Old Jewish Cemetery, Jerusalem

Old Jewish Cemetery, Jerusalem

A large cemetery occupies the western and southern slopes of the Mount of Olives – the oldest continually used Jewish cemetery in the world. Since ancient times people of Jewish religion wished to be buried in this very place in the Holy Land since, according to the Bible, it is precisely where the resurrection of the dead will begin once the Messiah returns to Earth. Many characters from the past, some of whom are also mentioned in psalms and verses of ancient sacred texts, rest here.

Among the oldest tombs in the cemetery, at the foot of the Mount in the Kidron Valley, are those of Absalom, the son of David, and of Zechariah, the priest of the First Temple, while another tomb has an inscription bearing the name of a family that lived 2,000 years ago. Burials have continued and were only interrupted during the period between the Arab-Israeli war and the Six-Day War (1948-67). Traditionally, instead of using flowers, a stone is placed on the cenotaph or gravestone to denote a visit, as stones never wither and will always be there to show that the dead are not forgotten.

From the summit of the Mount of Olives, visitors can enjoy the most evocative panorama of the Holy City, with the Dome of the Rock right their view – an absolute must for first-timers!

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Jerusalem. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. 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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Old Jewish Cemetery on Map

Sight Name: Old Jewish Cemetery
Sight Location: Jerusalem, Israel (See walking tours in Jerusalem)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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.
Jerusalem City Gates Walking Tour

Jerusalem City Gates Walking Tour

Historians believe that the Old City of Jerusalem probably came into being more than 4,500 years ago. The defensive wall around it features a number of gates built on the order of the Ottoman sultan Suleyman the Magnificent in the first half of the 16th century, each of which is an attraction in its own right. Until as recently as 1870, they were all closed from sunset to sunrise; nowadays, just...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Following Steps of Jesus Walking Tour

Following Steps of Jesus Walking Tour

Considered for centuries to be the center of the universe, Jerusalem is where the most famous figure in history, Jesus of Nazareth, fulfilled his divine mission by carrying a cross from the place of Pontius Pilate’s sentencing to Golgotha where he was crucified. This self-guided tour will retrace the steps of Jesus, allowing you to see what many consider some of the holiest places on our planet....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Mount of Olives Walking Tour

Mount of Olives Walking Tour

Aside from affording great views over the Old City, the Mount of Olives is home to half a dozen major sites of the Christian faith along with the oldest Jewish burial ground in the world. Considered a holy spot by many, it is associated with numerous events in Jesus’ life including ascending to Heaven and teaching his disciples the Lord’s Prayer.

The following self-guided walking tour will...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Mount Zion Walking Tour

Mount Zion Walking Tour

For those interested in religion and history, Mount Zion offers several unique sights that are situated in close proximity to each other. An important place for Christians, Jews as well as Muslims, it holds important constructions dating from the 20th century as well as a compound built by the Crusaders that marks the spot of both King David’s tomb and the Room of the Last Supper. How...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Bethlehem Walking Tour

Bethlehem Walking Tour

Perched on a hill at the edge of the Judaean Desert, Bethlehem has been known to the world, for more than two millennia, as the birthplace of Jesus Christ. The “star of Bethlehem” as well as Christmas carols and hymns are firmly associated with this ancient city in the West Bank, Palestine, and thus, for some visitors, the bustle of a modern city may come as a surprise.

Undoubtedly, the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Muslim Quarter & Temple Mount Tour

Muslim Quarter & Temple Mount Tour

The largest, most populous and perhaps most chaotic of all Jerusalem’s quarters, the Muslim Quarter is worth exploring for its unique atmosphere. Spending a day here may take you back to a simpler time, but be prepared for many sights and sounds as you pass many vendors, stores and restaurants on your way from site to site.

Some of the city’s most interesting city gates (Damascus and...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles

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...