Following Steps of Jesus Walking Tour in Jerusalem, 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.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Following Steps of Jesus Walking Tour in Jerusalem Map

Guide Name: Following Steps of Jesus Walking Tour in Jerusalem
Guide Location: Israel » Jerusalem (See other walking tours in Jerusalem)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 km
Author: vickyc
1
Pater Noster Church

1) Pater Noster Church

The Pater Noster Church is built on the site in Jerusalem where Jesus was thought to have taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer. The name in Latin means “Our Father.” It is almost impossible to tell if this spot is the exact location of the teaching, we only know that the he did teach in a cave on the Mount of Olives.

The first church to be built on this site was commissioned by Constantine in 330, and that church suffered heavy damage in 614 at the hands of the Persians. The Crusaders built a small oratory, or place of worship that is not intended for the public, on the site amid the rubble in 1106. That location was badly damaged in 1187 and finally left to ruin in 1345. In 1874 reconstruction was begun and still remains unfinished.

The rebuild was the work of the Princess de La Tour d‘Auvergne. She loved the Lord’s Prayer and had it added to several of the tile plaques there. She was very sure the cave existed, but it was not found before her death. Her remains now rest at the Pater Noster Church in the tomb.

There are, however, still lots to see at the church, including 62 exquisitely tiled plaques that have the Lord’s Prayer written in 62 different languages. Even though just partially rebuilt, the original size of the church has been maintained. There are steps leading into the grotto where the teachings were said to have occurred. Sadly, very little of the original stone work still remain. There is also a garden that stands outside the three doors that give an accurate idea of how large the atrium was.

There are no entrance fees to see the Church, hours are M-Sat: 8:30-11:45; 3-5. It is closed on Sunday.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Chapel of the Ascension

2) Chapel of the Ascension (must see)

The Chapel of the Ascension in Jerusalem is a house of worship that is sacred to both Christians and Muslims. It is believed to mark the place where Jesus ascended into heaven. In addition, there is a stone located here that supposedly is an imprint of Jesus’ feet.

Before the point in history where Emperor Constantine was converted to the faith, early believers held special celebrations honoring Christ’s return to heaven in a small cave located on the Mount of Olives. Most likely, the cavern was used for safety and security of the worshippers. By circa 380, though, the place was well known as the location of Jesus’ return to heaven. This was even recorded in the annals of history by the noted writer Egeria.

The first official house of worship was built here around 390 by Poimenia, who was a famous Roman Lady of means. The original church was leveled during a war with Persia around 613. Modestus had it restored not soon after. By 680 A.D. there are historical records that pointed to the fact the place was reported to have the footprints of Jesus. Pilgrims would even take home dust from the place as a religious relic.

A church with the famous eight sides was built by the Crusaders circa 1150. In 1198, Salah al-Din was instrumental in the addition of a stone dome and mihrab. Muslims consider the place to be holy, despite the lack of any mention of the event in the Qu’ran. The event of Jesus’ ascension is also considered to be factual. The place continued to be a mosque for many centuries to come.

The building fell into ruin through the years. The east section of the wall was sealed off to form the shrine that stands to this very day. A mosque was built next to the chapel. This happened in 1620; all the property is still in Muslim hands.

Tip:
If you want to visit this place, try to do so when there are not too many people inside. Also, try to come before or after prayer time (before or after noon).
3
Garden of Gethsemane

3) Garden of Gethsemane (must see)

The Garden of Gethsemane lies at the bottom of the Mount of Olives. The name means “oil press” and most certainly refers to the fact that this area was used to press olive oil in the time of Jesus. It is now walled, but it is still a lovely place to visit and perhaps pray.

The Church of All Nations was built here in 1924. This house of worship is also known as the Basilica of the Agony. Two other holy places have also occupied this spot. One was a Byzantine-style building built in the fourth century and destroyed around 750. The Crusaders built a chapel on the spot in the 12 century which also was demolished.

The Garden of Gethsemane still has olive trees on the grounds. Although there is some dispute about exactly how old they are, there may be some on the grounds that were around during the time of Jesus. There is some evidence that the original plants were destroyed by fighting and in an effort to destroy this very religious place, but the general consensus is that some of the roots did survive.

Olive trees have a long life span, so it is not an outrageous thought that some of them shaded the grounds then, just as they do today. These plants grow wider instead of taller, so the very wide ones are the oldest. They still produce fruit and are harvested in late September or early October. As you leave, you might want to offer the gatekeeper a few shekels for a stroll through the private garden.

This beautiful Garden is where Jesus and the disciples came to pray. He was said to have prayed so reverently at one time that he sweat blood. He most likely entered the city on Palm Sunday, by going through this place, through the gate that has long since been walled up. This is also the location of the famous betrayal by Judas Iscariot.

Tip:
Make sure you cover up (shoulders covered and shorts come below your knees, etc.) or you will be refused entry.
4
Dominus Flevit Church

4) Dominus Flevit Church

If you translate the name of this place into English it means “the Lord wept.” In fact the building was constructed like a teardrop. The design was meant to symbolize the tears of Christ. This is reportedly the place where Jesus has his “great lament” for the people of Israel, and predicts the future destruction of the second temple. Many would go so far as to say he also foretold the Diaspora of the Jewish people. (Luke 19:37-42)

Like many similar religious buildings, it sits on an ancient site. During construction of the sanctuary, archaeologists uncovered what one might consider to be an archaeological gold mine. They were literally hundreds of artifacts located there, and many were very old.

The location did not really become famous, though, till the time of the Crusaders. A small chapel was eventually built there to commemorate the event. The place fell into ruin after the fall of Jerusalem in 1187. During the 16th Century, a madrasah was constructed on the site by the Turks. This is how it got the names el Mansouriyeh (The Triumphant) and also el Khelweh (The Hermitage).

Several different structures were built on this site over the centuries. Finally, in 1953, heavy reconstruction was started by the owners, i.e. the Franciscans. Workers found ancient tombs. A late bronze era tomb from the Canaanite period was found. The archaeological team also found a necropolis used from 136 BC to 300 AD. The current house of worship was completed in 1955, architected by Antonio Barluzzi. It is currently held in trust by the local Fransiscans.
5
Bethesda

5) Bethesda

The Pool of Bethesda is a small body of water that is located in the Muslim section of Jerusalem. It is on the way to Beth Zeta Valley. In the Christian Bible, there is an account of such a place that was reported to have been near the Sheep Gate, and was encircled by five grand colonnades. The water is considered to have healing properties.

There is no conclusive proof that this is the pool talked about in the Gospel, but many still find this place to be sacred none the less. Its existence is only mentioned in the recorded writing of John.

The existence of this place was found in the 19th Century. Archaeologists found the remains of the pool here, which coincidentally matched the description of the body of water from the New Testament. The description describes it to a tee.

The tranquil place is a must visit for those who hold the belief that this is the pool of healing water mentioned in the Bible. Even outside this belief, the location is full of archaeological richness. At least from a Biblical standpoint, the ground has been described in enough detail that modern science was able to find it by that description.
6
Via Dolorosa

6) Via Dolorosa (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.
7
Notre Dame de Sion Ecce Homo Convent

7) Notre Dame de Sion Ecce Homo Convent (must see)

Notre Dame de Sion Ecce Homo Convent is the first station of the cross located on the Via Dolorosa. It takes its name from the statement Pilate made as he presented Jesus to the mob and said “Behold, the man.” This is the place where Jesus, as well as other prisoners, were tortured before the crucifixion. There are several caves and tunnels to see, and they still stand witness to the games the Roman soldiers played with their prisoners while they were being tortured.

The Convent also houses a hostel that has one of the best views of Old Jerusalem available. The terrace has incredible views and should absolutely not be missed, and the guest rooms also have good views. If a fancy hotel with turndown service is a necessity, this will not be the place to book. However, if a clean hotel with good food and comfortable accommodations work, be sure to stay here.

There are two different levels of accommodations available. The first is the dormitories (these are not co-ed). The beds have partitions around them and a curtain as a door. Bathroom facilities are shared, yet when one thinks of a dorm, it is usually a row of beds with no privacy available. These are definitely a step up.

The second level of accommodations is rooms that have private bathrooms and a desk. Single through quadruple rooms are available to match most family or group sizes. Breakfast is included and it consists of breads and spreads, juice, coffee, fruits and vegetables. Supper can also be ordered if desired. Guests are welcome to join in the convent chapel for mass, and prayer time. It is a special place to stay and pray in Jerusalem.

Tip:
While here do not miss the cistern or Struthion Pool that was built in 135 CE. This provided water for the Temple Mount.
Also, the Ecce Homo Arch is there and it spans the Via Dolorosa and then continues into the basilica.
8
Garden Tomb

8) Garden Tomb (must see)

The Garden Tomb, which is also known by the name of Gordon’s Calvary, is located in Jerusalem, just outside the Damascus Gate. It is a burial site cut of the rock of the mountain. For some, this is the true location of the burial and resurrection spot for Jesus. Many also contend this is the real Golgotha. This is in contradiction to the traditional beliefs that hold that the location is at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

The theory behind this place starts in 1883 when General Charles Gordon finds this rocky ledge, which reminded him the story of the “place of the skull” talked about in the Crucifixion narratives of the Bible. Very close to this spot, he identified an ancient tomb. So, he concludes that he located the hill of crucifixion and the nearby burial place.

Whatever one might believe as to the authenticity of the garden, there are several factors that make this location plausible as a place where Jesus could have been laid. For one, the look of the hill, even after years of erosion, is that of a skull. One might also note the cistern that resides nearby, which help to prove that this ground was once a garden. Finally, the placement of a tomb as credibility to the story that Jesus could have been put to rest here.

Tip:
Email in advance if you'd like a guided tour. It takes around 20 mins and the rest of the time is yours to reflect, read, take pictures...
9
Dormition Abbey

9) Dormition Abbey (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.

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 Synagogues Walking Tour

Jerusalem Synagogues Walking Tour

Jerusalem is a city that represents the three main religions of the world, that is Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The city contains some of the oldest and most beautiful historical monuments related to these religions. This self-guided tour will lead you mainly through the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and its synagogues:

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.5 km
Religious Buildings of Jerusalem Walking Tour

Religious Buildings of Jerusalem Walking Tour

Jerusalem is considered to be one of the most holy places on this planet. Temples, cathedrals and churches are packed closely together in this ancient town. This self-guided tour will take you through some of the most historical religious buildings in Jerusalem.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 km
Jerusalem Museums Walking Tour

Jerusalem Museums Walking Tour

Jerusalem is the historic land of the Bible. It is sacred to the three great monotheist religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Here you will find archaeological and historical museums full of artifacts dating back to high antiquity. This self-guided tour will take you through some of the most visited museums of Jerusalem:

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Kids Self-Guided Tour of Jerusalem

Kids Self-Guided Tour of Jerusalem

Jerusalem is also a city of much fun. Both your children and you will enjoy the unique and unforgettable experiences that you can have in the Bible lands historical museum, the youth wing of the Israel Museum, and Jerusalem's fascinating playgrounds. This self-guided tour will lead you to the most visited children's attractions of Jerusalem.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.0 km
Mount Zion and Surroundings Walking Tour

Mount Zion and Surroundings Walking Tour

Mount Zion, as many other places in Jerusalem, is a biblical site. This name was mentioned in manuscripts dating back to the first millennium BC. It was called the Town of David and David s tomb is here. This self-guided tour will lead you to the biblical sites of Mount Zion and other modern attractions in its surroundings.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 km
Jerusalem Old City Gates Walking Tour

Jerusalem Old City Gates Walking Tour

The Old City of Jerusalem is very old indeed. It probably existed more than 4500 years ago. It is surrounded by gates, which, too, are old constructions built by Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century. There are archaeological gardens along the wall and near the gates. Prophesies about some of these gates are written in the Bible and the Koran. This self-guided tour will lead you from gate to gate revealing the mystery around them.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 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...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Jerusalem for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Jerusalem has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes


To save yourself time and money visiting Jerusalem's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Jerusalem City Pass by Ticketbar, Jerusalem City Pass by Musement, or Jerusalem City Pass by Viator.

A city pass combines all Jerusalem's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows user to skip lines at major attractions, thus saving precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels


Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Jerusalem hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: Leonardo Plaza Hotel Jerusalem, The David Citadel Hotel, Prima Kings Hotel.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Jerusalem, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours


We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Jerusalem typically costs somewhere between US$10+ and US$90 per person:

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour of Jerusalem – this usually lasts around 2 hours and allows visitors to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise could have done by walking.

- Provoke your contemplating eternal matters on a mixed (coach and walking) tour of Jerusalem, the city where the ancient and religious are intertwined more than anywhere else in the world. With the help of an expert guide try and perceive the profound meaning and context behind the holy Christian and Jewish sites of Old and New Jerusalem.

- Visit the places that once saw Jesus Christ in flesh, feel the tales of the Bible become real on a walking tour of Jerusalem led by a knowledgeable local guide. Walk the stones of Via Dolorosa in the footsteps of the Messiah to his crucifixion and learn more about that pivotal day in human history.

- Explore the city of three religions through the eyes of Jewish, Christian and Muslim worshipers on a 4-hour guided walk of Old Jerusalem to the holy places and landmarks revered in Islam, Judaism and Christianity, and learn about the religious beliefs associated with them.

- Tantalize your taste buds with the scents and sights of exotic delicacies fit to arouse anyone's appetite on a 3-hour guided tour of Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem’s biggest outdoor market! Explore the city's favorite marketplace in its variety.

- Descend into the unknown, at least until recently, deep beneath the ground to explore the ancient roots of Jerusalem on a 1.5-hour guided tour through the centuries-old tunnel dating back to the times of the Second Temple. Get a chance to touch and hear about some truly incredible artifacts found here, and more.

Day Trips


If you have a full or half day to spare whilst in Jerusalem, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Bethlehem and Jericho, Masada and the Dead Sea, Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee, or the West Bank. For as little as as circa US$100 to US$125 per person you will get a chance to experience first-hand the ancient and Biblical treasures, discover fascinating religious history, see the fabled Biblical and Nativity sites, scenes of the New Testament stories including places where Jesus performed miracles, plus explore legendary ruins, and so much more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in Jerusalem, and transported either by a comfortable air-conditioned coach, minibus or a private vehicle to the destination of your choice and back again.