Mount Zion is located south of the old city of Jerusalem. You enter the city of David through the Zion Gate, where you can still see the bullet holes of the 1948 war bullets. Here the city is presumed by King David, the origin of Jerusalem. Therefore, Zion is also used as a synonym for Jerusalem and for all of Israel. The Zionists with their thought leader Herzl propagated an independent Jewish state in the Holy Land. Back to the origins, back to Mount Zion. A statue with harp on the way commemorates King David. In the city of David, the "Last Supper" is said to have taken place with Jesus and his disciples. You can visit the Cenacle, which looks like a knight's hall with gothic vaults. The hall is thus much younger than the "Last Supper".
The largest building on Mount Zion is the Dormition Abbey, built by German Emperor Wilhelm II in 1898. The Dormition Abbey was built for Mary, who is said to be here. A very beautiful structure of light natural stone, which stands out with its beautiful mosaics (photo). The abbey is still run by German Benedictine monks.
On the mountain Zion there is also the grave of Oskar Schindler which became world-famous through the film "Schindler's List" by Steven Spielberg.
The center of West Jerusalem is located in a triangle between Jaffa Street, King George Street and Ben Yehuda. The center is therefore called Downtown Triangle. Since 2011, the tram of Jerusalem operates on Jaffa Street. The modern tram links West Jerusalem with East Jerusalem. King George Street is a broad street with modern buildings and many shops. The most beautiful street is the pedestrian zone of Ben Yehuda (photo), with restaurants and little shops. This is the heart of West Jerusalem.
Yad Vashem is the central Holocaust memorial of Israel. The genocide of the Jews of Europe was systematically planned by Nazi Germany and cruelly executed in concentration camps in eastern Europe. Over 4 million people died in the German death camps between 1940-1945. Yad Vashem consists of several buildings, in the Holocaust History Museum the history of the Shoa is presented in great detail from the seizure of power by Adolf Hitler to the extermination of the Jews. The Holocaust History Museum is a triangular, 200-meter-long structure designed by architect Moshe Safdie. At the end of the exhibition the museum opens to the hilly landscape of Jerusalem. Other important places are the Hall of Remembrance, the HaKaron Monument commemorating all the deportees (a freight car on a bridge in the forest), The Children's Memorial is underground, following the path it gets very dark, finally you lose your orientation and the names of murdered children are read aloud. Yad Vashem is a very extensive memorial site, you should get a map at the visitor center first. If you want to see everything, you should plan half a day for the visit.
Opening hours Yad Vashem:
8.30 am-5 pm, Thursdays until 8 pm, Fridays until 2 pm. Closed on Saturdays and on Jewish holidays. Admission is free (2018)
Tram Station: Har Herzl
The Israeli Military Cemetery is located on the Mount Herzl in West Jerusalem. On the wooded hill are the tombs of many important personalities. He was named after Theodor Herzl, who published his book "Der Judenstaat" (The jewish state) in 1896 and founded the WZO World Zionist Organization a year later in Basel. Theodor Herzl died in 1904 and was buried in Vienna. On the Herzlberg in Jerusalem a grave of honor for the founder of the Zionists was built, in which his remains were transferred in 1949. The graves of Golda Meir (Prime Minister), Yitzhak Rabin (Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize laureate) and Shimon Peres (Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize laureate) can also be found in Har Herzl Cemetery. The Mount Herzl is 834 m high and is located about 5 kilometers west of the old town of Jerusalem.
The bridge is officially called Chords Bridge and opened in 2008. It serves as a tram crossing the intersection in front of Yitzchak Navon Station and Jerusalem Bus Terminal. The Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava has designed the elegant cable-stayed bridge, which is to commemorate the harp of King David. At night, the bridge is illuminated with colorful LED lights.
Other buildings of Calatrava:
Me'a Sche Arim is the district of ultra-orthodox Jews. Men wear black hats, sidelocks and black suits, as they did in Eastern Europe. Women wear long skirts and headscarves. Visitors should also wear long pants and shirts that cover their arms. It is expected that visitors behave considerately and abide by the Sabbath rules. The district Me'a Sche Arim was built in 1874 and initially consisted of a few courtyard houses that were closed at night. The neighborhood of Orthodox Jews is poor and partially looks like a slum. There are no real attractions, but the neighborhoods of the Orthodox Jews are growing fastest and occupy almost a third of the area of Jerusalem.
The Knesset (Assembly) is the Israeli parliament building. Since 1949, the Knesset is located in Jerusalem. Today's parliament was built in 1966 according to the plans of architect Ossip (later Josef) Klarwein. Klarwein was born in Warsaw and worked for Hans Poelzig and Fitz Höger before emigrating to Israel in 1934. The simple concrete building houses in its interiors tapestries by Marc Chagall. Tours of the Knesset take place on Sundays and Thursdays (8:30, 12:00 and 14:00): For current information see link.
The Bible Lands Museum is a private, religious art collection that explains the history of the Holy Land through art objects and archaeological finds. The Bible Lands Museum incorporates the Middle East, Egypt and Greece and explains the influences of different cultures that met in Israel and formed the Holy Land. In Israel, the trade routes that connected Egypt with the country of the two rivers met. As a result, the peoples and cultures mingled in the Holy Land.
The Israel Museum consists of a collection of buildings that house very different themes. The Israel Museum displays modern works of art, archeology, Jewish life and the history of Israel. You can easily spend a whole day here. The sculpture garden contains works by Henry Moore, Picasso and Claas Oldenburg. The main attraction of the Israel Museum is the Shrine of the Book. Here are the scrolls from Qumran, which were found in 1947 in caves on the Dead Sea. Another attraction is the model of the Second Temple of Jerusalem. The huge city model shows Jerusalem around the year 70 AD, just before the temple was destroyed by the Romans.
The covered Central Market Mahane Yehuda is the market of West Jerusalem. Here you will find all the delicacies of the Orient, fruits, vegetables, spices, fish, meat and much more. The Mahane Yehuda Market operates like a bazaar and is very popular among tourists and locals. The Yehuda Market opens from Sunday to Thursday from 8-19, on Friday from 8-15. When the shops close, the bars in the market open. Especially on Thursday, the Mahane Yehuda market turns into a party zone. This has made the market one of the most recognizable attraction of West Jerusalem. There are countless other restaurants and cafes around the market, making the area the nightlife district of West Jerusalem.
How do you get there?
Take the tram to Yehuda Station. On foot it is about 1 kilometer from Yitzhak Navon Station.