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Ashdod Shore Excursion: Jerusalem Private Tour
  • Tour Category

    Private Tour

  • Duration

    10 Hours

  • Activity Level

    EASY

  • Language

Description

Spend a day away from Ashdod Port and discover Jerusalem’s historical delights on a full-day tour, led by a private guide! The comprehensive shore excursion includes a visit to the Mount of Olives – the perfect vantage point to see the Dome of the Rock – plus a walking tour of Jerusalem’s Old City. See all the big-name biblical sites, such as the Western Wall and the Via Dolorosa pilgrimage road, and explore the Armenian, Jewish and Christian quarters.

Itinerary
  • Mount of Olives

    There is so much to discover on the Mount of Olives – history, religion, ancient graves and stunning views across the Old City of Jerusalem. The Mount of Olives faces the walls of the Old City across the Kidron Valley. It is named for the many olive trees which once covered the hillside. The Mount of Olives is located across the Kidron Valley from the eastern side of Jerusalem’s Old City. The Mt. of Olives is the site of a 3,000-year-old Jewish cemetery where many prominent Jews are buried and it was the setting for many biblical events. Today the Mount of Olives is home to beautiful churches, a Jerusalem neighborhood, Augusta Victoria Hospital, Seven Arches Hotel and the Brigham Young University.

  • Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum

    Yad Vashem is Israel’s official Holocaust memorial and museum on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem. At the end of World War II, information gradually started to surface about the atrocities of the Holocaust. Leaders in Israel discussed creating a memorial to the massacred Jews of Europe. In 1953, the Israeli government passed a law to establish an Institute dedicated to documenting the six million Jews slaughtered in the Holocaust. 

    The memorial documents the fighters in the ghettos, the partisans in the forests, the soldiers in the allied armies, and the Righteous Among the Nations. When it came to choosing a name for the new memorial museum a Biblical reference was used. The prophet Isaiah tells us that God promised those without children an enduring memorial (in Hebrew: Yad Vashem or literally “a monument and a name”). So for those who lost their lives in the Holocaust without progeny Yad Vashem was chosen as a fitting name for Israel’s Holocaust Museum.

    Yad Vashem set about the mammoth task of gathering data about Jews that lost their lives during World War II and the survivors. The names of more than 4.3 million Holocaust victims have been recorded by Yad Vashem so far and they continue to discover more information on Holocaust victims and survivors. Many of the names were gathered from the pedantic German records which provide irrefutable proof of the Holocaust. A large quantity of Yad Vashem data is available online including the recently uploaded trial of Adolf Eichmann.

  • Cardo Jerusalem

    The Cardo Maximus was the name given to the north-south thoroughfare of Roman and Byzantine cities. “Cardo” means heart and the Cardo ran through the “heart” of the city. In the 130s AD, Hadrian had Jerusalem rebuilt and like other Roman cities, Jerusalem’s street plan included a Cardo. It was a paved, 22.5 meter-wide road running southward from the Damascus Gate.

    Later during the Byzantine era in the 6th century AD, Emperor Justinian had the Jerusalem Cardo extended taking it further south all the way to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Zion Gate. The street may have been used for ceremonial processions from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. For the entire length of the Cardo, the road was flanked with colonnades, covered walkways and a shaded arcade.

    Today visitors to the Old City of Jerusalem can wander through the Jewish Quarter and look down on the southern part of the excavated Cardo. You can see the tall, thick columns, ornate capitals, the arcade where merchants would have stood, and the large flagstones that paved the Cardo. 500 years after the original Cardo was constructed the Crusaders built a bazaar along part of the road. Today these Crusader-era stores have been restored and once again serve their original function.

    The shopping section of the Cardo is beneath a beautiful vaulted ceiling and the modern stores are housed in the ancient Crusader shops that line the Cardo. The stores sell locally made jewelry, religious artifacts, artwork, and other merchandise. Other sections of the Cardo are no longer visible having been covered by new structures over the years.

    The famous Madaba Map, a floor mosaic found in a 6th-century Byzantine church in Jordan depicts the Holy Land with the Cardo as its main artery. The Madaba Map is the oldest surviving cartographic depiction of Jerusalem. Visitors to the Cardo in Jerusalem can see a replica of the Madaba Map. Visitors can also see a large mural painting by students of the French school of art Creation de la Cite. The mural depicts the Cardo as it would have been 1500 years ago, a bustling street with vendors displaying their wares; a covered walkway; animals, and colorful characters.

  • Via Dolorosa

    The Via Dolorosa follows the path Jesus walked through the streets of Jerusalem, from the place of his trial to the place of his crucifixion. Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate to be judged and condemned near where the Old City’s Lion Gate stands today. After being judged Jesus carried the heavy cross through the crowded streets to where he would be crucified. Crucifixions were made outside of the city walls whereas today Golgotha, the site of Jesus crucifixion lies within the Old City and within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

    Along the route, Jesus stopped at 14 points which are remembered today as the Stations of the Cross. Most of the stations are recorded in the New Testament and others were added over the years. Each station is marked along the Via Dolorosa by a plaque or mark in the stone walls that flank the route. Several of the stations have small chapels nearby commemorating the Biblical events.

    In the early years of Christianity after Christianity was legalized in the 4th century, it became customary for pilgrims to retrace Jesus’ route along the Way of Sorrow. The route has been altered several times over the years. The present “Fourteen Stations of the Cross” were set sometime after the Crusader period (13th century) and are all within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem.

    In the 16th century the route was given its name, the Via Dolorosa (The Way of Grief in Latin) and today the Via Dolorosa or Way of the Cross lies on the route followed by Byzantine pilgrims. The significance of the Via Dolorosa and the proximity to where the actual events took place makes this pilgrimage site a deeply moving destination for Christians. 

  • Church of the Holy Sepulchre

    The Church of the Holy Sepulcher (also called the Church of the Anastasis, All-holy Church of the Resurrection) is the most sacred Christian site in the world. The church is located in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. The Church encompasses the last four (some say five) Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa. These holy sites were where Jesus was crucified at Golgotha (Calvary); died on the cross and was laid to rest in a burial cave. It is also where he was resurrected three days after his passing. The church has been a pilgrimage site since the 4th century and today the Sepulcher is visited by Christians and non-Christians from across the globe.

    In the 4th century Helena, mother of Christian Roman Emperor Constantine traveled to the Holy Land. She set about identifying religious sites and having churches erected to mark these sacred places. It is said that Helena rediscovered Jesus’ tomb and the “true cross”. Two connecting churches were built – one above the tomb and the other around the traditional hill of Golgotha. The church was consecrated in 335 AD. The structure of the church has changed and been extended over the years. It has suffered from human destruction, earthquake and fire. Major rebuilding took place in the 11th century and the early 1800s. Elements of Byzantine, medieval and Crusader architecture can clearly be seen in the structure.

    Control of the church is shared primarily by the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Armenian Apostolic with the Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Tewahedo and Syriac Orthodox churches playing a lesser role. Although the Anglicans and Protestants have no permanent role in the running of the Holy Sepulchre it remains a sacred site for all Christians. The church holds many small altars, shrines and magnificent artwork. It is a cavernous structure that can hold up to 8,000 people.


  • Western Wall Jerusalem

    The Western Wall stands in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. The Kotel, also known as the Western Wall and the Wailing Wall is a surviving small section of the retaining wall constructed under Herod the Great as part of expansions made to the Jewish Second Temple (516 BC-70 AD). The original wall would have encased the natural hill known today as Temple Mount (Mount Moriah) where the Temple stood.

    The Temple Mount was and is the most sacred Jewish site in the world. It was on the Mount that Adam was created and where Abraham bound his son Isaac in offering to God. It was also on Temple Mount that the First Holy Temple was built by Solomon in 957 BC and destroyed by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC. Not long after that in 516 BC the Second Holy Temple was built on the same site and was destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans during a Jewish uprising.

    The Romans completely destroyed the Second Temple including the surrounding buildings and walls. The Temple ruins were hidden for centuries underneath the rubble and new structures were built on top of the broken remains. Only one small section of the outer retaining wall remained above ground and untouched. That 485-meter section of wall is sacred to Jews who see it as a connection with the Holy Temple Mount. Over the years the wall has fallen under the jurisdiction of many rulers but the Jews have maintained their connection to Temple Mount and the wall. It is called the Wailing Wall as Jews weep for the destroyed Temple.

    Through the centuries and until the end of the British Mandate in 1948 Jews were not allowed to pray freely at the Western Wall. Between 1948 and 1967 no Jews were allowed into the Jordanian-controlled Old City so for nineteen years no Jews visited the Western Wall. Following the Six Day War Jerusalem was unification and the Jews had unhindered access to the Kotel for the first time.

What's Included

Professional guide
Transport by private air-conditioned car or minibus
Port pickup and drop-off
Viator’s worry-free guarantee
Up to 10 hours

What's Excluded
Tip or gratuity

Food and drinks
Hotel drop-off
Gratuities
Toll and parking fees

Please Note

  • A moderate dress code is required to enter places of worship and selected museums.Please refrain from wearing shorts.Knees and shoulders must be covered for both men and women.You may risk refused entry if you fail to comply with these dress requirements

Meeting Point

Ashdod Port, 1111 Ashdod, IL

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Cancellation Policy
  • For cancellations upto 2 days before the tour -

    Refund of 80% of the tour price.
9% OFF - Today only
9%

From

EUR 28.50
Starting From
USD 799 / Person
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