"The Holy Land"
Brief Summary Of Israel
Physical and Human Geography of Israel
- the Mediterranean Coastal Plain
- the hill regions of northern and central Cisjordan (west of the Jordan)
- the Rift Valley of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea
- the desert regions of the Negev and the Aravah Valley (which are similar to parts of the Sinai Peninsula).
Major Cities and Well-Known Places in Israel.
- West Jerusalem
- Tel Aviv
Dome of the Rock:
The Dome of the Rock is an Islamic building in Jerusalem that sanctifies the location from which, according to the Koran, the Prophet Muhammad was taken to see paradise. (Jews believe this is the spot upon which Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac).
The Western Wall:
The holiest site in Judaism is the Western Wall, built by Herod as part of the structure that encloses Temple Mount. For centuries, under Muslim rule, the wall was the closest Jews could get to the site of the original Temple of Jerusalem and it therefore became sacred in its own right. Men must wear a head covering when visiting; women are expected to don long skirts and sleeves
Church of the Holy Sepulcher:
Multiple Christian denominations uphold the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem as the site where Jesus was crucified and buried and where he later resurrected. The first church was built here around A.D. 330; the current building dates to the 12th century and is shared by six Christian churches: Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Coptic, Roman Catholic, Syrian and Ethiopian. Inside you can see the Stone of Unction on which, according to tradition, Jesus's body was prepared for entombment.
Mount of Olives:
The Mount of Olives, located east of Jerusalem's Old City, features prominently in the New Testament. It was here that, according to tradition, Jesus wept for what he foresaw as the destruction of Jerusalem, was arrested and later ascended to heaven. The mount, which affords panoramic vistas of the city, is home to six churches and one of the world's oldest Jewish cemeteries. The prophets Haggai, Malachi and Zechariah are believed to be buried here.
Perched high on a plateau that overlooks the Dead Sea, Masada National Park encompasses a citadel built by Herod. In A.D. 73, more than 900 Jewish rebels famously committed suicide here rather than surrender to the Romans, who built an attack ramp around the site that is as impressive as the fortress itself. A must-see here is the Northern Palace, a building with three tiers that seems to hang from a cliff.
Historic Sites and Landmarks in Israel
Acre is a UNESCO listed site of a city in Israel fortified by the Crusaders and the Ottomans
The site of Arsuf, also known as Apollonia, contains the remains of a Crusader castle once occupied by the Knights Hospitaller.
Avdat was an ancient Nabatean city along a prosperous trade route.
- Ayn Jalut Battlefield:
Ayn Jalut Battlefield was the site of a pivotal clash between the Mamluks and the Mongols.
- Beit She'an:
Beit Shean is an immensely impressive archaeological site with remains dating back mostly to the Roman and Byzantine period.
- Church of the Annunciation- Nazareth:
The Church of the Annunciation is believed to be the site where Gabriel told Mary she was to conceive the son of God.
- Church of the Nativity:
The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is believed to have been the site of the birthplace of Jesus Christ.
- Church of the Primacy of St. Peter:
The Church of the Primacy of St. Peter in Tabgha is where Jesus is said to have reinstated Peter.
- Hezekiah's Tunnel:
Hezekiah's Tunnel in Jerusalem is an ancient aqueduct created by the King of Judah to protect the city’s water supply from invaders.
- Rabin Square:
Rabin Square was the site of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.
Recreation and Outdoor Activities
- The Coral Reef in Eilat:
- The Kinneret Trail:
- The Mt. Hermon Ski Resort:
- The Dolphin Reef Eilat:
- The Dead Sea:
- Camel Rides in the Judean Desert:
- The Israel National Trail:
Entertainment in Israel
- Visual Art:
The permanent collection at Tel Aviv Museum of Art is notable for its extensive collection of modern Israeli and European art, as well as works by impressionists, surrealists, cubists and futurists. In Jerusalem, the L.A. Mayer Memorial Museum of Islamic Art contains an excellent collection of Islamic and Middle Eastern art and regularly plays host to highly regarded touring exhibitions. The Herzilya Museum of Art exhibits contemporary art by Israeli and international artists, with a special emphasis on plastic art. Jaffa is home to an artist's colony with numerous galleries tucked behind courtyards and along cobblestoned streets.
In Tel Aviv, Habima Theater, perhaps the most well-known theater company, stages productions that reflect Israeli contemporary society. Previous productions have grappled with themes of war and peace; the dynamic between different Jewish generations; and life for Jews in the shadow of the Holocaust. Other theater companies include the Cameri Theater, Beit Lessin Theater, Haifa Theater, Beersheba Theater and the Gesher Theater, which performs in Hebrew and Russian.
- Historic and Scientific Exhibitions:
Israel has more museums per capita than any other country in the world. Top on the list is the Israel Museum, in Jerusalem, which contains the famous dead sea scrolls, Judaica from around the world, a vast collection of Israeli archeological finds along with European and contemporary art. In Tel Aviv, the Bet Hatfutzot/Diaspora Museum chronicles 2,500 years of Diasporic Jewish life in a strikingly modern building with interactive media storytelling. Eretz Israel Museum, also in Tel Aviv, explores the country's natural history, geography, archeology and folklore with interactive presentations.
Israeli dance companies, including Batsheva and Bat Dor, are internationally renowned. Co-founded by the famous dancer, Martha Graham, Batsheva performs at Tel Aviv's Suzanne Dellal Centre when it isn't touring the world. Bat Dor, a slightly younger troupe, also entertains crowds in Tel Aviv with its contemporary performances.
Tel Aviv is the undisputed capitol for nightlife in Israel. "Jerusalem may only be 80km up the road, but culturally, socially and psychologically it may as well be a million miles away," Lonely Planet writes of the city. At midnight, clubs swarm with international visitors dancing to a mixed bag of funk, pop, house and techno music. The most popular club is probably Ha Oman, which has a strict door policy and hosts international DJs. Other well-known clubs include La Mer, Move and Rivendell. For live music, check out the schedule at Tzvata, TLV Club and Fusion for the purely rock-oriented.
Climate and Overall Weather Conditions in Israel
Arts and Culture in Israel
- The Israel Museum
- Tel Aviv Museum of Art
- Yad Vashem
- Design Museum Holon
- Tower of David Museum
- Bet Gabriel on the Kinneret
- Lev Omer
- Lev Tel Aviv
- Rav-Chen Cinema
- Jerusalem Cinematheque