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Jerusalem

Jerusalem , centered in the Old City , vibrates with an amazingly broad human diversity, representing different races, religions and ethnic backgrounds. Known for centuries as a center for three major religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam - it is one of the world's great spiritual cities, and for the faithful, a visit to Jerusalem is a powerful affirmation of faith.

Surrounded by a 16th-century Ottoman wall, interconnected with a number of bustling historical markets well preserved since the medieval period, Jerusalem's Old City is divided into four quarters - Armenian, Christian, Jewish and Muslim. The Jewish Western Wall, the Muslim's Dome of the Rock and the Via Dolorosa, along which Jesus was paraded on the way to His crucifixion, are just a few of its major religious sites.

The Old City is best toured on foot - from Damascus Gate, one of the city's famous eight gates, through the labyrinth of crooked streets and alleys down the Via Dolorosa, to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where the stone on which His body was anointed is located, along with the tomb where He was buried.

East of the Old City is the Mount of Olives , with its magnificent panoramic view of Jerusalem .

The Dome of the Rock (Qubbat Al Sakhra), one of the oldest surviving examples of Arabic architecture, is located in the Old City 's Muslim Quarter. According to one tradition, the massive Dome houses the ancient rock on which Noah's Ark rested after the flood; it is also where God commanded Abraham/Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, and the spot where the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven on his famous night journey.

The newer, both eastern and western parts of the city are also home to a number of interesting sites, such as the Shrine of the Book in the Israel Museum (where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed) and Yad Vashem, the museum and memorial dedicated to the Jewish trauma of the Holocaust of World War II), and the Rockefeller Museum housing a great number of archeological artifacts.