People of the world’s three major faiths (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) collectively call a stretch of important land ‘The Holy Land.’ Colloquial knowledge puts this area within the confines of modern-day Israel, but it’s far bigger. It stretches from Egypt to Syria and covers Israel and Palestine, Western Jordan, the Sinai Peninsula, and Southern Syria.
A massive number of pilgrims travel to these nations all year long – pilgrims travel by air, by land, or by sea, which is where the likes of City Lady and those who offer LDS Holy Land tours come in.
If you’re looking to make a pilgrimage of your own, perhaps it pays to know which places to visit.
The city of Jerusalem probably hosts almost all of the most important sites in Christianity. For one, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which Christians believe stands on the exact site of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. There’s also the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed before he was taken away to be tried, as well as the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrows) which pilgrims believe is the street on which the procession to Golgotha occurred.
Numerous Muslim sites also dot the Holy Land, but none is as famous as the Dome of the Rock. With its noticeable golden dome, the edifice houses the rock from which Muslims believe the prophet Muhammad rose to heaven. It is the oldest Islamic monument in the world; second perhaps in terms of importance to the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
The Western Wall (also known as the Wailing Wall) is part of the wall that once covered the courtyard of the Jewish Holy Temple in biblical times. Pilgrims pray at the wall and leave notes on paper between the stones. Jews also consider the Temple Mount complex (which includes the Dome of the Rock) as their holiest site. They believe it to be is the site at which they believe Abraham tried to sacrifice his son, Isaac.
Consider these landmark locations, whichever faith you may follow, as you visit the Holy Land. Or if you’re just a tourist, be prepared to savor several of the world’s most important cultural monuments.