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Churches in Israel

Churches in Israel

Attractions travel guide

Christian Pilgrims have been visiting Israel for centuries. No wonder: the land where Jesus and the disciples lived is filled with historical sites and ancient churches that hold a tremendous importance for Christian believers. Many important churches in Israel are spread throughout the country, and are visited by thousands of believers every year. 

The following is a shortlist of some of the most significant churches in Israel:

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, is the first among the Christian shrines. According to Christian belief, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (refereed to as Golgotha, the Hill of Calvary, by most Christians) is where Jesus was crucified and buried. The resurrection has been celebrated there for many centuries as the most sacred place in all of Christendom.

The Chapel of the Ascension

The Chapel of the Ascension in Jerusalem is believed by Christians to be where Jesus ascended into heaven. It is a holy site for Muslims as well, and serves as a church and a mosque. The first church was built there in 390 AD., the current chapel was built in 1150 AD., and the mosque was added in 1620 AD. It is located just south of the Mount of Olives.

The Church of the Nativity

The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is one of the most ancient churches in the world, and one of the most important churches in Israel. It was built over the supposed birth place of Jesus, and is considered sacred to Muslims as well.

The Church of the Annunciation

The Church of the Annunciation, sometimes referred to as the Basilica of the Annunciation, is located in Nazareth, where – according to Roman Catholic tradition – Mary was told by Gabriel that she will be the mother of Jesus. The Church of the Annunciation is a pilgrims’ must-see and a tourists’ long time favorite.

Church of St. Gabriel

According to the apocryphal Gospel, the Church of St. Gabriel (St. Mary’s well) is the actual place where Gabriel made the announcement to Mary. It is also located in Nazareth. 

The Church of St. Joseph is another main Christian attraction in Nazareth. Known as the supposed location of Joseph’s carpentry shop, the Church of St. Joseph is visited by many believers every year. The lower level contains the Grotto of the Annunciation, believed by many Christians to be the remains of the original childhood home of Mary.

Explore the Wonders of Marine Life in Israel at the Israel Aquarium, Jerusalem

Explore the Wonders of Marine Life in Israel at the Israel Aquarium, Jerusalem

Israel Aquarium, Jerusalem, is the first aquarium in Israel built by the Gottsman family. The aquarium focuses on the conservation of habitats and marine environments in Israel, a contemporary challenge in nature conservation. Visiting the aquarium will take you on a fascinating tour that highlights the marine habitats in Israel, including the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Sea of Galilee, and even the Dead Sea. During your visit to the aquarium, you will be taken on a fascinating journey between the different marine habitats in Israel, in the Mediterranean Sea. The complex contains a variety of creatures ranging from shallow shore habitats to deep sea habitats. At the Red Sea displays you will get to know the colorful fish and corals that are unique to the sea. The one-way route will lead you between the magical worlds of the sea and the creatures that inhabit it. The aquarium was established in accordance with the recommendations of the National Program for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Israel. These recommendations emphasize the urgent and immediate need to preserve the marine environment in Israel. The habitats, fish, corals and other sea creatures are subject to many ecological threats - the pollution of the sea and its shores, overfishing and constant pressure from various factors such as tourism, trade, desalination, gas and oil drilling. Due to all of these, the urgent need arose to build a center that would deal with conservation, research, education, information and raising public awareness for the preservation of the sea and its shores. This is the "Israel Aquarium, Jerusalem" Visitors can enjoy the aquarium's various exhibits, which showcase the wonders of the marine environment. The exhibits offer an opportunity to learn about the unique marine biodiversity found in Israel and the critical role that conservation plays in preserving this fragile ecosystem. The aquarium is conveniently located in Jerusalem, making it easily accessible to visitors from different parts of the country. The Israel Aquarium is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in learning about the marine environment and contributing to conservation efforts in Israel. Address: Derech Aharon Shulov, Jerusalem

Nimrod Fortress: A Historic Castle with Stunning Views in the Golan Heights

Nimrod Fortress: A Historic Castle with Stunning Views in the Golan Heights

Nimrod Fortress, also known as Nimrod Castle, is a castle built by the Ayyubids and expanded by the Mamluks to guard a major access route to Damascus against armies from the west. It is located on the southern slopes of Mount Hermon, overlooking the Golan Heights. The fortress was first built in the Hellenistic or Byzantine period and was rebuilt around 1228 by Al-Aziz Uthman. It was further expanded by Sultan Baibars and given to his second-in-command, Bilik. After the Muslim conquest of Acre, the fortress lost its strategic value and fell into disrepair. The Ottoman Turks later used it as a luxury prison for Ottoman nobles. The fortress is currently managed by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and is open to the public. Visitors can explore the excavated and restored portions of the fortress, including secret corridors, loopholes, and the remains of a keep surrounded by large rectangular towers. One day tour idea for the region could be visiting Nimrod Fortress and exploring the surrounding area. The tour could start with a visit to the fortress, where visitors can learn about its history and architecture and enjoy panoramic views of the Golan Heights. After exploring the fortress, the tour could continue to nearby Banias Nature Reserve, which offers hiking trails, waterfalls, and natural pools. Visitors can hike along the river, explore the ancient ruins of Banias, and enjoy a picnic lunch in the beautiful surroundings. The tour could also include a visit to the nearby Druze village of Majdal Shams, where visitors can learn about Druze culture and enjoy traditional Druze cuisine. Overall, this day tour offers a combination of history, nature, and culture, making it a great way to experience the region.

Churches in Israel Churches in Israel

Zippori National Park

The city of Zippori, founded in the Hellenistic/Maccabees era by Alexander Janneus, is located on hill in the Lower Galilee half way between the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) and the Mediterranean Sea. Josephus Flavius, a first century C.E. historian, described it as "the ornament of all Galilee." The city’s name may have originated from the Hebrew word “tsipor” meaning bird and highlighting the view from the top of the hill. The city may get its name from the Hebrew word "tsipor" (bird) because the view from the town gives a sense of flying. Zippori, was conquered by the Romans in 37 B.C.E but during the revolt against Rome in 66 C.E., the Jews of Zippori elected not to take arms; conversely they opened the city gates to the legions of Roman Emperor Vespasian. In return the city was saved and renamed Eirenopolis or “city of peace” as evidenced by coins minted in Zippori during that period. The city had developed into an essential site, in the Land of Israel, for Jewish religious and spiritual life during the second century. The Bar-Kohba revolt of 135 introduced an influx of jewish refugees into the Galilee who by the Third Century were the town’s majority. Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi, who also redacted the Mishnah, headed and relocated the Sanhedrin (Supreme Jewish religious and Judicial body) to Zippori during the Third Century. Long after the Sanhedrin was moved to Tiberias, Zippori retained its status as an important center of Bible study and many prominent sages taught in its academies. Zippori was an important trade market for traders due to it being strategically located on and around major trade routes. Zippori National Park Zippori National Park, encompassing the ruins and archaeology findings of the ancient Roman- and Talmudic-era city of Zippori, is located in the rolling hills of Lower Galilee, west of Nazareth.

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