Journey from Jerusalem to Holy Sites in the Region: Explore Bethlehem, Jericho and the Jordan River in Jericho
Have you ever wanted to explore the holy sites around the area of Jerusalem? From the birthplace of Jesus Christ to the site of Israel’s crossing of the Jordan River, there are plenty of spiritual places to explore around Jerusalem that offer unique insights into local history and culture. In this guide, we’ll take a look at three of these sites: Bethlehem, Jericho and the Jordan River near Jericho. We’ll also provide an overview of the best way to visit these sites, so you can make sure that your trip is as memorable as possible.
Bethlehem: Birthplace of Jesus Christ
As one of the most important holy sites in the world and main destination on many people’s pilgrimages to Jerusalem, Bethlehem has a special place and an immense cultural significance. Located about six miles south of Jerusalem in the West Bank, Bethlehem is sitesed upon several old religious and cultural stories, but the most famous is obviously related to Jesus’s birth. The Church of the Nativity, located in the heart of Bethlehem, is one of the oldest Christian sanctuaries in the world and was built to preserve as much as possible from Jesus’s place of birth.Inside of this church, visitors will find a breathtakingly beautiful inside, with magnificent gold and mosaics decorating walls and ceilings. The site includes the Cave of the Nativity, where Christians believe Jesus was born and where they can still observe the spot where Mary gave birth. And while it is a place of contemplation and reflection, it also serves as a major tourist destination attracting visitors from all over the world. Beyond its spiritual heritage, Bethlehem offers many other attractions that can bring your experience to a higher level. Check out King David Square for some traditional souvenir shopping or take a walk through downtown for some cultural exploration. You could also visit the International Center for Bethlehem Art, where you can see fantastic pieces from local artists or head over to Milk Grotto for a truly unique site – a cave located a few hundred meters from Church of Nativity where Mary supposedly stopped for refuge before giving birth to Jesus.No matter what you decide to do in Bethlehem, make sure you prepare before heading out. Start by confirmed that you have all your necessary documents beforehand – passports/ID cards/visas – plus emergency contact information as well. Wear appropriate attire when visiting churches, plan how to get there and back, so you don’t get lost, and consider purchasing a tour package or acquiring proxy transportation services if necessary. This is particularly important if you plan to visit shepherds’ fields where many guided tours take place on a regular basis during the summer months.
Jericho: Ancient City with Tempting Landscapes
Jericho, another major Biblical locale associated with numerous stories from Old Testament, is situated just 10 miles away from Bethlehem overlooking Jordan Valley and is definitely worth exploring. Some segments from this ancient city date back to an incredible 10 thousand years ago, making it one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. Although many cultures have lived and left their mark on this land, a great deal of stories around Jericho tell about Jews and their return after Babylonian exile. During Your visit at Jericho you may encounter ruins from its colorful history. Imprint of natural wonders are still visible with Wadi Qelt nearby Qasr el-Yahud baptism site – an immense valley that Jews travelled during their exodus towards Jerusalem (some places even think they crossed river here).The most iconic landmark in Jericho is Hisham Palace, with its mesmerizing gardens and lavish architectural decoration it’s definitely a place worth visiting. After exploring palace go north and step into Mountains Of Blessing where Jesus pronounced his famous sermon. To witness historical destinations in Jericho you should also visit Sycamore Tree – all ancient artifacts are located close by so it’s easy to make a day-trip out of it within hiking distance.
Jordan River at Jericho: Cross with Jesus
No pilgrimage around Bethlehem or Jerusalem area would be complete without a visit to the Jordan River at Jericho. This iconic river is believed to be where John the Baptist baptized Jesus and where many Christian traditions are celebrated. As such, it draws thousands of visitors from around the world ready to experience something extraordinary. As with other popular pilgrim destinations on our list, prepare for your visit ahead of time to get full experience out of it and avoid unpleasant surprises. Prioritize safety first – wear proper clothes covering your body parts that may get splashed by water or sunburned by sun rays. You might also want to bring your own food & drinks in case there are no restaurants around – site is isolated without major urban centers like Bethlehem or Jerusalem. Make sure you also bring your proper documents as you can easily get lost while walking through sand dunes and desert-like terrain and get detained at Israeli border if unprepared. Finally, consider booking an excursion with a local tour provider here. Tourist agencies in Jerusalem usually offer full-day trips including pick-up from downtown location and transport along pilgrimage route. On longer trips you will even have chance to stop at various religious sites and rest at designated spots. Last but not least – packages also cover all necessary access permits providing visitors peace of mind while exploring intricate and sometimes sensitive-nature locations like the best kept sites on our list today.
In conclusion, when constructing your itinerary for visiting holy sites located around Bethlehem, Jericho and Jordan River make sure you plan ahead considering every aspect along with keeping yourself safe throughout all steps on this spiritual journey. From visiting Church Of Nativity in Bethlehem over Hisham Palace in Jericho up to breathtaking landscapes around Jordan River – all three places has their own beauty and are certainly worth exploring offering you both physical and spiritual journey of life-time memories on any visit around Jerusalem area.
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