Monday, May 6, 2013

Overlooking Jerusalem

We spent the whole day today (8 hour field trip!) traveling to get different views of Jerusalem and the surrounding area.

This was our first stop, called the Seven Arches Overlook. There was a great view of the whole city, and especially the Dome of the Rock/Temple Mount.

Our next stop was the Augusta Victoria church tower. Kaiser Wilhelm II had this church built and named it after his wife. We hiked up over 200 stairs to get to the top. From there, we could see as far as Jordan. I couldn't get good pictures of the view because of the grates that prevented us from falling to our deaths, but here's one of the pretty church.

Is it weird to pose like that in a church? Maybe.

Our next destination was the Tomb of Samuel, located in the small Palestinian village of Nabi Samwil (in the West Bank). Since it is thought to be the burial place of the prophet Samuel, the site is holy for Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The current mosque used to be a church, and a synagogue has been added in the basement. I'm sure the Muslims were thrilled about that!

Tomb of Samuel in Nabi Samwil, West Bank

I visited the women's side of the orthodox synagogue, and there was nothing to see besides a tiny basement room. It was awkward going down there because there were lots of Jewish women actually praying...and we were like "Hi guys, we're a huge group of awkward Mormon college students disturbing your worship."

This site is on top of a large hill overlooking the outskirts of Jerusalem. The Crusaders called this hill "Montjoie" because it was their first glimpse of the city.

View of Jerusalem from Nabi Samwil, called Montjoie by the Crusaders.

At our next stop, we got a view of Bethlehem! I'm excited to actually tour this city- we'll be going in July. Bethlehem is also in the West Bank, and we could see the Separation Wall from this point. I'm enjoying learning more about modern-day politics in addition to the ancient and religious history of this area.

Our last stop was similar to the first overlook, but from a different direction and a bit further away. Can you spot the Dome?

This field trip was meant to give us an introduction of everything we'll be seeing this summer. I can't wait to see more, this is a fascinating place.


  1. Wow, stunning views, Marissa! You must have been tired after climbing all those stairs and hills! That's cool that you could see not only Jerusalem, but Bethlehem and Jordan in the distance; sweet!

  2. כמה טוב גוגל עושה עבודה לתרגם?

    I guess that's pretty cool, pretty cool. <3