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Bustling Ashdod isn't just certainly one of Israel's quickest-growing metropolitan areas, it is also the nation's biggest port. Resting around the Mediterranean, it processes greater than 60% from the goods imported into Israel. The place to find many ancient people within the centuries, Ashdod today is really a contemporary, planned city. It is also a handy stop-over point for exploring a number of Israel's most fascinating metropolitan areas, including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Bethlehem. The place combines the right mix of modern city vibe with a rich old-worldly heritage. 
A brief history of Jerusalem is among creation then destruction, of spiritual piety combined with obsessed fervor and eventually of ecumenical oneness frequently interrupted by sectarian division. Where lots of historic metropolitan areas contain reconstructed old cities which concentrate on a golden age, this method could be impossible in Jerusalem, because different religions and ethnic groups have built their great monuments on the top from the previous cultures' monuments. This isn't unique, but since the Jews, Christian believers and Muslims have varying ideas in regards to what is sacred or in the past significant, it's proven impossible to eliminate what is available now to be able to uncover and rebuild what's underneath. Actually, within each religion you will find subdivisions which have varying values and goals.
Historical research in almost any city is really a aimless effort, but doubly so in Jerusalem since it involves sacred sites for 3 living religions. An excellent illustration of this conflict may be the Temple Mount, the historic location of the foremost and Second Temples from the Jewish belief. More lately it's the position of the Dome from the Rock and also the al-Aqsa Mosque, sacred to Muslims. These Muslim holy sites are safe through the Israeli government, however, many want to search beneath these to uncover the historic temples. And within Christendom you will find conflicts.
The Chapel from the Holy Sepulchre is shared with a diverse number of Christian believers who're frequently incompatible within the control over the website. Where it's possible to not destroy what is available today, historical exploration continues in Jerusalem, but typically the state attitude would be to give priority towards the monuments which exist today and also to recognition past monuments in museums and thru written history.
In the western world we're most conscious of certain divisions inside the Christian community. Site visitors from Europe and America include Roman Catholics, Greek and Russian Orthodox, traditional Protestant groups and fundamentalist Protestants, a number of whom see Jerusalem not only being an historic religious site but additionally because the location of future religious occasions predicted within the New Testament. Also contained in Jerusalem are also Christian groups from around the world. The biggest could well be the Arab (Palestinian) Christian population that has lengthy resided within the city and also the region. Additionally, you will find significant categories of Coptic Christian believers, the in the past important Armenian Orthodox group yet others more compact groups of all the place in the world.
A number of these groups see the background and way forward for Jerusalem diversely. These various perspectives have frequently brought to conflicts, some small , some large, which conflicts continue today. Around Jerusalem are most frequently carried out in line with the visitor's religious values and also the explanations below take this method, explaining the websites that you'll most likely find most significant according to your religious values.
Where You're Docked
Jerusalem is located only 64 km (40 miles) from Ashdod which makes it a perfect destination for a one day shore excursion. Cruise ships dock at the Ashdod Port, Israel's busiest cargo port. While weekly cruises departing regularly from the port dock by the main cruise terminal, most visiting cruise ships dock in the middle of the industrial port, far from anything. Most lines will run shuttles to the main port gate. To get into town, take the shuttle to the main gate and a cab to Ashdod. The city is not a big tourist destination, but it does have a nice marina and waterfront promenade for a stroll or dining with a view.

The majority of cruise travelers take shore excursions or private tours that provide transportation from Ashdod to Jerusalem. We definitely recommend some type of guided tour because the Ashdod Port is far from most attractions (more than an hour's drive to Jerusalem), and the port itself is tricky to navigate and is not within walking distance of the city of Ashdod. It's not worth the increased transportation time and hassle to tour independently if you've never been to Israel before; plus, a guide is invaluable for giving insight into the historic and religious importance of the sites you will be seeing in Jerusalem.
If you're set on touring on your own, you can take the ship's shuttle to the main port gate, where you can catch a cab directly to Jerusalem. Alternately, you can get a cab to Ashdod's bus terminal, where you can find a bus to Jerusalem's main bus terminal and then another bus or cab to the city's attractions.
Christian Jerusalem
The significance of Jerusalem to Christian believers is dependent on their belief within the dying and resurrection of Jesus. For a lot of Christian believers, the easiest method to commemorate the occasions of Christ's last days would be to stick to the path he adopted from the moment he was condemned by Pontius Pilate until he was put into his tomb. This path is called the Via Dolorosa, the road of suffering. You will find 14 historic preventing points where occasions referred to within the New Testament are stated to possess happened. The very first station on the way is how Pilate sentenced Jesus.
At station two, Jesus required in the heavy mix and also at point three he fell the very first time underneath the burden. Stations 10-14 are inside the Chapel from the Holy Sepulchre that is around the place in which the Rock of Golgotha (also called Calvary) and also the tomb are believed to possess been. This is when Christ was removed, nailed towards the mix and eventually was entombed. On Friday days, the Franciscans lead a unique procession across the path.
The Chapel from the Holy Sepulchre was built initially through the Roman Emperor Constantine after his conversion to Christianity. His mother, who's stated to possess discovered the "true mix" which Christ was crucified, is hidden there. It had been nearly destroyed through the Persians within the seventh century and reconstructed a couple of years before the appearance of the Arab Muslims conquest from the area. The Muslims protected the Christian chapel for pretty much 400 years if this was torn to boulders through the mad Caliph Hakim in 1009. The neighborhood Byzantines began renovation after the Crusaders recaptured Jerusalem, the renovation ongoing from about 1099 until 1170, integrating European styles such as the edicule which provides coverage for the tomb itself. Though heavily broken by neglect, earthquakes, fires along with other occasions, this is actually the Chapel we have seen today. It's not a real chapel within the normal sense as there's no central altar, but instead a cluster of altars and chapels where various Christian groups recognition the place where their messiah died and it was hidden.
The three primary groups manipulating the chapel would be the Latin (Roman Catholic), Greek (Eastern Orthodox) and Armenian (Apostolic) places of worship. Also controlling space within the building would be the Ethiopian Orthodox, the Coptic Orthodox and also the Syriac Orthodox. Each group features its own space within and often on the top from the building. Your building is a hodge-podge of architectural styles, as opposed to a single beautiful edifice.
Bethlehem. Today almost all of Bethlehem's citizens, as elsewhere in the western world Bank, are Muslim. However for Christian believers around the world, the town is symbolic of the birth of Jesus. Too, Bethlehem may be the site from the Tomb of Rachel, the only person from the scriptural patriarchs and matriarchs not hidden in Hebron.
Chapel from the Nativity. This is actually the earliest standing chapel in Israel. In the right transept in front from the chapel, descend towards the Grotto from the Nativity, enveloped in whitened marble. When a cave-exactly the type of place that may have been utilized as a barn-the grotto continues to be reamed, plastered, and decorated beyond recognition. Immediately around the right is really a small altar, and on the ground below it's the focus from the entire site, a 14-point silver star using the Latin inscription: hic p virgine maria jesus christus natus est ("Here from the Virgin Mary, Jesus was createdInch). Manger Sq..
Chapel of St. Catherine. Next to the Chapel from the Nativity, and accessible with a passage from the Armenian chapel, is Bethlehem's Roman Catholic parish chapel. Out of this chapel, the night time Catholic Christmas mass is broadcast all over the world. Steps descend from inside the chapel to a number of dim grottoes, clearly once utilized as living quarters. A little wooden door (stored locked) connects the complex using the Grotto from the Nativity.
Manger Square. Bethlehem's central plaza and also the site from the Chapel from the Nativity, Manger Square is made within the grotto regarded as the birthplace of Jesus. The finish from the square opposite the chapel may be the Mosque of Omar, the city's biggest Muslim house of worship. The square occupies the middle of Bethlehem's old city. It features a tourist-information office, a couple of restaurants, and many good souvenir shops.
Rachel's Tomb. This Israeli enclave inside a Palestinian area is around the right soon after passing with the border. The Bible relates the matriarch Rachel, second and favorite wife of Jacob, died in giving birth around the borders of Bethlehem, "and Jacob generate a pillar upon her grave" (Genesis 35:19-20). There's no vestige of Jacob's original pillar, but observant Jews for hundreds of years have hallowed the velvet-covered cenotaph within the building because the site of Rachel's tomb. Near the tomb is really a Muslim graveyard, reflecting the center Eastern tradition that it's a special privilege to become hidden near an excellent personage. Rte. 60.
Based on the Bible, it had been along these shores the almighty rained fire and brimstone around the people of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24) and switched Lot's wife right into a pillar of salt (Genesis 26). Here, in the cheapest point on the planet-the foot of the planet: 1,292 ft below ocean level-the new, sulfur-pungent air dangles heavy, along with a haze frequently shimmers within the water. You are able to float, however, you cannot sink, within the warm, salty water.
Symbolic of the traditional kingdom of Israel, Masada (Hebrew for "fortress") towers majestically within the western shoreline from the Dead Ocean. Its unusual natural form-a plateau trigger on every side by towering coves-attracted Herod the truly amazing, who built a luxurious desert structure here it had been the very first site in Israel to be included to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001.
To achieve the very best, most site visitors take advantage from the fast cable vehicle. Beginning at 8 am, it runs every 30 minutes, with intermediate runs depending when needed. Maps, an in depth sales brochure, along with a very helpful audio guide can be found at the very top entrance. Adjoining the low cable-vehicle station may be the Masada Museum, with 100s of items in the site. Especially moving is some 12 pottery shards, each bearing just one title. Archeologists believe these may have been lots attracted to determine an order where the last remaining rebels would die.
Chapel from the Holy Sepulcher. Many Christian believers believe this is actually the place where Jesus was crucified through the Romans, was hidden, and rose in the dead. On the ground just within the entrance from the chapel may be the rectangular pink Stone of Unction, where, it's stated, your body of Jesus was cleaned and eager for funeral. The tomb itself (Station XIV), enveloped inside a pink marble edifice, is incorporated in the rotunda left from the primary entrance from the chapel. Between Suq Khan e-Zeit and Christian Quarter Rd., Christian Quarter, Jerusalem.
Via Dolorosa. The clear way of Suffering-or Method of the Mix, as it is more generally known as-is venerated because the route Jesus walked, transporting his mix, in the host to his trial and condemnation by Pontius Pilate towards the site of his crucifixion and funeral 14 stations mark the path. Muslim and Christian Quarters, Jerusalem.
Jewish Jerusalem
King David is stated to possess established Jerusalem because the capital from the new Kingdom of Israel around 1000 BCE. His boy, Solomon, built a temple there which is called the very first Temple. Though a town before David's arrival, the establishment of David's city was the seminal event in Jerusalem's early history. Historical structures present in Jerusalem demonstrate the lengthy good reputation for the town, but haven't been irrefutably credited to the particular culture. Two structures sometimes credited to King David could be visited within the portion of the city known as the town of David. Jerusalem was ruled through the Jews for starters brief period between your ancient and modern periods, though a number of its non-Jewish rulers were culturally and religiously tolerant permitting Jewish culture to flourish.
The 2nd Temple was initially built throughout Persian rule, but was refurbished by Herod within the first century BCE and it is sometimes known as Herod's Temple. It had been destroyed throughout the Jewish War once the Roman's trapped the town. Ruins continued to be there until the making of the Dome from the Rock within the seventh century AD. The remains from the Temple and it is surrounding walls, particularly the Western Wall, are thought sacred one of the Jews visiting the website to wish to begin in which the Holy of Holies was previously.
The Western Wall is around the fringe of the Jewish Quarter from the Walled city. Site visitors walk the Cardo, the primary street of Roman and Byzantine era, now a well known shopping street inside the Jewish Quarter. The Hurva Synagogue is an essential within the old city. Initially built-in the 1700s, it had been reconstructed in the 1800s form and re-opened up this year. Close to the Zion gate is definitely an area where major fighting for that establishment from the Jewish condition happened in 1948.
Outdoors that old City would be the modern structures from the Israeli government, like the Knesset and also the Top Court, together with some important museums. These important structures are mainly within the Givat Ram neighborhood. The Israel Museum is centered on the archaeology of gortyn from the region and features a type of the 2nd Temple. Area of the museum may be the domed Shrine from the Book which consists of the Dead Ocean Scrolls, scriptural era documents discovered throughout the twentieth century in caves south of Jerusalem. Near the Israel Museum may be the Bible Lands Museum, which concentrates on Old Testament era peoples and cultures.
Western Wall. The status from the Wall as the most crucial existing Jewish shrine stems from its reference to the traditional Temple, home of God-it had been area of the massive retaining wall King Herod created to produce the huge plaza now referred to as Temple Mount. As time passes, the nearest remnant from the period required around the aura from the Temple itself, making the Western Wall a type of holy place by proxy. (Expect a regular check of the bags-more compact is much better-by security personnel in the plaza entrance.) Near Dung Gate, Western Wall, Jerusalem.
Western Wall Tunnel. The lengthy tunnel was deliberately dug recently with the objective of subjecting a strip from the Western Wall along its entire length. One span of the huge wall revealed two building gemstones believed to weigh an amazing 400 tons and 570 tons, correspondingly. Note that you could go to the site only included in a structured tour. Western Wall, Jerusalem. Admission billed.
West Jerusalem. West Jerusalem houses the country's institutions, may be the repository because of its collective memory, and-along with the downtown-gives more understanding of contemporary existence in Israel's biggest city. The planet-class Israel Museum and Yad Vashem are situated here.
Muslim Jerusalem
Islam in Jerusalem centers round the Temple Mount (referred to as Noble Sanctuary to Muslims), considered the 3rd most holy site in Islam, where some Muslims think that the prophet Mohammed ascended to paradise. Jerusalem was taken through the Arab Muslims in 637 AD. Around the Temple Mount they very rapidly built two great Islamic sites, the Dome from the Rock, commemorating Mohammed's ascension (carried out 1692 and also the second earliest extant Islamic building) and also the al-Aqsa Mosque (built and reconstructed several occasions 705 - 1150).
The Dome from the Rock isn't a mosque, but instead a memorial and it is architecture is recognized as seminal to subsequent Islamic structures. Al-Aqsa Mosque may be the biggest in Jerusalem and may host 5000 worshipers. Use of non-Muslims is restricted and might be transformed based on current occasions. Non-Muslims aren't allowed to wish around the Temple Mount. You will find also limitations on youthful Muslims who aren't local citizens. Access is controlled through the Islamic Awqaf. The Israeli government tries to maintain things as they are to be able to recognition the religious feelings of numerous religious groups and stop conflict within the site.
Dome from the Rock and Temple Mount. The magnificent golden Dome from the Rock rules the huge 35-acre Temple Mount, the region recognized to Muslims as Haram esh-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary). At its southern finish, immediately before you while you go into the area in the Western Wall plaza (the only real gate for non-Muslims), may be the large, black-domed al-Aqsa Mosque, the 3rd in holiness for Muslims everywhere.
Jewish tradition identifies the truly amazing rock in the summit from the hill-now underneath the gold dome-because the foundation stone around the globe. During the time of this writing, the Muslim shrines were closed to non-Muslims to have an indefinite period. Security check lines to go in the region are frequently lengthy it is best to come early. Note: the Muslim family and friends stop Bibles in the region. Access between your Western Wall and Dung Gate, Temple Mount, Jerusalem.
Yad Vashem
Due west from the old city, around the fringe of the Jerusalem Forest on the top of Mount Herzi, is Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Museum. The strikingly modern museum, first imagined in 1953 and considerably broadened in the year 2006 using the opening from the new museum building, consists of exhibits which stress the person impact from the Holocaust around the Jewish people and illustrate the private tales of their sufferers. One of the most famous exhibits may be the Hall of Names, a main repository and display of images and biographies from the sufferers.
The museum provides a narrative in publications, picture, audio, film and graphic art from the era before, throughout after the tragedy that can bring to existence probably the most troubling occasions in history. Due to the Museum there's the Righteous Among Nations display which honors non-Jews who risked their personal safety arrive at the assistance of Jews throughout the tragic era. The brand new museum was created by Moshe Safdie inside a stark, dramatic style. Yad Vashem may be the second most widely used attraction in Israel following the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Ashdod to Yad Vashem - 68 km. an hour
Near Jerusalem
Inside the East Bank area controlled through the Palestinians the birthplace of Jesus, Bethlehem is really a major tourist draw for Christian pilgrims. Tourist automobiles approaching the city goes via a security checkpoint. Inside a couple of cases vacationers will have to change automobiles, however in general tours to Bethlehem run easily. The city has 25,000 mostly-Palestinian citizens together with a significant minority of Palestinian Christian believers.
Typically the most popular attraction may be the Chapel from the Nativity, among the earliest of Christian places of worship. Bethlehem can also be King David's home city, so you should Jews too. And Roman Catholic St. Jerome spent decades within the town as they converted the standard Latin Bible, the Vulgate. Ashdod to Bethlehem - 75 km, one hour ten minutes
The village of Ein Kerem is really a beautiful traditional place where vacationers frequently visit Mary's well and also the traditional birthplace of John the Baptist. The region known as Qasr al Yahud is thought the place where Jesus was baptized along with the place the kids of Israel entered the Jordan River. Several lovely places of worship and monasteries are in the region. A sensational memorial atop a place hill known as Yad Kennedy honors the American Leader.
From Ahdod to Tel Aviv and Jaffa
Established in 1909 with a select few of Jewish immigrants, next to the traditional walled town of Jaffa, Tel Aviv is among the most contemporary major metropolitan areas on the planet and it is frequently in comparison to Miami using its Bauhaus architecture, wide stretches of sand and completely modern outlook. Tel Aviv may be the financial and hi-tech capital of Israel and also the location on most worldwide embassies. The Whitened City portion of the city was produced within the nineteen thirties when German-trained designers immigrated and introduced their aesthetic together.
It's now an UNESCO World Heritage site. The traditional scriptural town of Jaffa continues to be absorbed through the sprawling Tel Aviv, but old mosques, places of worship and historic sites remain. Recent tourism development has meant restoration of old structures and the development of a painter colony within the old town. Beaches of Tel Aviv are very neat and well-maintained offering modern amenities and activities. Across the shoreline are a few of Israel's most widely used restaurants, offering world cuisines including light and vegetarian options. Gordon Street and also the nearby Dizengott Street would be the fashion and shopping modems for individuals searching for unique products and top designers. Tel Aviv is among the top draws to gay vacationers within the Mediterranean. The starkly modern Museum from the Jewish People (also known as Janet Hatefutsoth and also the Museum from the Diaspora) is really a vivid representation from the lengthy good reputation for Jews around the globe.
The Dead Ocean and Masada
The stark and stunning landscape from the Judean Desert appeals to cruiser motorcycles seeking unique sights and photo possibilities. The cheapest just right earth, the shoreline from the Dead Ocean reaches one-quarter mile below ocean-level in places. A dip within the water, that is one-third salt, is enjoyable for the non-swimmer because everybody floats and lots of think about the waters therapeutic.
The Qumran Caves are members of the historical site in which the remarkably maintained Dead Ocean Scrolls put together. Across the shoreline from the ocean may be the Ein Gedi kibbutz that provides tours including an arid tropical garden. Masada is really a mountaintop fortress and structure built by Herod and then utilized by Jewish zealots his or her last bulwark from the Romans. If this grew to become obvious they could be taken, the audience committed mass suicide. The Bar Kochba Caves are an historic site where Israeli rebels lead the 3rd revolt from the Romans within the second century AD.
Caesarea Maritime
Though lived on before Herod the Great's time, the nation's Park of Caesarea Maritima is dependant on the ruins of structures built by Herod within the Roman style within the second and 3rd decades BCE. These impressive ruins incorporate a Roman amphitheater, the finish of the aqueduct which had begun far towards the north at Mount Carmel, together with the remains of later Arab and Crusader buildings. Early Christian items and historic documents reveal that Caesarea was an essential center within the first centuries AD along with a site of Christian scholarship. Additionally, it might have been in which the Nicene Creed was written. In the late 1800s before the establishment of Israel, the city of Caesarea was lived on by descendants of Muslim Bosniaks who built a Bosniak style mosque and minaret. Ashdod to Caesarea Maritime - 94 km, one hour ten minutes
Jerusalem Historical Park
The site frequently known to because the Western and Southern Wall Excavations, or even the Ophel-would be a historic gold mine for Israeli archaeologists within the seventies and 1980s. Interesting Byzantine and early Arab structures found light, however the most dramatic and monumental finds were in the late first century BC.
Uncovered left from the corner may be the whitened pavement of the impressive primary street and commercial area in the Second Temple period. The protrusion left from the corner and above your mind is called Robinson's Arch, which was named for any 19th-century American explorer. Dung Gate, Western Wall, Jerusalem. Admission billed.
Israel Museum
The 3 primary areas of the eclectic treasure chest and world-class museum are art, the archaeology of gortyn, and Judaica, however, the Dead Ocean Scrolls are the museum's most well-known and important collection.
Yad Vashem
The institution of Yad Vashem, produced in 1953 by an action from the Knesset, was billed with protecting an eye on the Holocaust. The site's focal point may be the riveting Holocaust History Museum, a properly-lit, 200-yard-lengthy triangular concrete "prism." Effective visual and audiovisual are offered by several art galleries to document Jewish existence in Europe prior to the catastrophe and stick to the escalation of the hideous climax from the Nazi's "Final Solution." Video interviews and personal items lead to personalization of the subject at hand.


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