Dormition Abbey, Jerusalem

Dormition Abbey, Jerusalem (must see)

Dormition Abbey is built upon the site that traditionally is thought to be where the Blessed Virgin Mary died. It was constructed in the early 1900s as a German Benedictine Abbey on top of Mount Zion, just outside of the city walls at the Zion Gate. It sits atop a Byzantine church that lay in ruins called Hagia-Maria-Scion and sometimes the abbey is known by that name.

The Byzantine Church was built by Christians several hundred years after the death of Jesus. It was destroyed, and several centuries later the Crusaders rebuilt the structure. It was again destroyed and remained in ruins until the land was bought by Kaiser Wilhelm II, who commissioned the building. The Abbey also includes a beautiful large round sanctuary and a large bell tower. The top of the place has a rooster on the weather vane to symbolize Peter’s denial of Jesus. This place is called Dormitio Beatae Mariae Virginis or Holy Sleep of the Virgin Mary. It was damaged during the 1948 war and was restored again after the 6-day war. The name Dormition is an old word that means “falling asleep” or death and the resurrection to heaven.

The inside of the church are six alcoves or small chapels that have incredible mosaic work depicting the life of Mary and Jesus. There is a crypt in the lower level that holds the sculpture of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s deathbed. Visitors can light candles at this location. Chapels and alters have been donated from around the world and make the tour of the church just breathtaking.

It is free to get in the Dormition Abbey. Hours vary, so check before going.

Tip:
Make sure to use their 3-shekel bathroom to see the ruins they have there with an explanation!
Also, the attached coffee shop is a real haven in the maze complex of the Old City.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Jerusalem, Israel within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Dormition Abbey on Map

Walking Tours in Jerusalem, Israel

Create Your Own Walk in Jerusalem

Create Your Own Walk in Jerusalem

Creating your own self-guided walk in Jerusalem is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Famous Architecture of Jerusalem Walking Tour

Famous Architecture of Jerusalem Walking Tour

Traditionally, Jerusalem was said to be the center of the universe. It is a very old city with many ancient buildings, with architecture dating back to Roman times and later reflecting both European and Islamic influences. The following self-guided tour will take you to the most interesting architectural highlights of Jerusalem.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.1 km
Mount Scopus and Surroundings Walking Tour

Mount Scopus and Surroundings Walking Tour

Jerusalem is surrounded by hills. Mount Scopus, in the northeast of the city, offers the most splendid view of the Old City of Jerusalem. Its most visited landmarks are Ammunition Hill, a memorial of a great battle, the Hebrew University campus, with its botanical garden and amphitheater, a military cemetery and a few others. This self-guided tour will lead you to the following Mount Scopus...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 km
New Jerusalem Walking Tour

New Jerusalem Walking Tour

West Jerusalem or New Jerusalem is made up entirely of westernized, modern neighborhoods. This part of the city was built around the wall of the Old Jerusalem city. The following self-guided tour will lead you to some interesting streets, art galleries, museums and shops in New Jerusalem:

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 km
Following Steps of Jesus Walking Tour in Jerusalem

Following Steps of Jesus Walking Tour in Jerusalem

Jerusalem was considered for centuries to be the center of the universe. The most famous figure in the history of mankind, Jesus Christ, fulfilled his divine mission in this city. This self-guided tour will retrace the steps of Jesus to show you some of the holiest places in the world.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 km
Latrun at the Outskirt of Jerusalem Self-Guided Tour

Latrun at the Outskirt of Jerusalem Self-Guided Tour

Latrun is a hilltop on the road to Jerusalem. It has must see attractions such as "mini Israel", monasteries and the historical Emmaus. This self-guided tour will lead you to these historical, archaeological and cultural monuments:

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km
Old City Orientation Walk

Old City Orientation Walk

The Old City of Jerusalem, the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981, is a home to a number of sites of great religious importance, such as the Temple Mount and Western Wall for Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians and the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims. Walking here is an experience not to be missed. Take this orientation walk to see the key sights of...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


16 Uniquely Israel Things to Buy in Jerusalem

16 Uniquely Israel Things to Buy in Jerusalem

Modern day Jerusalem is a mosaic of neighborhoods, reflecting different historical periods, cultures, and religions. The influx of repatriates in recent years has made the cultural and artisanal scene of the city even more colourful and diverse. To find your way through Jerusalem's intricate...