ISRAEL - Holy Land - Pilgrimage
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POOL OF SILOAM
NEW GATE,
HALL OF THE LAST SUPPER
JAFFA GATE
THE BASILICA OF THE DORMITION
HALL OF THE LAST SUPPER
 KING DAVID'S TOMB
The Bible says:
"When he had thus
spoken, he spat on the
ground, and made clay
of the spittle, and
anointed his eyes with
the clay, and said unto
him, Go, wash in the
pool of Siloam. He
went away therefore,
and washed, and came
seeing."
(John 9:6-7)
We got up a bit shaken that morning because of continues loud explosions during the night. We
were all convinced that we found ourselves in the middle of yet another armed conflict between the
Israelis and Palestinians. It turned out that all we heard were the sounds of fireworks on the eve of
Israel's 61st birthday. It was Independence Day.
The bus dropped us off on a slope, on the southern side
of the old city of Jerusalem, where the
CITY OF DAVID
used to be. The area is tightly inhabited by mainly a
Muslim population. We walked downhill, between the
houses, and by a school where mothers were bringing
their youth (they even let us peek in), to visit the
POOL OF
SILOAM
, where we read a verse form the Bible that
mentions it, dipped our fingers and toes into the water
and climbed out again.
POOL OF SILOAM
From there we went on the other side of the city to have
mass at
SAINT SAVIOUR'S, this is the seat of the Franciscan
Custody, which, since 1342, represents
Catholic Communities to the Holy Land.
We gathered by the
NEW GATE, which
was opened in 1889, to allow access to
the
CHRISTIAN QUARTER. We walked
along the narrow streets, went through a
door under a covered walkway, then
headed upstairs into what looked like
someone's apartment, but when we
opened the door we gasped as we were
faced with the richly painted walls of a
huge church.
NEW GATE
SAINT SAVIOUR'S
Soon we found ourselves walking again - this time towards
the
JAFFA GATE, this used to be the main road to the port
of Jaffa. We went pass the
TOWER OF DAVID
(JERUSALEM CITADEL)
, then fought with the cars in a
narrow tunnel, peeked into interestingly decorated
restaurants in the
ARMENIAN QUARTER and found the
Gate.
It is the main entrance (for pedestrians and an occasional
motorbike) to the old city from east to west and offers
access to Mount Zion with several important sites like

KING DAVID'S TOMB,
the HALL OF THE LAST SUPPER
and THE BASILICA OF THE DORMITION which we visited
first. The upper church has incredible mosaics and
paintings. The crypt holds the site, where, according to
the old Jerusalem tradition Mary lived and died.
From there it is only a short walk towards the Hall of The Last Supper which was
built by the Crusaders in Gothic style but in the 15th century it was transformed into
a mosque. Underneath the Hall is the location of King David's Tomb which has
separate entrances for men and women.
HALL OF THE LAST SUPPER
KING DAVID'S TOMB
THE BASILICA OF THE DORMITION
JAFFA GATE
TOWER OF DAVID (JERUSALEM CITADEL)