Named after the olive groves which once adorned its slopes and still can be seen in Gethsemane, the Mount of Olives is one of the most important places in Jerusalem and contains many spiritual and religious sites. 


The Mount of Olives has a great significance in all three major monotheistic religions of the world - Judaism, Islam and Christianity and is deeply rooted in tradition and history.

According to Jewish and Christian scriptures and tradition, the messiah will come to the Temple Mount riding a white horse, or donkey, through the Mount of Olives. He will descend from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem bringing forth the salvation and redemption of the end of days and resurrecting the dead. As it is written in the book of Zacharia: 

"And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley, and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north and half of it toward the south" (Zacharia, 14:4)

In addition to the importance of the Mountain of Olives in the prophecies as the place from which the messiah shall come,  the Mount of Olives appears many times in other writing and narratives of each religion.

In Judaism the mountain is often mentioned during the times of King Solomon and King David,

In Christianity it is believed that Jesus spent his last night before he was captures by the Roman legions on Mount Olives and Gethsemane which lies at the foot of Mt. Olives. It is also believed to be
 the location of the Ascension of Jesus to heaven. 

In Islam the Mt. Olives is said to be the place where the righteous will be chosen and the evil abolished. All will be required to pass on a bridge or rope that will extend from the Mount of Olives to Haram al-Sharif (aka Temple Mount). The righteous who have lived by the word of Allah shall pass and the sinners shall fall and be condemned to hell. 


The Mount of Olives is the oldest operational Jewish cemetery of the world. It has been operating for over 3000 years and includes some 150,000 graves. It was the main cemetery for Jews in Jerusalem since the early days of the existence Jerusalem and it is still used for burial of any Jews . A lot of famous and popular Jewish figures are buried on the mount such as Rabbi Yehuda, Rabbi Chaim ibn Attar and  former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

Mt. Olives is also the home of many important sites among the more known are:

The Church of Mary Magdalene -  Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene was built in 1888 by theRussian Tsar Alexander the 3rd commemorating Mary Magdalene, one ofthe disciples of Jesus.The church was designed in the tented roof style popular in Russia in the 16thand 17th century while the newly refurbished 7 golden domes of thechurch add great splendor and uniqueness to its surrounding.
 The Church of All Nations - or by its official name the ‘Basilica of the Agony’,is a catholic Franciscan church built in 1924 on the ruins of previousByzantine and Crusader churches. Located on the bottom slopes of the Mount ofOlives above the gardens of Gethsemane, the church enshrines the rock which issaid to be the rock upon which Jesus prayed in agony on the night of hisarrest. 

The Garden Gethsemane - Located atthe foot of the Mount of Olives in the valley between the Mountain and the Oldcity, Gethsemane is believed to be the spot where Jesus and his disciples prayed the night beforehis crucifixion.Literallymeaning “oil press” in Aramaic and Hebrew, Gethsemane had historically beenused for the manufacturing olive oil, a fact still evident by the lusciousolive trees that adorn the valley. According to the New Testament, Jesus and his Apostles had oftenfrequented the Valley of Gethsemane for prayer, reflection and teachings, whichin turn enabled JudasIscariot to lead the Roman troops directly to Jesus for his capture.Overlooking the valley are the ‘Church of all Nations’ and the ‘Church of MaryMagdalene’. Gethsemane serves today as a popular pilgrimage site with acharming ancient olive tree garden surrounded by a stone wall. 

Augusta Victoria Hospital - a Hospital and Church located on the Mount of Olives. Named after the wife of the German Kaiser Wilhelm II, who promoted the construction, the Augusta Victoria Hospital was inaugurated as a hospice and rest home in 1910. 

Church of the Patre Nostre - Latin for ‘Our Father’, This Roman Catholic church, located on the Mount of Olives, is the traditional site where Jesus taught his disciples the ‘Lord’s Prayer’. The church is built on the site where once stood a basilica built by Emperor Constantine in the 4th century. He built the basilica under the direction of Helena, his mother, in commemoration of the ascension of Jesus. The church’s outer corridor is ordained plaques made of Armenian pottery depicting the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ in over 60 different languages – from Latin to Japanese

Convent of the Ascension - On the very top of the Mt. of Olives, stands the Russian Orthodox Convent of the Ascension. According to Christian Orthodox tradition, this is the site where Jesus had ascended to heaven after his resurrection. 

Dominus Flevit Church - Located on the Mount of Olives and shaped like a tear drop, this Franciscan church marks the site where according to tradition Jesus mourned and wept over the future destruction of Jerusalem. The Latin name of the church translates as ‘The lord Wept’ and it is one of the newest churches in Jerusalem, built in 1953. The church has a beautiful courtyard and a breathtaking view of Old City of Jerusalem.