Jerusalem emanates spirituality and historical magnetism, suspended between the past and present. Central to three great monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the city is like a state of mind - a constant anxiety between followers of different faiths. The Old City and New City fathom depths of the old and new, while the Old City Walls embrace the riveting past that Jerusalem stood witness too, the New City is advancing towards a more contemporary set up in close quarters with Tel Aviv. A tour of this Israeli capital might move you or provoke you or even rejuvenate your soul - in one way or the other this city will remain etched in your heart.
Hallowed is the air of Jerusalem, much revered by almost half the human race. The Jews have always regarded the city to be their spiritual crossroad, the Western Wall dominating the city landscape, is the only remnant of the Temple Period. Islamic tradition advocates Jerusalem as the masjid al-aqsa, the "farthermost place," from which Mohammad ascended to heaven, while Christians venerate Jerusalem as the place of death, burial and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. A walk through the narrow cobblestone alleys of the Old City is an assault on the senses - the sounds of the church bells or azaan echoing from the mosques resonating across lanes and bylanes; the wafting aromas of turmeric, fresh mint, wild sage, and cardamom-spiced coffee; the sights of travelers and pilgrims or even the street vendors; with an aura of spirituality. Beyond the archaic Old City Walls, rests the powerful yet moving Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and the spectacular Israel Museum in a backdrop of contemporary Jerusalem. Quaint neighborhoods, some of them restored, fine restaurants, boutique hotels, markets all characterize seemingly cosmopolitan West Jerusalem. Let the visit to the Jerusalem of Gold continue to intrigue you while you think you almost demystified it!
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