Via Dolorosa, Jerusalem

Via Dolorosa, Jerusalem (must see)

Via Dolorosa is Latin for the “Way of Grief” or the “Way of Suffering”. It is interesting that while most signs in Jerusalem are in Hebrew, English, and Arabic, this one road is just given the Latin name. The road is popular among Christian pilgrims who believe it traces the steps that Jesus took carrying his cross on the way to his crucifixion.

14 stations mark the path along the route, including the five that are in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Although anyone can walk the Via Dolorosa at any time, every Friday around 3 PM, a group is lead by Franciscan monks along the path. This is the best way to experience the walk. This area can be very crowded and the signs a bit difficult to find. At spots, the walk backtracks a bit and station IX can be particularly difficult to find. Some may find the noisy streets a bit distracting when trying to find a quiet spot to pray or contemplate the area's religious significance.

There have been several different versions of the path throughout history, the current path having been set in the 1700s, and follows the path set by the early Byzantine Christians. The stations are marked with round signs that have Roman numerals marking the Stations of the Cross. Different religious groups may start the walk at different sites.

The journey begins at the site where Jesus was tried and convicted in Old Jerusalem at the near Lion’s gate in the Muslim section although some may choose to start at Herod’s Palace at the Jaffe Gate. The route ends at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and covers approximately 500 meters.

There is no entrance fee to the Via Dolorosa. There are many churches along the way to visit and several gift shops that offer religious icons. Re-enactments are frequently held especially around Holy Week.

Tips:
The cobbled stone path can be very slippery. If it rains prior to your visit, there will be sections to be walked with extreme caution. Some areas can be quite steep, with many stairs and inclines.
Unless you wake up around 5 o'clock, don't expect much time for quiet contemplation. There's much hustle & bustle and you will need to walk quickly or be run over by a motorcycle, human, or goat!
Best to go with a tour guide or bring a very comprehensive map/book and get the camera ready! Besides the spiritual significance of the area, the artwork and architecture are impressive.

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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Via Dolorosa on Map

Sight Name: Via Dolorosa
Sight Location: Jerusalem, Israel
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: Old City Orientation Walk   Following Steps of Jesus Walking Tour in Jerusalem  

Walking Tours in Jerusalem, Israel

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