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VISIT JERUSALEM: The Upper Room & Mount of Olives

Karin is an award-winning writer, editor and publisher of Christian and secular works in Europe and the USA.

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Introduction

The story of Jesus' last hours is documented in all the Gospels and conveys the most compelling moments in biblical history. Not only did Jesus foretell his death but He indicated in this room who would betray Him. Jesus and the 12 disciples convened here and it was here in fact that the disciples sought refuge and regrouped following their leaders crucifixion. It was in this room that Jesus appeared unto His disciples following the resurrection and it is also the same room where the Holy Spirit descended on the 12 on the Day of Pentecost. For these reasons alone it has to go on the 'must experience' list.

The current church dates back to the 12th century but the actual site of the original room is beneath the church. Excavations show that beneath the floor of the building are Byzantine and Roman pavements and the foundations go back to at least the 2nd century AD and three of the walls of the original church are thought to have made up King David's tomb, though this is disputed. Throughout history it has been called 'The room of the Apostles' and various churches dating back to the 5th century have stood on this spot.

To say that you feel an overwhelming sense of awe here is an understatement and although the room is 'empty' of furniture it adds to the authenticity somehow. You can imagine Jesus and the disciples, in modest, conditions eating, breaking bread and drinking the wine of the new covenant - a powerfully singularly significant moment in Christianity.

It is amazing to think that it would have been in this very room that Jesus reappeared to his followers and the realization that Jesus had risen from the dead would have been absorbed by the 12 from this room. From here the news of Jesus would have spread through the testimony of the apostles; resulting 2000 years later in what we know today as Christianity...

The Upper Room

Where to Stay?

  • Eldan Hotel is right in the heart of Jerusalem and within easy walking distance to all three Holy sites connected to the Dome of the Rock. Excellent facilities and of course free wifi.
  • Mount Zion Hotel great for locality and facilities.
  • Jerusalem Inn is classed as a B & B but feels like a hotel, excellent value for money but be an early bird!

Karin's Tips

  • Golden rules - water, hat and sunscreen!
  • Take a tour for this one and then travel back later to soak up the atmosphere on your own
  • Be prepared to climb stairs!
  • Combine with a visit to King David's Tomb

THE MOUNT OF OLIVES

Introduction

The word Gethsemane means 'oil press' and during the time of Jesus this is the place where the oil press would have been situated. There are few people, who upon visiting this historical site, can escape the huge spiritual significance of what the Garden of Gethsemane represents. The story of Jesus sweating blood and agonizing before God, being betrayed and subsequently arrested, is extensively documented in all the Gospels and therefore to actually visit the place where all this occurred, is a 'must experience' on your visit to this ancient land. However, prior to this particular night in history, it has been suggested by some that Jesus and his disciples sought refuge in the Garden on other occasions as well, therefore, It is hardly surprising that this little garden has become one of the most spiritually evocative places on the planet.

Virtual Tour

The Olive Trees

As you walk around Gethsemane you are immediately captivated by the haphazardly structured olive trees that almost look etched in pain, as they reach out towards the sky with awkwardly positioned branches. You think to yourself 'if trees could talk what could these trees tell us about that fateful night?' Some people debate that any of the trees date back to that time, however, having seen them I would have to disagree. I am convinced some of these trees are extremely old, perhaps even thousands of years old as others have suggested but I am not an expert on trees! What is perhaps significant though is that researchers have discovered that eight of these trees are from the same lineage as the original ones that would have been in the garden dating back to the time of Jesus. An amazing fact that has been discovered is that all trees have a 'genetic fingerprint' and therefore we are enabled to continue to have a link to the past through them...

As your 'visit' continues and you get over the initial 'we're here' feeling, you begin to look beyond the flesh. Maybe you brought your Bible and decided to find a quiet spot beside the small statue of Jesus praying that is carved in the stone and that represents where a brooke once ran. Perhaps you prefer reading the scriptures as you sit with other people from all different nations who are praying or also reading. Maybe you are standing or walking about soaking in the magnificent views of the city walls and the Dome on the Rock in the distance?

However, you choose to spend your time in this historic and spiritually significant place there is one thing that is clear, Gethsemane is still a place of refuge, contemplation and soul searching over 2000 years later...

Church of All Nations

The Church of All Nations is a Roman Catholic church on the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem, Israel. It is instantly recognizable by its painted front. The church site dates back to a Byzantine basilica of the 4th century that was subsequently destroyed by an earthquake. So what makes this church different from any other? Well there is a what is referred to as an 'open altar' located in the gardens which is used by other believers from different denominations throughout the world, this makes this chapel above all others unique, functional and totally integrated.

Where to Stay?

Here are some suggestions of where to stay near the Mount of Olives:

  • The Golden Walls Hotel - a 4* with a 5* feel the Golden Walls Hotel is in a perfect position for visiting the Mount of Olives and surrounding areas and you save on travel.
  • The American Colony Hotel - a magnificent 5* luxury hotel, just 0.7 miles from the Mount of Olives
  • The Lecacy Hotel - again very close to the Mount and a wonderful 4* with excellent discounted rates - check booking.com

Karin's Tips

Here are some guidelines and tips:

  • Head out early in the morning - it is less hot!
  • Wear a hat and take water - remember your Sunscreen!
  • You can walk all the way from the old city to the Mount of Olives - suggested route come out of the Damascus Gate and turn right keep going and you are literally there!
  • Take your camera!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Karin McBride-Chenoweth

Comments

Karin McBride-Chenoweth (author) from United States on September 21, 2021:

It is wonderful Liz, you need to visit Israel, it is unique, vibrant and Holy.

Karin McBride-Chenoweth (author) from United States on September 21, 2021:

It is wonderful Liz, you need to visit Israel, it is unique, vibrant and Holy.

Liz Westwood from UK on September 20, 2021:

I have not had the opportunity to visit Jerusalem, but I know several people who have. They all speak of a memorable experience and value the opportunity to visit places mentioned in the Bible.

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