What to see at the Mount of Olives
Every year, pilgrims and visitors descend on the Mount of Olives to see the Holy Sites and experience the places where Jesus walked, prayed and met with people and his disciples.
The Mount of Olives is one of three hills to the east of Jerusalem and is the location of many
biblical events. In the Old Testament, 2 Samuel 15:30, King David fled Jerusalem over the Mount of Olives to escape when his son Absalom rebelled. In the New Testament, Jesus often travelled over the Mount of Olives on the 40-minute walk from the Temple to Bethany.
The Mount of Olives is the location of several major sites for visitors. They include:
- Church of All Nations (Basilica of the Agony): A somber church at Gethsemane, built over the rock on which Jesus is believed to have prayed in agony the night before he was crucified.
- Church of St Mary Magdalene: A Russian Orthodox church whose seven gilded onion domes, each topped by a tall cross, make it one of Jerusalem’s most picturesque sights.
- Church of Dominus Flevit: A church in the shape of a teardrop, commemorating the Gospel incident in which Jesus wept over the future fate of Jerusalem.
- Church of Pater Noster: Recalling Christ’s teaching of the Lord’s Prayer, this church features translations of the prayer in 140 languages, inscribed on colorful ceramic plaques.
- Dome of the Ascension: A small shrine, now a mosque marking the place where Jesus is believed to have ascended to heaven.
- The garden and grotto of Gethsemane: The ancient olive grove identified as the place where Jesus went to pray the night before he was crucified, and the cave where his disciples are believed to have slept.
- Tomb of Mary: A dimly-lit, below-ground church where a Christian tradition says the Mother of Jesus was buried.
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