Temple Mount

This morning we left our Jaffa Street apartment and walked to Tova’s place in Old City, our home for the next couple of days. We met Ohri, our guide for the day.

First stop was Temple Mount. We went through a security check point, and up the walkway.

We saw the Al Aqsa mosque. The largest portion of the mosque is actually underground. Non-Muslims are not permitted to enter.

We saw a group of the “temple faithful,” Jews who want to maintain Jewish presence on the temple site. They are watched closely to make sure they don’t break any rules.

The Eastern Gate is fascinating. Yesterday we stood outside and looked at the gates blocked to prevent entry. Today we stood “just inside the Eastern Gate.”

The Dome of the Rock is the centerpiece of Temple Mount. This magnificent octagonal structure was built in 691 AD.

We had to be off Temple Mount by 10:30. We visited the Small Wailing Wall, which is actually closer to the temple location than the Western Wall.

We enjoyed a lunch of hummus and falafel. From there we went to a location on Via Dolorosa we were interested in seeing. Sisters of Zion convent has some historical significance, the location of the Antonia Fortress. Below the building is stone pavement long believed to date to Jesus’ day. The stone with the diagram of a Roman soldiers’ game is now thought to date from to around 130 AD.

More stops included church of the Holy Sepulchre and a rooftop overlook.

By Andrew Zimmerman

Excited about travel in the Bible lands!