Among Christians and other students of the New Testament, Cana is best known as the place where, according to the Fourth Gospel, Jesus performed his …moreAmong Christians and other students of the New Testament, Cana is best known as the place where, according to the Fourth Gospel, Jesus performed his first public miracle, the turning of a large quantity of water into wine at a wedding feast (John 2:1-11) when the wine provided by the bridegroom had run out. Although none of the synoptic gospels records the event, mainstream Christian tradition holds that this is the first public miracle of Jesus.However in John's gospel it has considerable symbolic importance: it is the first of the seven miraculous "signs" by which Jesus's divine status is attested, and around which the gospel is structured.
It is still a matter of discussion among theologians whether the story talks of an actual material transformation of water into wine, or is a spiritual allegory.
The commemoration of the miracle of the wine is traditionally fixed at Kefer-Kenna (also known as Kefr Kana and Kfar-Cana), about 5km north-east of Nazareth on the road to Tiberias.
Here the Franciscans, relying on the testimony of early pilgrims including St Jerome, established themselves in 1641. And here streetside vendors sell Cana wine.
The Franciscan Church at Cana was built in the early 1900.
The church was established at the site where, according to Roman Catholic tradition, the Annunciation took place.
The current church is a two-stor…moreThe church was established at the site where, according to Roman Catholic tradition, the Annunciation took place.
The current church is a two-story building constructed in 1969 over the site of an
earlier Byzantine-era and then Crusader-era church.
Inside, the lower level contains the Grotto of the Annunciation, believed by many Christians to be the remains of the original childhood home of Mary.
Another Christian tradition asserts that the Church of St Joseph in Nazareth is built over the carpentry workshop of the husband of the Virgin Mary.
Excavations conducted in 1955 tell us much about Nazareth at the time of Jesus. They show that Nazareth was a small agricultural village of between 200 and 400 people living in 35 homes spread over ten acres. The village's growth was hindered by its poor water supply. They further show that Nazareth was small and insignificant. less
Jericho is a Palestinian city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank and is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.…moreJericho is a Palestinian city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank and is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.
Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of more than 20 successive settlements in Jericho, the first of which dates back 11,000 years (9000 BCE) almost to the very beginning of the Holocene epoch of the Earth's history.
One of Jericho’s primary sources of income is Christian tourism. A cable car takes Christian pilgrims up the hill to the Mount of Temptation.
The Monastery of the Temptation sitting on a cliff overlooking the city of Jericho and the Jordan Valley is built upon the summit of the Mount of Temptation, rising 350 meters above sea level.
For centuries the monks have lived in the caves that dot the mountain of Temptation. less
The Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, is a Roman Catholic church located in Tabgha, on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galile…moreThe Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, is a Roman Catholic church located in Tabgha, on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. The modern church rests on the site of two earlier churches and commemorates the Christina tradition of
Jesus' feeding of five thousand on the site.
One of the main highlights of the church are its restored 5th century mosaics. These mosaics are the earliest known examples of figured pavement in Christian art in the Holy Land.
The Church of the Primacy of St. Peter is a humble Franciscan chapel also located in Tabgha, It commemorates the spot where according to Christian tradition Jesus reinstated Peter as chief among the Apostles.
The church contains a projection of limestone rock in front of the present altar which is venerated as a "Mensa Christi", (Latin for table of Christ). According to tradition this is the spot where Jesus is said to have laid out a breakfast of bread and fish for the Apostles.
The modern structure was built in 1933 and incorporates parts of an earlier 4th century church.
The Church of the Beatitudes is a Roman Catholic church located on the Sea of Galilee between Tabgha and Capernaum and was built on the believed to be where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount.The church was commissioned by Benito Mussolini and designed by the architect Antonio Barluzzi. less
Masada is an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel, on top of an isolated rock plateau on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert…moreMasada is an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel, on top of an isolated rock plateau on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea. Herod the Great built palaces for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE. The Siege of Masada by troops of the Roman Empire towards the end of the First Jewish–Roman War ended in the mass suicide of the 960 Jewish rebels holed up there.
Due to the remoteness from human habitation and its arid environment, the site remained largely untouched by humans or nature for two millennia. The Roman ramp still stands on the western side and can be climbed on foot. Many of the ancient buildings have been restored from their remains, as have the wall-paintings of Herod's two main palaces, and the Roman-style bathhouses that he built. The synagogue, storehouses, and houses of the Jewish rebels have also been identified and restored. The meter-high circumvallation wall that the Romans built around Masada can be seen, together with eleven barracks for the Roman soldiers just outside this wall. Water cisterns two-thirds of the way up the cliff drain the nearby wadis by an elaborate system of channels, which explains how the rebels managed to conserve enough water for such a long time
Masada is a Unesco World heritage Site. less
The Dead Sea also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west.
Its surface and sho…moreThe Dead Sea also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west.
Its surface and shores are 423 metres (1,388 ft) below sea level, Earth's lowest elevation on land. The Dead Sea is 377 m (1,237 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. With 33.7% salinity, it is also one of the world's saltiest bodies of water. . It is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean. This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea is 67 kilometres (42 mi) long and 18 kilometres (11 mi) wide at its widest point. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley, and its main tributary is the Jordan River.
The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years. Biblically, it was a place of refuge for King David. It was one of the world's first health resorts (for Herod the Great), and it has been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from balms for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizers.
People also use the salt and the minerals from the Dead Sea to create cosmetics and herbal sachets.
The Dead Sea seawater has a density of 1.240 kg/L, which makes swimming similar to floating.
The Dead Sea is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Church of All Nations, also known as the Church or Basilica of the Agony, is a Roman Catholic church designed by Italian architect Antonio Barluz…moreThe Church of All Nations, also known as the Church or Basilica of the Agony, is a Roman Catholic church designed by Italian architect Antonio Barluzzi in the 1920's and is located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, next to the Garden of Gethsemane. It enshrines a section of bedrock where Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest.
The Garden of Gethsemane is at the foot of the Mount of Olives. According to the Gospels on the night of His betrayal our Lord left the city of Jerusalem and crossed through the Kidron Valley and into the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:36; John 18:1). This was a favorite spot of Jesus and where he spent his last night.
The name "Gethsemane" is derived from the Hebrew words "Gat", which means "a place for pressing" and "Shemanim", which means "oils." the Garden of Gethsemane was where olives from the Mount of Olives were pressed into oil.
According to the Gospels after the Last Supper, Jesus came to this garden with his disciples to pray and to let himself be arrested (John 18:2-12), thus setting in motion the events that led to his crucifixion the next day.
There are eight olive trees in this garden that may be at least 2,000 - 3,000 years old. They still bear fruit. If they are not the actual trees in the area where Jesus prayed, then they could conceivably have been young saplings when Jesus came here.(Matt. 26:36; Mark 14:32; John 18:1). less
Al Aqsa Mosque is a mosque that includes the Dome of the Rock. It is Islam's third-holiest site after the Kaaba in Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in…moreAl Aqsa Mosque is a mosque that includes the Dome of the Rock. It is Islam's third-holiest site after the Kaaba in Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina (both in Saudi Arabia).
Al-Aqsa is part of 180,000 square yard compound occupying one-sixth of the walled area of the Old City of Jerusalem
The Dome of the Rock is in the centre of the greater Muslim shrine, known as the Haram ash Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), which Muslims believe commemorates Muhammad's miraculous Night Journey into heaven.
The site's significance stems from religious traditions regarding the rock, known as the Foundation Stone, at its heart.
The Foundation Stone and its surroundings is the holiest site in Judaism. Just as Muslims pray towards the Kaaba at Mecca, the holiest site in Islam, Jews pray towards the raised platform on which the Dome of the Rock stands.
Jews have traditionally regarded the location of the stone as the holiest spot on Earth, the site of the Holy of Holies during the Temple Period.
The most propitious site for Jewish prayer is the spot that is nearest the Foundation Stone. Because Muslim authorities refused to permit Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, the custom developed of praying near the Western Wall, since it was the site nearest to the Foundation Stone, or on the Mount of Olives facing the site of the Temple.
The complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Via Dolorosa (Latin,"Way of Grief" or "Way of Suffering") is a street, in two parts, within the Old City of Jerusalem, believed to be the path th…moreThe Via Dolorosa (Latin,"Way of Grief" or "Way of Suffering") is a street, in two parts, within the Old City of Jerusalem, believed to be the path that Jesus walked, carrying his cross, on the way to his crucifixion. The winding route from the Antonia Fortress west to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre — a distance of about 600 metres (2,000 feet) — is a celebrated place of Christian pilgrimage. The current route has been established since the 18th century, replacing various earlier versions. It is today marked by nine Stations of the Cross; there have been fourteen stations since the late 15th century, with the remaining five stations being inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The Church of the Nativity is a basilica located in Bethlehem, Palestinian territories, and is considered to be the oldest continuously operating Chr…moreThe Church of the Nativity is a basilica located in Bethlehem, Palestinian territories, and is considered to be the oldest continuously operating Christian church in the world.
The church was originally commissioned in 327 AD by Constantine and his mother Helena over the site that is still traditionally considered to be located over the cave that marks the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth. The Church of the Nativity site's original basilica was completed in 339 AD and destroyed by fire during the Samaritan Revolts in the sixth century AD. A new basilica was built 565 AD by the Byzantine Empire, restoring the architectural tone of the original.
The site has had numerous additions since this second construction, including its prominent bell towers. Due to its cultural and geographical history, the site holds a prominent religious significance to those of both the Christian and Muslim faiths.
The site of the Church of the Nativity is a World Heritage Site, and was the first to be listed under Palestine by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The site is also on UNESCO's List of World Heritage Sites in Danger.
The church is administered jointly by Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic authorities. All three traditions maintain monastic communities on the site
The structure of the site. of the Church of the Nativity is a combination of two churches and a crypt beneath—the Grotto of the Nativity where tradition states that Jesus of Nazareth was born and a fourteen-point silver star, beneath the altar in the Grotto marks the traditional spot believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ. less
The Western Wall, Wailing Wall or Kotel is located in the Old City of Jerusalem at the foot of the western side of the Temple Mount. It is a remnant…moreThe Western Wall, Wailing Wall or Kotel is located in the Old City of Jerusalem at the foot of the western side of the Temple Mount. It is a remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the Jewish Temple's courtyard, and is arguably the most sacred site recognized by the Jewish faith outside of the Temple Mount itself. Just over half the wall, including its 17 courses located below street level, dates from the end of the Second Temple period, commonly believed to have been constructed around 19 BCE by Herod the Great, but recent excavations indicate that the works were not finished during Herod's lifetime. The remaining layers were added from the 7th century onwards. The Western Wall refers not only to the exposed section facing a large plaza in the Jewish Quarter, but also to the sections concealed behind structures running along the whole length of the Temple Mount, such as the Little Western Wall–a 25 ft (8 m) section in the Muslim Quarter.
It has been a site for Jewish prayer and pilgrimage for centuries.
In Judaism, the Western Wall is venerated as the sole remnant of the Holy Temple. It has become a place of pilgrimage for Jews, as it is the closest permitted accessible site to the holiest spot in Judaism, namely the Even ha-shetiya or Foundation Stone, which lies on the Temple Mount.
According to one rabbinic opinion, Jews may not set foot upon the Temple Mount and doing so is a sin punishable by Kareth. While almost all historians and archaeologists and some rabbinical authorities believe that the rocky outcrop in the Dome of the Rock is the Foundation Stone, some rabbis say it is located directly opposite the exposed section of the Western Wall, near the El-kas fountain. This spot was the site of the Holy of Holies when the Temple stood.
The Wailing Wall is part of the old city of Jerusalem and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. less
The Cenacle (from Latin cenaculum), is the site of The Last Supper. In Christian tradition, based on Acts 1:13, the "Upper Room" was not only the s…moreThe Cenacle (from Latin cenaculum), is the site of The Last Supper. In Christian tradition, based on Acts 1:13, the "Upper Room" was not only the site of the Last Supper, but the usual place where the Apostles stayed in Jerusalem, and according to the Catholic Encyclopedia "the first Christian church".
Thus the Cenacle is considered the site where many other events described in the New Testament took place.
The early history of the Cenacle site is uncertain. The original building was a synagogue later probably used by Jewish Christians.
Yardenit ("little Jordan") is a popular Baptism site. Here, the water flows into the Jordan river, eventually flowing into the Dead Sea located more …moreYardenit ("little Jordan") is a popular Baptism site. Here, the water flows into the Jordan river, eventually flowing into the Dead Sea located more than 100KM to the south. This site is close to the actual site where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew 3: 13 : "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John"). The actual site is presently not accessible.
Many Christian pilgrims stop at this site and perform baptism ceremonies, normally in small groups and accompanied by the group's pastor.
The following is an interview with one of its founders. less
Most modern scholars view the fact that Jesus was baptized by John as an historical event to which a high degree of certainty can be assigned. Along …moreMost modern scholars view the fact that Jesus was baptized by John as an historical event to which a high degree of certainty can be assigned. Along with the crucifixion of Jesus most scholars view it as one of the two historically certain facts about him, and often use it as the starting points for the study of the historical Jesus.
The Gospel of John (3:23) refers to Enon near Salim as the place where John the Baptist performed baptisms in the River Jordan, "because there was much water there".
Separately, John (1:28) states that John the Baptist was baptizing in "Bethany beyond the Jordan". This is generally considered to be the town Bethany, also called Bethabara in Perea.
A favorite place for Christian pilgrimages to the location of the baptism of Jesus on the Jordan River is near Jericho. less
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, or the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians, is a church within the Christian Quarter of the walled Old…moreThe Church of the Holy Sepulchre, or the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians, is a church within the Christian Quarter of the walled Old City of Jerusalem.
The site is venerated as Golgotha (the Hill of Calvary), where Jesus was crucified, and is said also to contain the place where Jesus was buried (the Sepulchre).
The church has been a paramount – and for many Christians the most important – pilgrimage destination since at least the 4th century, as the purported site of the resurrection of Jesus.
Today it also serves as the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, while control of the building is shared between several Christian churches and secular entities in complicated arrangements essentially unchanged for centuries. Today, the church is home to Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Anglican and Protestant Christians have no permanent presence in the church and some regard the alternative Garden Tomb, elsewhere in Jerusalem, as the true place of Jesus's crucifixion and resurrection.
On the south side of the altar is a stairway climbing to Calvary (Golgotha), traditionally regarded as the site of Jesus' crucifixion and the most lavishly decorated part of the church. The main altar there belongs to the Greek Orthodox, which contains The Rock of Calvary (12th Station of the Cross). The rock can be seen under glass on both sides of the altar, and beneath the altar there is a hole said to be the place where the cross was raised. Due to the significance of this, it is the most visited site in the Holy Sepulchre. The Roman Catholics (Franciscans) have an altar to the side, The Chapel of the Nailing of the Cross (11th Station of the Cross). On the left of the altar, towards the Eastern Orthodox chapel, there is a statue of Mary, believed to be working wonders (the 13th Station of the Cross, where Jesus' body was removed from the cross and given to his family).
Beneath the Calvary and the two chapels there, on the main floor, there is The Chapel of Adam. According to tradition, Jesus was crucified over the place where Adam's skull was buried. The Rock of Calvary is seen cracked through a window on the altar wall, the crack traditionally being said to be caused by the earthquake that occurred when Jesus died on the cross, and being said by more critical scholars to be the result of quarrying against a natural flaw in the rock.
Just inside the entrance is The Stone of Anointing, also known as The Stone of Unction, which tradition claims to be the spot where Jesus' body was prepared for burial by Joseph of Arimathea. However, this tradition is only attested since the crusader era, and the present stone was only added in the 1810 reconstruction.
The Rotunda is located beneath the larger of the church's two domes. In the centre of the Rotunda is the chapel called The Edicule, which contains the Holy Sepulchre itself. The Edicule has two rooms. The first one holds The Angel's Stone, a fragment of the stone believed to have sealed the tomb after Jesus' burial. The second one is the tomb itself.
Under the status quo, the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Armenian Apostolic Churches all have rights to the interior of the tomb.
The church is a UNESCO World Heritage site. less
The Church of the Pater Noster, is a partially reconstructed Roman Catholic church located on the Mount of Olives, north of the Tombs of the Prophet…moreThe Church of the Pater Noster, is a partially reconstructed Roman Catholic church located on the Mount of Olives, north of the Tombs of the Prophets, in Jerusalem. It stands on the traditional site of Christ's teaching of the Lord's Prayer. (Luke 11:2-4)
Emperor Constantine built a church over a cave here in 4th century, and this has been partially reconstructed. Plaques in the cloister bear the Lord's Prayer in 62 different languages.
The church is unroofed and has steps that lead into a grotto where some Christians believe that Jesus revealed to his disciples his prophesy of the destruction of Jerusalem and the second coming. Unfortunately the cave containing the grotto partially collapsed when it was discovered in 1910.
The church is located in the At-Tur district of Jerusalem which has a population of about 18,000 mostly Muslim Arabs, with a small Christian minority. less
The Chapel of the Ascension is a shrine located on the Mount of Olives, in the At-Tur district of Jerusalem. Part of a larger complex consisting fir…moreThe Chapel of the Ascension is a shrine located on the Mount of Olives, in the At-Tur district of Jerusalem. Part of a larger complex consisting first of a Christian church and monastery, then an Islamic mosque, it is located on a site the faithful traditionally believe to be the earthly spot where Jesus ascended into Heaven forty days after his resurrection. It houses a slab of stone believed to contain one of his footprints.
The grounds also contain a burial crypt near the chapel that is revered by three separate monotheistic religions, although opinion differs on the occupant. Jews believe it contains the 7th-century BC prophet Huldah, Christians believe it to be the tomb of the 5th-century saint Pelagia; while Muslims maintain that the 8th-century holy woman Rabi'a al-Adawiya is buried there.
The ruins of ancient Caesarea are located on the Mediterranean coast, half way between Tel Aviv and Haifa, Israel. Herod the Great built Caesarea Mar…moreThe ruins of ancient Caesarea are located on the Mediterranean coast, half way between Tel Aviv and Haifa, Israel. Herod the Great built Caesarea Maritima to honor his patron, Caesar Augustus about 25–13 BC.
I visited in July, 2007 while recording footage for an upcoming documentary on the life of Apostle Peter. The book of Acts records that in Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Italian Cohort. Peter met Cornelius and converted him to Christianity.
Caesarea harbor is one of the most significant engineering feats of the ancient world, Herod’s engineers filled barges with sand, floated them into position and then sank them in a circle, thus forming the harbor.
Once Roman ships had a safe place to dock, Caesarea became a major seaport. Eventually, time and the sea washed the sand footings away.
The story of Jesus of Nazareth has gripped the hearts and minds of Christians from the moment of His death to today. People from all over the world h…moreThe story of Jesus of Nazareth has gripped the hearts and minds of Christians from the moment of His death to today. People from all over the world have traveled to the Holy Land to look at the landscapes He saw, walk the earth He walked, trying to feel the power of His presence and be transformed. less