Via Dolorosa: a somewhat crowded pilgrimage

Just in time for Holy Week, here comes an account of my last day in Jerusalem, encompassing visits to Rachel’s Tomb, the Mount of Olives, and the Via Dolorosa. Among the lanes in Jerusalems Old City, the Via Dolorosa marks the last steps of Jesus Christ prior to his crucification, and is a scantily marked, mostly pedestrian street that winds through the Muslim Quarter into the Christian Quarter and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site where Jesus Christ was crucified and buried. While the Church...

Is it safe to visit the Mount of Olives?

In peaceful times, a trip up the Mount of Olives, for the stunning view over the Old City and the Temple Mount, is part of every itinerary of Jerusalem. Wonderful vistas aside, the Mount of Olives is also one of the sites where Jesus Christ is said to have been departed the Earth to be with God. Even older is the Jewish Cemetery, which has been present on the slopes of the hill for over 3000 years and to this day is a very sought-after burial place,...

West Bank Banksies, Walls and Sweet Child Jesus: a Day in Bethlehem

Bethlehem: I looked everywhere in my 2011 Bradt Guide, but couldn’t find it. No wonder… it’s in the West Bank, one of the three Palestine Territories in Israel. So, it wasn’t even in the guide! (I believe many other guides do cover the Palestine Territories, though). From everywhere, I heard words of caution about travelling to the West Bank, but travelling in relatively stable times (November 2017), I wanted to see the place Jesus was born. Somewhere in a weekend supplement, I’d read about the midnight mass...