December 31, 2011

OAT Israel: Jerusalem Mount of Olives

We started our morning on top of the Mount of Olives where we had fabulous views of the Dome of the Rock and Old Jerusalem, especially the City Walls. 
Mount of Olives is where many Jews and Muslims believe the gates of Heaven will open up on Judgement Day. Hence, the number of graves of those who want to be right there when that happens!
A stone is placed on top of a grave when visited.
Fortunately, we were walking down or the donkey option might have been inviting.
We took a moment out for our group photo.
The Russian Orthodox Church of St Mary Magdalene was built in 1886 by Tsar Alexander III to honor his mother Empress Maria Alexandrovna.  The seven gilded onion domes are distinctive.
Antonio Barluzzi designed the Dominus Flevit Chapel in 1955 to resemble a teardrop.  The church is built over a 7th century chapel that memorialized where Jesus wept over the fate of Israel.
The Garden of Gethsemane is at the foot of Mount of Olives where Jesus prayed on the Rock of Agony the night before he was arrested.
Antonio Barluzzi designed the Basilica of the Agony (aka Church of All Nations) which was built in 1924 with financial support from 12 nations. 

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