulcher

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is one of the greatest shrines of Christianity, built on the place where, according to Holy Scripture, Jesus Christ was crucified, buried and resurrected. The place has never been quiet. For the temple fought the crusaders, he and then passed into the hands of both Christian and Muslim rulers, its walls repeatedly destroyed and the land burned.

In 1810 the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (or as it is also called, the Church of the Resurrection), was finally rebuilt. The modern complex includes a monumental rotunda with a huge dome, the altar of the Crucifix on top of Golgotha, the chapel of the Cubiculum, built over the place of burial of Christ, the cathedral church of Jerusalem Kafolikon, the underground church of the Discovery of the Holy Cross, the church of St. Helen and several chapels.

In 1852 an agreement, known as the “status quo,” was made to divide the temple grounds among six Christian denominations-Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Syriac, Coptic, Ethiopian, and Armenian; each was allotted different days and hours for services. The churches still fight over the right of primacy in the temple, and for many years the keys to the Christian shrine have been kept by two Arab families in order to avoid conflicts.

The peak time for pilgrimages is Easter, when the annual miracle of the descent of the Holy Fire occurs, when the Rotunda is illuminated by an unearthly glow and the Holy Fire ignites itself in the extinguished candles and lamps.

Dead Sea

Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is a unique resort on our planet, located in Israel. Dead Sea water is rich in salts, minerals and trace elements, these components almost several times the norm, so carry out water procedures are recommended only in specially designated areas, otherwise you can harm your health.

If everything is done according to the prescriptions, then your health can be improved. Water and mud procedures are considered healing for many diseases. People from all over the world come to get rid of ailments or to prevent their occurrence. Not only the water, but also the overall natural conditions of the place where the Dead Sea is located, incredibly unique and beneficial to the human body.

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The area adjacent to the Dead Sea is considered a nature reserve, beautiful landscapes and nature complement the beneficial effects of the healing water with a good impact from an aesthetic point of view. Here are also the Sodom Mountains, which consist of pure salt.

Israelis have created all the conditions for a wonderful holiday at the Dead Sea, comfortable hotels, cafes, restaurants, medical and health centers, if necessary.

Wailing Wall

Wailing Wall

Wailing Wall in Jerusalem – a place in the truest sense of the word is special. Even if you do not believe in anything, you can not remain indifferent and feel nothing in this place. It is inexplicable, but the special, awe-inspiring, creeping, awe-inspiring, concentrated energy of the revered place literally oozes from every crack of the wall – a wall that has seen and heard too much and too differently, a wall that has responded to everyone who has spoken to it with seeming impartiality.

The Wall of Lamentations is an ancient mound built by King Herod to fortify the place where the temple built by King Solomon stood. After the Romans attacked the city, the temple was destroyed and only a defensive embankment was left of the fortifications. The name “Wailing Wall” it got only in 16 century, it is connected with the fact that the Jews come here traditionally to purge their sins.

Once you find yourself in such an unusual place, it is worth to perform the ritual to the end, to pray for the innermost things. But keep in mind: women and men are on their halves, a man’s head must be covered with a kippah, and it is allowed to leave the Wall only facing it. This is the ancient, unalterable custom.

The Stone of Anointing

Anointing Stone

The Stone of Unction is one of the most important Christian shrines, and is located in front of the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It was on this stone they put the body of the crucified Christ, and it was here that Joseph and Nicodemus anointed the body with myrrh and aloes.

Huge numbers of pilgrims come to this holy place. Everyone touches the stone and puts things on it that they would like to bless. The stone is in front of the wall of the main temple of the Cathedral of the Resurrection and is a slab of pale pink marble.

Calvary

Golgotha

Golgotha is one of the most revered Christian shrines, the rock where Jesus Christ was crucified.

Formerly Calvary was outside the city walls, now it is one of the parts of the Temple of the Holy Sepulchre. Calvary became a place of veneration under Emperor Constantine the Great. After the rebuilding that the Crusaders undertook in the eleventh century, Golgotha remained virtually unchanged.

From the Aramaic languages “Golgotha” translates as “skull.” According to tradition, this name is believed to have originated from the skulls that were stacked at the site of the execution of criminals.

Holy Sepulchre

Holy Sepulchre

The Holy Sepulchre is the main holy place of Christianity and is a small tomb in the rock, where was placed the body of Jesus Christ after his removal from the cross, and where he resurrected on the third day.

The search for this tomb was undertaken in the fourth century by the mother of Emperor Constantine. The shrine was found and the temple of the Holy Sepulchre was erected on this site, which over time turned into a large religious complex.

The tomb itself is a small cave in the rock, where, according to Jewish custom, the body of the deceased was laid on a bed. Unfortunately, the place is badly damaged, pilgrims over the centuries have wanted to break off parts of it to take away with them, so the cave in the XVI century was closed with a marble slab to prevent further destruction.

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The Old City of Jerusalem

Old City of Jerusalem

The Old City of Jerusalem is the oldest part of one of the oldest cities in the world. Until the mid-nineteenth century it was actually the entire city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the center of several religions, for here are exceptionally important holy sites: the Temple Mount, the Wailing Wall, the Temple of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock, the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

In fact, the Old City is a complete Unesco heritage: in addition to the holy places, the city is rich in cultural and historical sites.

For example, the fortress walls of Jerusalem built in the 16th century by Muslims, all eight gates that surround the Old City (Damascus, Jaffa, Zion, Garbage, Lion, Herod, New, Golden, all four quarters (Jewish, Armenian, Muslim, Christian) and many other interesting objects of world significance.

It is impossible to describe all the attractions of the old city – there are a great many of them. Because every street, every corner of this ancient city is simply steeped in history.

Mount of Olives Lookout

Mount of Olives

One of the most impressive and famous vantage points in Jerusalem is located on the Mount of Olives.

The Mount of Olives is the highest of the mountains surrounding the city and is seven hundred and ninety-three meters high. In the past torches were used to send signals to Babylon from the top of the mountain.

The large observation deck on the mountain is one of the most popular tourist attractions. From there one has a wonderful view of the Old City, Mount Zion, the Kidron Valley and the northern part of Jerusalem. The ascent to the site takes about twenty minutes. Next to the observation deck is the Jewish cemetery, which was formed during the First Temple period.

The views that open from the mountain do not leave any visitor indifferent. Wonderful pictures taken from these places will long remind you of this beautiful city.

The Mount of Olives

Mount of Olives

The Mount of Olives is also called the Mount of Olives. It is located at an altitude of one thousand two hundred meters above sea level. The slopes of the mountain are planted with olives, that is why it received this name.

The Mount of Olives has three peaks, the highest of which is the Mount of Ascension. According to biblical tradition, it is from this mountain Jesus Christ ascended into heaven.

The Mount of Olives is the highest among the mountains that surround Jerusalem. There is a beautiful viewing platform for tourists with wonderful views of the city.

At the top of the mountain is the Orthodox Church of the Assumption.

The Tabernacle of the Tabernacle

Tabernacle

The Tabernacle is a small domed chapel made of pink and yellow marble. The structure is located in Jerusalem, at the very center of the rotunda of the Church of the Resurrection. The Tabernacle encloses the greatest sacred thing of all, the Holy Sepulchre.

In the building there is another hall with a sacred place, which is called the “Angel’s side-chamber”. The main entrance to the Tabernacle is to the east and has double wooden doors. A Coptic aisle was added to the outside of the chapel. It is known that the chapel was erected in 1810, since the previous one was destroyed by fire in 1808. However, after the restoration of the Cubiculum once again slightly damaged in 1927 due to an earthquake.

The chapel is now well strengthened on all sides with ties and beams. Above the entrance to the Tabernacle, in front of the icon of the Resurrection, was a lamp that Nicholas II gave to the chapel on the day that Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich died at the hands of terrorists. Whether this lamp hangs in the same place is unknown.

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