THINGS TO DO IN THE MOUNT OF OLIVES
As the scene of countless biblical events, the Mount of Olives is an absolute must for every Christian visiting Jerusalem.
Church of all nations and Garden of Gethsemane
Also known as the Church of the Agony, it was where Jesus prayed on the night of his arrest. The church located at the base of the hill is home to a magnificent façade, as well as a garden that comprises ancient olive trees. for further reading about this magnificent place, we recommend you to read our article about this unique place, by following this link.
Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary
The church is known as the site where Judah turned on Jesus and helped with his arrest. It is also home to the empty grave of Saint Mary. The tomb is empty since Jesus pulled Saint Mary’s body into Heaven three days after her burial. The hiking trail to the summit of the mountain starts outside the church. As you exit the church, you will come across the Judah column illustrating the betrayal of Judah.
Church of Mary Magdalene
The Russian Orthodox Church near the Garden of Gethsemane was built in 1888 and dedicated to Mary Magdalene, a Jewish woman who accompanied Jesus before his execution and was the first to see him after the Resurrection. You will also find burial sites of Russian princesses, duchesses, and nuns.
The Jewish Cemetery on the western slopes of the Mount of Olives is the oldest in Jerusalem. As we mentioned previously, it was a burial site for thousands of Jews throughout history, including Menachem Begin, the 6th Prime Minister of Israel, who passed away in 1983.
Tomb of the Prophets
As you approach the summit, you will find a collection of tombs at the base of the staircase. These tombs belong to religious figures worshipped both in Jewish and Christian traditions. The most notable graves belong to the last three prophets mentioned in the Old Testament – Malachi, Zechariah, and Haggai.
The Chapel of the Ascension
As the name suggests, the Chapel is the spot where Jesus’ Ascension into Heaven took place. As he was ascending, the angels appeared to the disciples and told them that Jesus would set foot in the exact same spot when he returns. That’s why the church from the Byzantine period bears extra significance for Christian pilgrims.
The Church of the Pater Noster
The Church of the Pater Noster is perhaps one of the most informative sites on the Mount of Olives, as many of Jesus’ teachings took place here, especially the ones about the Pater Noster (Our Father) prayer. You can read the prayer ingrained on porcelain tables in many languages both inside the church and around the courtyard. For further reading about the church, follow this link.
Dominus Flevit Church
The church was erected on the site, where Jesus took a break during his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It was here that he wept while looking over Jerusalem. It stands out not only for its architecture designed by Antonio Barluzzi but also the Byzantine mosaics inside. It is also an essential excavation site where archeologists discovered tombs dating back to the Second Temple. Don’t forget to take a break to appreciate the stunning views of Jerusalem from above.
The Overlook Platform
The climb is a steep and challenging one, but the views at the top are equally rewarding. The Rekhav’am Observation Deck built in 2001 offers panoramic views of the Old City, as well as the New City and even Temple Mount.