Old City of Jerusalem: Holy Old City, World Heritage Site


INDEPHEDIA.com - The Old City of Jerusalem is the Old City of Jerusalem which was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the suggestion of Jordan.

It is surrounded by a wall which is within the 0.9 square kilometer (0.35 sq mi) area of East Jerusalem in the City of Jerusalem.

The Old City of Jerusalem is in the center of the city of Jerusalem, on the plateau of the Judean Mountains, adjacent to the Mount of Olives (east) and Mount Scopus (northeast).

The Old City District of Jerusalem is divided into four areas, namely the Muslim Section and the Jewish Section (in blue).

Then, the Christian Section and the Armenian Section, which are also predominantly Christian.

The Old City of Jerusalem is also called Baitul Maqdis or Al-Quds. Within the Old City of Jerusalem, there are many holy sites for Muslims, Christians and Jews.

In the southeastern corner of Old Jerusalem is the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, within which are the Dome of the Rock and Jami' Al-Aqsa, and at the corner of the mosque is the Wailing Wall.

Abdullah bin Umar, a friend of the Prophet Muhammad, an expert on hadith and jurisprudence said: "Baitul Maqdis is the place where the Prophets met and they gathered to worship".

''There is not an inch of land in that place that was not used for prayer by the Prophets or the Angels," said Abdullah bin Umar.

In the past, this city has been repeatedly captured, conquered, destroyed and rebuilt by various parties.

From this series of events, every layer of the earth seems to reveal various pieces of past history.

The center of Jerusalem is the Old City, a labyrinth of narrow alleys and historic architecture that mark the four corners of the city.

Here, there are Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Armenian quarters, surrounded by fortress stone walls that house some of the world's holiest sites.

Each region represents a separate population. The Christians have two regions, because the Armenians are also Christians.

This Armenian quarter, the smallest of the four, is one of the oldest Armenian centers in the world.

Al-Aqsa Mosque and As-Shakrah Dome

The Muslim quarter is the largest of the four and contains the sacred Dome of the Rock (Kubah As-Shakrah, or Dome of the Rock).

The al-Aqsa Mosque is on a plateau known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif.

The mosque, which is managed by a waqf institution, is the third holiest place in Islam after the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina.

Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad SAW came to this Aqsa Mosque from Mecca.

The arrival of the Prophet Muhammad SAW to the Aqsa Mosque on the night journey of Isra Miraj, performed prayers and prayed with the spirits of the prophets.

A few steps from the mosque, is the As-Shakrah Dome which contains a foundation stone which is believed by Muslims to be the starting point for Muhammad to go to heaven during the Isra Mi'raj event.

Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Within the Christian Quarter is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, an important place of pilgrimage for adherents of Christianity around the world.

It is located in a very important location in the story of Jesus: his death, his crucifixion and his resurrection.

In the belief of the Christian tradition in general, Jesus was crucified there, on the hill of Golgotha, or the hill of Calvary.

His grave is located in a cemetery which is also believed to be the place of his resurrection.

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is managed jointly by representatives of different Christian denominations.

Those administering it, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, the Franciscan friars of the Roman Catholic Church and the Armenian Patriarchate, as well as Ethiopian, Coptic and Syrian Orthodox Christians.

This place is one of the main pilgrimage destinations for hundreds of millions of Christians around the world.

Here, they visit Jesus' empty tomb and seek redemption in prayer at the site.

The Kotel or the Wailing Wall

In the Jewish Quarter is the Kotel, or Wailing Wall, or Western Wall, a remnant of the wall on which the ancient Temple stood.

Inside the sanctuary is the Most Holy, the holiest site in Judaism.

Jews believe that this is the place where the foundation stone was created for the world, and the place where Abraham, or the Prophet Abraham, was ready to sacrifice his son Isaac, or Ishmael.

Many Jews believe that the Dome of the Rock is where the Most Holy is.

Today, the Western Wall is the closest place Jews can pray to the Most Holy of Holies.

The site is administered by the Rabbi of the Western Wall and annually hosts millions of visitors.

Many Jews from all over the world visit this place to pray. (IND/US/SJ)

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