For visitors to Jerusalem, a tour of the city and its numerous historic and religious sites is never complete without a visit to the Old City's Christian Quarter. Containing over 40 sites of religious importance, the Christian Quarter offers visitors and pilgrims an unmatched experience, following in the footsteps and viewing the birthplace of Christianity.
Jerusalem's ancient history is intertwined with the story of Christianity. As the place where Jesus was condemned to death, crucified and resurrected, the Christian Quarter is filled with churches, monuments and tombs, telling the story of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and the Disciples.
From the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site of Jesus' burial and resurrection, to the Via Dolorosa- the Way of Suffering- where Jesus carried his cross as he walked to his death, every corner and each stone unveils an additional important piece in the puzzle of Christ's life and death, and the subsequent birth of Christianity.
Along the Via Dolorosa, the 14 Stations of the Cross convey the story of Jesus' last day, as he was condemned, marched through the streets of Jerusalem, arrived at the Golgotha and was crucified and buried. This is also the spot of his resurrection, and attracts millions of Christian pilgrims from across the globe.
These pilgrims have been making the trip to Jerusalem for hundreds and thousands of years. From the disciples to the Crusaders to modern day pilgrims, many of the visitors to the city have constructed monuments and churches, honoring Jesus and his disciples, as well as the Virgin Mary.
In addition to the five major churches of the Christian Quarter, including the Church of the Resurrection, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Church of the Savior, the Lutheran Church of the redeemer and the Church of John the Baptist, the quarter contains several important monasteries: the San Salvatore Monastery, the Greek Monastery and Deir El-Sultan, perched atop the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The streets of the Christian Quarter are paved in history and religious significance. They continue to draw millions of visitors each year, joining the residents of the quarter in special celebrations on the Christian holidays or simply making a personal pilgrimage for a religiously enlightening experience. Along with Jerusalem's other historic attractions and the holy sites of Judaism and Islam, these sites combine to create a special atmosphere which is easily felt throughout the city.
Numerous tours of the Christian Quarter are offered by local tour offices. Each tour focuses on different aspects of the story of Christ and his disciples; on the history of the Christian Quarter; the architecture of the various landmarks; and the religious outlooks of the various churches dispersed around the neighborhood. Tours of the quarter can be combined with tours of the Jewish and Muslim Quarters, with visits to the Temple Mount and Al Aqsa Mosque, visits to the Western Wall and tours of the Christian sites outside the Old City Walls.
In addition, the manageable distances in Israel and the PA allow visitors to combine tours of the Christian Quarter with visits to Nazareth, the Jordan River, Bethlehem and more, each revealing an additional aspect of the life of Christ and the birthplace of Christianity.