Gordon Tours Israel Blog

3 Churches You Must See On Your Jerusalem Day Trip

Icon September 4, 2018
Icon By Shai Navon
Icon 0 comments

Getting ready for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land? Sites holy to the Christian faith circle the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret), creating a spiritual hot-spot for pilgrims flocking to Israel from around the world. Between the stunning churches, sites and attractions and the tourist-friendly Kinneret, the Galilee region is THE place to focus your next Israel tour.

Here are some of the most significant places in the ministry of Jesus Christ that surround the Sea of Galilee. You can head to where pilgrims reach new spiritual heights in the place Jesus called home after being expelled from Nazareth.

Church of Mary Magdalene

Jerusalem Churches

Begin your journey of religious discovery and amazement at the Church of Mary Magdalene, built in 1886 by Czar Alexander III to honor the life of his mother, Russian Empress Maria Alexandrovna. Located on the breathtaking Mount of Olives, the Russian Orthodox Church is renowned for its seven magnificently gilded golden, onion-shaped domes, each topped by a tall, striking, Russian Orthodox cross, in true Muscovite fashion. For an even more impressive sight, visit the church after nightfall – the floodlit domes will look like they are floating mid-air in the darkness. Commemorating the enigmatic Mary from Magdala, a close friend of Jesus Christ and the first person to see him resurrected, the church houses many icons, as well as the remains of two martyred Orthodox saints, making it a highly significant site. Take in the stunning circular blue mosaic medallion of Mary Magdalene robed in white, intricately decorated sculpted white sandstone facade and marble and bronze iconostasis, illustrating the legend of Mary Magdalene and giving it new life. Their picturesque beauty amid a relatively plain interior is a wondrous sight to behold.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Jerusalem Churches

Perhaps the holiest place for Christians around the world and a major pilgrimage site, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre absolutely must be on your Jerusalem day trip itinerary. Head over to the location where Jesus was crucified and where his tomb rests to this day and feel Instantly engulfed in spiritual uplift. As you walk through the richly decorated complex, rebuilt and restored in different styles over the years you’ll find yourself marveling at the various chapels and their designs. Despite its rather plain exterior, the church is currently shared by five different Christian communities, serving as a harbinger of happy coexistence, faith and hope. Visit the church in the late afternoon, and you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of each group sharing ownership of the church proceeding in turn from the Calvary to the tomb, dressed in their unique robes and singing special hymns. An emotionally and spiritually wondrous sight! Other important elements to spot include the Angel’s Stone, a fragment of the rock believed to have sealed Jesus’s burial tomb and the Holy Sepulchre itself.

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Church of all Nations

Jerusalem Churches

Instantly identifiable by its stunning, vibrant exterior mosaic, the Church of all Nations lies at the foot of the Mount of Olives and is the third must-see on your Jerusalem day trip church tour. Internalize the magnitude of the events that took place near the sight of this Roman Catholic Church – Jesus’ agonizing prayer the night before his crucifixion, translated into the massiveness of the church’s stone construction and its somber interior design. Feel Jesus’ end-of-life anguish while touring the church in semi-darkness; lit only slightly by natural light coming in through violet-blue alabaster windows. The sorrowful reverence is further translated into large mosaics in each of the church’s three apses. From left to right, they represent The Kiss of Judas, Christ in Agony being Consoled by an Angel, and The Arrest of Jesus. You’ll leave this site with a greater appreciation for the life and trials Jesus endured – and the life you live today.

There are so many amazing sites and sights in Jerusalem, but if you have just one day to tour the holy city, be sure to visit these three churches. With their magnificent architecture and design, as well as the religious significance each one holds, they are indeed sights to behold. Contact Gordon Tours to book your Jerusalem church tour and get an inside look at some of the most spiritual areas in the most spiritual place on earth

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