Romantic Jerusalem Walking Tour (Self Guided), Jerusalem

Jerusalem has always been a romantic city. This is where Solomon authored the "Song of Songs" a paean to physical love which figures in the Bible. At sunset, the city turns golden reflecting the color of the desert that surrounds it. Add to this the intoxicating fragrance of the jasmine flowers that blossom at night and you have the perfect romantic interlude. This self-guided tour takes you on a romantic promenade through the city of Jerusalem.
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Romantic Jerusalem Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Romantic Jerusalem Walking Tour
Guide Location: Israel » Jerusalem (See other walking tours in Jerusalem)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 km
Author: vickyc
1
Yemin Moshe Quarter

1) Yemin Moshe Quarter (must see)

The Yemin Moshe Quarter is located outside of the walls of Old Jerusalem. The name translates as Moses’ Memorial and was the brainchild of British philanthropist Moshe Montefiore. He had visited Jerusalem several times and bought the original land that the neighborhood now sits on to build housing to relieve overcrowding. Because of its location outside the protected city walls, settlement was slow.

A cholera epidemic in 1866 increased the number of people who lived here and in fact, more homes were built. The 1948 war, however, saw the area being abandoned as the area fell under Jordanian rule. The Six Days War took the land back into Israeli control and the area now thrives.

It has become an artist colony of sorts and the homes are now expensive and upscale. The original houses have been turned into guest houses for artists from all disciplines. The neighborhood has several galleries that display the work of local artisans. This area is perfect for a walking tour, and one recommended starting point is the windmill that is clearly visible from several points around the city. As an aside, the windmill does not work; it was an idea that really never came to fruition due to a lack of consistent wind in the region. The landscaping is magnificent and the views are breathtaking. It is a great way to just have a relaxing afternoon or early evening stroll and take in the sights.

Why You Should Visit:
If you leave the Old City and have the energy to walk, much of it on stairs and cobblestone streets, this beauty of a quarter is highly recommended.

Tip:
Start at the windmill and explore this small and silent neighborhood.
Make sure that you will get in touch with the new city's history.
If not, take a guide or collect some information beforehand.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
King's Garden Restaurant

2) King's Garden Restaurant

The King's Garden Restaurant is a romantic and intimate place with a splendid view of gardens and pools. The decor of the restaurant is very beautiful and it offers varied and delicious meals.
3
Alrov Mamilla Avenue

3) Alrov Mamilla Avenue

Alrov Mamilla Avenue is a new shopping district situated in New Jerusalem. The street runs from the Jaffe Gate to Agron Street Junction. This area is not just for shopping, although that is great, but also it is a great area to drink in the city of Jerusalem. There are street cafés, spectacular views, street musicians and performers, cobblestone streets, and stores like those found on New York’s Fifth Avenue or Paris’ Champs-Elysees.

The shops are as eclectic mix of super trendy to computer stores. Restaurants offer a wide selection of choices and are great places to feed the tummy and sit and watch the hubbub. Thursday nights during the summer months is sing along night which is always great fun, even if you don’t know the words.

Luxury hotels are also located along the way. These generally offer incredible views of the old city, while being pampered with all the modern connivances. Not to mention the great shopping just steps away from the front door. It is a wonderful mix of modern and fresh new city amidst a city that is from antiquity.

Hours vary with the seasons but the shops are generally open by 10 in the morning and close by 10 or so at night. Summer hours are a bit longer. Fridays the shops close by 3:30 to observe the Sabbath and will reopen on hour after sundown on Saturday evening and stay open until 11PM.
4
Dormition Abbey

4) 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.
5
Sultan’s Pool Amphitheater

5) Sultan’s Pool Amphitheater

The Sultan’s Pool amphitheater is a venue for music of all types. When the weather is warm, evening concerts are common here and they might include international pop stars, classical music or multimedia events. Like the rest of Jerusalem, this area is a fascinating combination of centuries of different uses and control of the land.

The Sultan’s Pool is located in the Valley of Hinnom where the Old city of Jerusalem stood. The valley gets its name from children sacrifices to pagan gods is centuries past. The practice was stopped and this area was then a place to burn the city garbage. Both these acts gave the valley the Hebrew name for hell (GeiHannom).

An amphitheater and pool were built here during the reign of Herod. The pool was connected to the city by an aqueduct to provide water. The aqueduct was modernized by Suleiman the Magnificent during his reign in the 16th century. Parts of the ancient aqueduct are still visible along with the pool walls.

All this makes for a magnificent place to hold an outdoor event. The walls of the Old City and the Tower of David provide an amazing backdrop to any event here.

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