The top 5 attractions in Israel

Top 5 Sightseeing Sites in Israel

Israel – it is not only holidays at first-class resorts, but primarily a pilgrimage to the holy places of many religions.

A special feature of tourist Israel is that there is a huge concentration of historical and natural monuments. On the main attractions of Israel, we will tell in this article.

Tomb of King David

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Located on Mount Zion tomb, since about the 12th century, is considered the burial place of the legendary biblical character King David. It is one of the most memorable figures of the Old Testament and represents the ideal ruler from whose lineage the Messiah Jesus Christ himself came. He, a simple shepherd, was destined by the prophet Samuel himself to become king of Israel and to unite the state of Israel. He was an excellent poet and musician, a great warrior who defeated the giant Goliath and the wisest of all kings. David transformed Jerusalem into a large, prosperous city and declared it to be the one and main religious center of the Jews. Under this king Israel stretched from the Sinai Peninsula to the Euphrates River. The king, who died at the age of 72, was buried in Jerusalem, also called “the City of David. There is still debate about the place of his burial, but most historians consider this tomb on Mount Zion as the most likely place.

The Fortress of Massada

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This ancient fortress near the city of Arad is known that King Herod the Great himself built here an outpost for himself and his entourage. The fortress is located on top of a rock in the Judean Desert. From all sides Massada is surrounded by high steep cliffs and only from the sea side there is a narrow pathway called the “snake path”. However, this is not a problem for tourists because there is a special cableway for them.

The fortress was erected on the territory with a length of 600 meters and a width of 300 meters. Around the perimeter it was surrounded by fortress walls, about one and a half kilometers long and 4 meters thick. Along the perimeter of the fortress walls, about 40 watchtowers were installed. In the territory of the fortress there were the king’s palace, synagogue, barracks, stables. Here King Herod’s treasury was kept.

Al Aqsa Mosque

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Al-Aqsa Mosque, built in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount, is the third most important holy place in the Islamic world (after Mecca and Medina). According to legend, it is from here that the prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven after his famous journey from Mecca to Jerusalem. The mosque was built in the middle of the 8th century by caliphs of the Umayyad dynasty and was rebuilt several times afterwards. In 1099 the Crusaders, who conquered Jerusalem, converted the mosque into a church and located here also the governor’s palace and stables. The mosque was rebuilt again after the conquest of the city at the end of the 12th century by Saladin. Subsequently, the al-Aqsa was rebuilt several times by the Ayyubids, Mamelukes and Ottomans.

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The mosque is also impressive in size: it is more than 80 meters long and about 60 meters wide. 5000 people can perform namaz there at the same time. The dome of the mosque is covered with gold, the columns are carved in marble and the walls are decorated with beautiful ornate Arabic mosaic.

Dead Sea

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The Dead Sea is probably the most famous place in Israel. It is the only body of water on earth in which there is absolutely no life. The reason for this is a very high concentration of salt, resulting from the lack of runoff, high temperature and low humidity inherent in these parts. Because of the excessive salinity in the waters of the Dead Sea, it is impossible to drown. The water simply pushes objects upwards.

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The local sea salt and coastal mud also have curative properties. There are several medical centers around the sea, and medicines made from local minerals are known all over the world.

The coast of the sea abounds with archeological findings and this is not surprising. For centuries, its shores have attracted people from all over the world and have witnessed many historic events.

Wailing Wall

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Israel’s main holy site, a place of prayer and pilgrimage for millions of Jews from all over the world. Worshippers leave small notes of wishes among the stones of the wall. It is believed that a wish left in this way will surely come true.

The Wailing Wall got its name after the repeated destruction of the main Jewish temple in Jerusalem (first by the Assyrians and then by the Romans). The actual wall is what is left of the Temple after its destruction. It surrounds the Temple Mount, where many important events from the point of view of representatives of all monotheistic religions took place. It was here that Abraham wanted to sacrifice his son and the prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven.

Top 23 best places of interest in Israel

Israel is a unique state. A huge number of attractions are concentrated in the tiny territory. And the number of tourists who come to see them exceeds the population.

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What to do in Israel

Here are the main Christian shrines. They will be of interest to believers and those interested in religious movements. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is the main place of pilgrimage of Christians. Here takes place the sacrament of the descent of the fire of grace. The al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, which are also in Israel, play an important role in the life of Muslims as the source of creation of the universe.

The natural scenery will touch the heartstrings of people who know how to appreciate the fragile beauty:

  • Ein Gedi is the classic desert oasis described in books.
  • Rosh Ha-Nikra – unique grottos in a karst cave.
  • Dead Sea – a body of water, which has no analogues in the world for its healing and physical and chemical properties.
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Museums of the country are diverse, like Israel itself. Lovers of archeology will be interested in the national park of Caesarea. The Museum of Art is ready to show everyone a collection of modern works of art.

Religious attractions

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

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The temple is located in the heart of the Christian quarter. There are always a lot of believers here from morning till late evening. This is the place where the Holy Fire descends and spreads throughout the world, announcing the resurrection of Christ.

The area of the temple is divided equally among the main Christian denominations: Syriac, Coptic, Greek Orthodox, Armenian, Roman Catholic and Ethiopian.

The construction of this religious edifice is associated with Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine. Although most of the constructions of the complex date back to the XI-XII centuries.

Wailing Wall

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The Wailing Wall is the remains of a mighty fortification built by King Herod the Great. It was once the site of the Second Temple of Jerusalem, destroyed to its foundations by the Romans in about 70 CE.

The wall was never part of the Temple, but it stood so close to it that over time it became a major place of worship for Jews from all over the world. The structure is about 19 meters high and about 57 meters long. In the crevices between the massive stones it is customary to leave notes of supplication.

Al-Aqsa Mosque

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The largest Muslim Temple in Israel and one of the oldest in the Islamic world stands on the Temple Mount – the highest point in the Old City. The building was erected in 636 and has been remodeled many times. Inside there are 7 galleries, the walls of which are richly decorated with colorful mosaic of marble.

Dome of the Rock Mosque

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The mosque is a squat 8-angular structure lined with marble and topped with a golden dome with a diameter of 20 m and a height of 34 m. Together with the al-Aqsa Mosque, the building forms a single architectural complex. Inside is the 13m by 17m rock from which, according to tradition, the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven. The place is enclosed by a gilded trellis.

Via Dolorosa

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The Way of Mourning starts from the Franciscan monastery (place of the scourging of Christ) and ends at Golgotha, the place of his execution. It is believed that Jesus walked along this path to be crucified, and 9 of the 14 stands are located here. The Latin term Via Dolorosa appeared in the 16th century. At the same time the route was defined in accordance with biblical events.

Archaeological sites and architecture

Masada fortress

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Around the first century A.D. King Herod commanded the construction of a magnificent palace. The ruins of this fortress are now located on an impregnable plateau in the Judean Desert.

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The territory of the complex is enormous. In addition to the rooms and outbuildings, archaeologists have discovered a swimming pool, baths, a Roman villa, storerooms, barracks for soldiers and the ruins of a synagogue. At the foot of the mountain is an archaeological museum with finds from the fortress.

Azrieli Center

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The most “visible” landmark in Tel Aviv is the complex of three skyscrapers. The round tower is the tallest (187 m or 49 floors). It has an observation deck to which a high-speed elevator takes passengers.

The triangular tower rises to 169 meters (46 floors). The smallest – a square, has only 154 meters. And 13 of its 42 floors is occupied by a fashionable hotel, and at the base is the largest shopping center of Israel.

David’s hail.

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This is an archaeological park containing the ruins of the city of Jebus, from which Jerusalem grew up. You can see the historic site on the southern slope of the Temple Mount.

The park consists of two parts. The first is the remains of the palace of David, the founder of the city, houses of ordinary citizens and public buildings. The second is the Warren Well. It is a tunnel discovered during excavations in 1867. It is part of an elaborate water supply system.

Pagoda House

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An unusual structure built in the early 20th century, it is mentioned in many architecture textbooks. The house combines several styles, opposing each other in philosophy, but the building looks organic and attractive.

If you look closely, you can discern Ionic columns, Gothic arches and elements of mudejar. Crowning this eclecticism is a pyramid with a pagoda dome. It also gave its name to the building.

Interesting places

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The once ancient Arab city, which is over 4000 years old, is today a suburb of bustling Tel Aviv. The narrow cobblestone streets with squat houses invite fascinating walks.

The artist’s quarter with its extravagant galleries, the Clock Tower, built during the Ottoman Empire, the flea market for souvenirs, and the harbor for seascapes are definitely worth a visit.

The churches of St. Peter and St. Michael in Jaffa are both culturally and architecturally interesting.

Old City Market

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The most authentic market in Jerusalem, which probably has not changed since biblical times. It sells food, souvenirs, jewelry, handmade decorations, textiles, and more. Locals and tourists alike shop in the Old City – the latter are overpriced, so bargaining is appropriate.

Bahai Gardens

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The Bahai religion was formed in the XIX century, and its main administrative and spiritual center is located in Haifa. On the slopes of Mount Carmel there is a beautiful landscaped park with the tomb of Baba, the founder of the movement. At the top of the park is equipped with an observation deck that offers a picturesque view of the surrounding area.

The whimsical garden consists of 19 unique terraces, each decorated in its own style, and together they form a harmonious ensemble. Nine terraces lead from the top of the mountain to the mausoleum. It is a majestic building with an 11-meter dome on a cylindrical base. The balustrades are decorated with colorful mosaics. Nine more terraced gardens stretch from the mausoleum to the base. The most important terrace – the central one – is laid out next to the tomb.

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Mount Hermon

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Sparkling snow, daring snowboarding and ski slalom – these winter pastimes are available in Israel. True, only in one place – on Mount Hermon, and only a few months a year. Here is the only ski resort in the country. There is all the necessary infrastructure.

A little higher, at a mark of 2 224 m entrenched strategic military base with the colloquial name “Eyes of Israel. And at the foot of the mountain spread out picturesque villages. The landscape is very Alpine, with green meadows and streams with melt water.

Barzilai

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This Tel Aviv market is famous for its rows of falafel with different toppings. It is one of the few fast food places that is almost unhealthy. The most innocuous option, when local vegetables are used as a filling, seasoned with olive oil – it is also made in Israel. But oddly enough, the market itself specializes in clothing made from natural fabrics.

Natural attractions

Rosh Ha-Nikra

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This is a series of natural grottoes, caves and tunnels on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, near the city of Nagaria. Over thousands of years, salt water and wind have washed limestone out of the rock. The result are bizarre corridors with a length of about 200 meters. In 1968, to attract tourists in the rock, they broke a viewing gallery of about 400 m long. There is also a cable car that facilitates access to the tunnel.

Ein Gedi Reserve

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One of the most attractive reserves in terms of biodiversity is located on the shores of the Dead Sea. In fact, Ein Gedi is an oasis in the desert. The green valley with its picturesque waterfalls, emerald lakes and streams is a habitat for many animals and birds. Mountain goats, damans and the elusive leopard live here.

Dead Sea

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Officially, this is the saltiest body of water on our planet. Geologically speaking it is not a sea but a lake about 50 km long and up to 200 m deep. The salinity level reaches 350%, a figure that physically prevents a swimmer from drowning.

The sea is fed by numerous underground springs rich in minerals. On the coast, SPA centers offering various recovery programs flourish.

Entertainment

Underwater Observatory

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An entertainment complex located on the Red Sea coast in Eilat. Its main attraction is a huge aquarium of 360,000 liters. It imitates a coral reef with a closed ecosystem. Tourists can watch the life of the underwater inhabitants (there are over 400 species) without getting their feet wet.

Also in the “observatory” there are aquariums-pools with sharks, turtles and seals. There are stores and cafes.

“Dolphin Reef.

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The dive center is located in the southern part of Eilat on a horseshoe-shaped coral reef. The area is up to 12 meters deep and is inhabited by bottlenose dolphins. This type of mammal is friendly and its representatives are eager to interact with people. On the eastern side of the park the bottom goes down sharply. This area is beloved by gliders, clownfish, morays, stingrays and other motley animals of the Red Sea.

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The complex area is equipped with pontoons for diving. There is its own sandy beach. “Dolphin Reef” invites not only to swim with dolphins, but also to engage in snorkeling and diving.

Museums

Caesarea National Park

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This is an open-air museum located near the city of Caesarea Palestinian. Here are the ruins of ancient structures, some of which date back to Roman times. Of greatest interest are the amphitheater, the hippodrome and the port, which played an important role in Jewish history.

As a result of natural processes, a part of the old town of Caesarea has gone under water. Wearing flippers and a mask, you can swim through the ancient streets and even look inside the temple. There is a museum with archaeological finds in the land park.

Museum of Science, Technology and Space

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The museum was founded in 1983 in Haifa. It occupies several buildings, in which you can get acquainted with the most important human achievements in the field of science and technology.

More than 20 permanent exhibitions are available to visitors. They tell about the basic principles of physics and chemistry, how various mechanisms work, the telephone, the Internet, television and much more. There is a separate hall for optical illusions and holograms.

There are regular temporary exhibitions, for example, devoted to the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci or alternative sources of energy.

Tel Aviv Museum of Art

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The museum was founded in 1932 with the active assistance of M. Chagall. It collects outstanding contemporary works of art from Europe, North America and Israel. In total, the holdings contain more than 40,000 items. Most of them are drawings and engravings. Exhibits also include photographs, installations and design pieces.

Museum of Illegal Immigration and the Navy

Musei nelegalnoi imigracii

An impressive sized museum complex located in Haifa. It belongs to the Israeli Ministry of Defense. All the exhibits are solid and militarily thorough. Tourists can view several decommissioned ships and a submarine – all are allowed to touch and click.

The main exhibition is devoted to the Israeli Navy. Documents, photos and other artifacts tell about the formation of the fleet, its first battles and victories. In the courtyard are naval guns of all sizes.

One of the main exhibits is a landing ship with the difficult-to-pronounce name “Af Al Pi Khen”. It houses an exhibition telling the story of its capture by the British and the forced sending of returnees to Cyprus. Here you can also learn about the confrontation between Israel and the British before the founding of the State of Israel.

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