Israel – the land of ancient mysteries
From Jerusalem, the tourist will return home with many controversial questions – about the world history, religion, past and future of mankind. The soul will want to work! This phenomenon is called the “Jerusalem Syndrome”, and it will begin with the first step on the blessed Jerusalem land, with a first look at it. You are standing on Mount of Olives, surrounded by Christian shrines. Here is the church of Mary Magdalene, Gethsemane, the tomb of the Virgin Mary. Down for kilometers lies the Kidron Valley, an ancient Jewish cemetery laid long before our era. Jerusalem seems to be an alien city. Unusual architecture, unusual people who live out of time, passing by themselves the glamorous tinsel of the bustling century. What is the millennium now – the Old City does not know. Its Jewish, Armenian, Christian and Muslim quarters have always been filled with the hubbub of the crusaders, then the Arabs, then the Jews, and now – merchants and tourists. Under the Temple Mount, where the main Jewish shrine of the Temple of Solomon once stood, the Wailing Wall, the Jews pray at any time of the day. Its length is 48 and its height is 18 meters. The wall, as in any synagogue, is divided into male and female halves. The female half has less fanaticism. Women in hats read holy books or speak with God, taking in their ranks curious tourists who are trying to quietly photograph. Busy flocks of tourists from Egyptian resorts run busily — they need to check in everywhere in a day, and Jerusalem is huge! It’s good to come to the large square where the roads of believing Christians, Jews and Muslims cross at night, when a magical glow emanates from the neighborhoods flowing down the slopes. Be sure to go down to the archaeological dig under the Wailing Wall, where the most ancient objects of the times of the first and second temples, which are three thousand years old, have been preserved! Here, in the Hasmonean tunnel, are stone blocks 12 meters long, weighing about 100 tons! You see such illustrations from the Old Testament in Jerusalem at every step and in time you stop wondering. But the Christian’s feet first carry to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher – the road of tribulation, Via Dolorosa. Plates on the houses of the places where Jesus stayed. The narrow streets were blocked by merchants. But if you discard everything superficial, the road to the Temple will not disappoint. As well as the simplicity of the Temple, in which there is no excess luxury and gilding. The temple opens unexpectedly, striking the routine of what is happening: a multilingual crowd, people gather in flocks, take pictures. A thousand years and the smell of eternity … Only external attributes change – clothes, but the essence of people is the same. In the Temple, everyone wants to touch the stone of the Anointing, on which the body of Jesus lifted from the cross was laid before the burial. The sacred stone is covered with marble. Eight unquenchable icon lamps shine above it. People come here, kneel down and, praying, consecrate their relics.
Kibbutz, fortresses and antiquities If you try to reflect the impressions of the country, they will be painted with the blue of the sea, the yellow sand of the desert, the emerald carpets of the Bahai gardens, the cream color of the Jerusalem stone … And all this – against the background of hospitable smiles of hardworking and patriotic Israelis through and through. Today, kibbutzim are happy to welcome tourists. It is doubly interesting to know the country through the prism of communist villages, which have lost their economic feasibility, but retain the spirit and enthusiasm of their creators. Israeli cities will give new experiences, discoveries and a different understanding of history. Here is the once chivalrous city of Acre – the last refuge of the Templars. The romantic knights were no stranger to the master’s approach to their life and the safety of their fellow tribesmen. More recently, a tunnel 350 meters long, leading from the Templar fortress to the port, was discovered and opened for viewing. Now the city is “covered” by Arab life, but its rocky pier, seaside cafes and narrow streets preserve the spirit of the knightly era. The pearl of ancient history on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea Ancient Caesarea is one of the clear examples of how easily the great projects of ancient times were carried out. King Herod conceived back in 9 A.D. to build a city for the Roman ruler Octavian Augustus – and in 12 years Caesarea grew up with a temple, a port, a huge amphitheater for 10 thousand spectators! The city suffered great shocks for two thousand years, but has come down to our time as an object worthy of the attention of historians and tourists. The day is not enough to view the remains of palaces, baths, port facilities and enjoy the beauty of the port. But fast roads lead to the eastern edge of the Judean Desert, to the country’s most impressive landmark – Masad Fortress. Now it is a national archaeological park, crammed with spectacular attractions for tourists – a huge museum, panoramas. The sheer cliff Masaada 450 meters high sheltered in the 1st century BC. fortress of Herod the Great, king of Judea. It is impossible to describe the richness and grandeur of the castle. Massada, even dilapidated, still makes a fantastic impression, especially in combination with the panorama of the Dead Sea and the Judean Desert, which opens from above. The fortress was the last bastion of Jewish rebels fighting against Roman rule; courage classes for schoolchildren and army soldiers are held here. At the foot of the mountain, the Roman siege system was perfectly preserved, and the most curious go along the Snake Trail, which was once the only path to the fortress. Another recently discovered mystery of world history is the Qumran scrolls found 40 years ago on the shores of the Dead Sea. A huge Museum of History in Jerusalem was created to store and display Qumran manuscripts. The find’s history is similar to a fairy tale: a boy threw a stone into a crevice, fell into a jug and found written scribbled leather scrolls in it. The manuscripts were distributed among the local Arabs, they were hardly collected by scientists and deciphered. Excavations are still going on in the mountains of the Judean desert, revealing the secrets of the life of the village, in which a highly educated sect of the Essenes, philosophers, mystics, mathematicians and seers, supposedly lived. Their main merit was the fact that they methodically transferred their knowledge to the “paper”, having managed to leave priceless historical documents to their descendants. The Qumranites foreshadowed the impending destruction of Jerusalem, the expulsion of the Jews. And they informed that the Jews could return back when the manuscripts were found. So it happened – the scrolls were found in the year of the UN decision on the creation of the state of Israel. Such mysticism is intertwined with the reality of excavations off the coast of the Dead Sea.