Holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims, Jerusalem’s Old City is one of the world’s foremost pilgrimage destinations. A repository of sacred buildings and relics, it is a place where the oft-abused descriptor ‘living history’ really does apply – here you can walk in the footsteps of prophets, pray in buildings constructed by order of caliphs and kings, and overnight in hospices where Crusaders and cardinals have slumbered. The soundtrack is of church bells, the muezzin’s call and the shofar (ram’s horn), and the streets smell of everything from church incense to the heady aromas of the spice souq (market). It’s a sensory and spiritual experience unlike any other.
There’s plenty to see outside the Old City, too, including the hugely impressive Israel Museum and the powerful Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. They, together with the Old City’s manifest attractions, make Jerusalem the number-one tourist destination in Israel for very good reason.Show in Lonely Planet
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