Mount Scopus and Surroundings Walking Tour, Jerusalem (Self Guided)

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 sights:
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Mount Scopus and Surroundings Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Mount Scopus and Surroundings Walking Tour
Guide Location: Israel » Jerusalem (See other walking tours in Jerusalem)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 km
Author: vickyc
Ammunition Hill

1) Ammunition Hill

Ammunition Hill is the site of a bloody fight between Israeli paratroopers and Jordanian legionnaires during the Six Day War in 1967. This occurred to connect Mount Scopus back to central Jerusalem for reunification. The battle claimed 37 Israeli lives and a total of 183 soldiers died during the Six Day War. Their names are memorialized here on a wall and a ceremony is held on Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day).

The area sits between two modern neighborhoods called French Hill and Ramat Eshkol. New recruits into the Israeli Defense Force are inducted here. An underground bunker that was the living quarters for the Jordanian troops has been turned into the museum. The museum depicts the fighting that raged here and it was the actions of those at Ammunition Hill that allowed the Israeli troops to forge ahead into the Old City.

Jordanian troop strength was severely underestimated, and the Israeli paratroopers were surprised by a troop strength that was twice as large as anticipated. Reinforcements were brought in and the battle was won, and the surge to reunify Jerusalem was on. The entire battle for the liberation of Jerusalem is detailed over the course of the Six Day War. Also at the museum are exhibits on Jewish resistance to the Nazi regime that occurred during World War II.

Around the grounds the trenches and fortifications are very well preserved. It is not unusual to see fresh flowers that are laid around the memorials to the fallen soldiers.

Admission is free and the hours are 9 A.M. to 5 P.M.
British Military Cemetery on Mount Scopus

2) British Military Cemetery on Mount Scopus

British Military Cemetery on Mount Scopus is a final resting place for more than 3,000 British troops. These soldiers were killed during the Palestine campaign that took place in 1916-1917. The grounds are immaculately kept and the simple burial stones make the stark reality of war very real. The stones have name, age and the date of the soldier’s death on them. The unit insignia is also on the stone.

The cemetery is set according to the Imperial War Graves Commission. The commission is now bears the title of Commonwealth rather than Imperial, but it was the first real attempt of making a unified approach at burying the dead who had fallen on foreign soil.

A memorial chapel is also on the grounds to commemorate the thousands who are missing in action and who died without receiving a proper burial. The Star of David marks the graves of the 24 British soldiers who were also Jewish and buried here. The troops buried here are part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force under the command of General Allenby.

Visitation is free and open to the public.
Hebrew University

3) Hebrew University

The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. It is the second oldest university in Israel, and established in 1918. The idea of a Jewish University was first proposed in the 1880s, but it took awhile for the project to take shape. The opening day was in 1925 and soon a medical school was taking shape followed rapidly by a law school and an agricultural institute.

Unfortunately, in 1948 a convoy was attacked bringing medical supplies between Jerusalem and the hospital during the Arab-Israeli War. 79 doctors and nurses were slain and the campus at Mount Scopus was closed. Two more campuses were built around Jerusalem to house students and continue studies, one at Givat Ram and the other in Ein Kerem.

After the Six-Days War, the Mount Scopus campus was rebuilt and again was functioning as part of the Hebrew University. Ranking within the top 100 best universities in the world, seven graduates in the last decade have received the Nobel Prize and the Fields Medal for mathematics. It is also home to the Jewish National and University Library which has one of the most impressive collections of written word in the world. The Albert Einstein archives are located here. Dr. Einstein was on the first board of governors and left all his personal papers to the University in his will.
BYU Jerusalem Center

4) BYU Jerusalem Center

The Brigham Young University (BYU) Jerusalem Center is an outgrowth of the LDS Church’s semester abroad program. Students that study at BYU, BYU-Idaho, or BYU-Hawaii can come here to study for a semester. Additionally, the center also is there for any Mormon pilgrim in Israel who needs assistance or wishes to worship.

There was severe opposition to the building of the facility initially. Its prominent position on the skyline of the Mount of Olives probably did not help its cause. After some discussions, the center was allowed to be built; however, the Mormon’s had to promise not to proselytize while in the country. This was agreed to and the building was completed in 1989.

There was a period of political unrest from 2001 through 2006 and no students were allowed to study here. Other functions were allowed such as concerts and tours, and finally students were allowed back to study the fall semester of 2006. Students wishing to utilize the program must be single, promise not to proselytize, and have an adequate grade point average.

The facility is a beautiful modern building that fits into the area with large archways, cupolas, and light colored stone construction. Landscaping includes that were mentioned in the bible. Areas of study include archaeology, Judaism, Islam, and international relations.
Augusta Victoria Hospital and Church

5) Augusta Victoria Hospital and Church

The Augusta Victoria Hospital and Church was built in 1907 at the behest of the German Protestant community in Israel. It is located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Named after Augusta Viktoria the wife of Kaiser Wilhelm II it was intended as a place of rest or a hospice for visiting German pilgrims.

The centerpiece of the building is the bell tower that stands 213 feet in the air. Four large bells occupy the tower. The bells were built in Germany and then transported to Jerusalem. The weight of the bells was so heavy, the road from Jaffa to Jerusalem had to be first widened and then paved to accommodate the load. Electricity was provided to the site by way of a diesel generator and it was the first building to have electricity in the country.

The hospice was converted to a hospital in WWI and it has stayed that way for the majority of the time since. The hospital today is one of the largest hospitals in the area and serves as a pediatric oncology specialty unit for Palestinian children.

The church is full of lovely decorated domes and art work. The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer has its rectory on the grounds as well as offices for the Lutheran World Federation. The Church is open to the public and shouldn’t be missed when visiting the Mount of Olives.

Walking Tours in Jerusalem, Israel

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Jaffa Road is the oldest and longest street in Jerusalem. There are many museums, shops, restaurants, and art galleries that line this street. The famous Jerusalem pedestrian malls are all located on the intersections of this street. This self-guided tour will lead you through the most visited landmarks on this street:

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Cultural Walking Tour of Jerusalem

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Jerusalem is considered holy by the all the three major monotheistic religions in the world - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The city is full of history and culture. The following self-guided tour will take you through some of the most visited landmarks in the city.

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Souvenir Shopping Part 2

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Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

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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.