World Heritage #0148 – Old City of Jerusalem

Last modified 27.03.2022 | Published 22.08.1986Israel, Middle East and Africa, Palestine, World Heritage Sites

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This world heritage site, the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, is a holy city for three religions. They have fought over Jerusalem for millennia. 

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

Official facts

  • Full name of site: Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls
  • Country: Jordan/Palestina/Israel
  • Date of Inscription: 1987
  • Category: Cultural site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 148:

“As a holy city for Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Jerusalem has always been of great symbolic importance. Among its 220 historic monuments, the Dome of the Rock stands out: built in the 7th century, it is decorated with beautiful geometric and floral motifs. It is recognized by all three religions as the site of Abraham’s sacrifice. The Wailing Wall delimits the quarters of the different religious communities, while the Resurrection rotunda in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre houses Christ’s tomb.”

My visit

The picture above is from Damascus Gate. I wrote this in 1986. “Life in the Arab part of Jerusalem where my hotel is situated is dynamic. Souq streets everywhere and unbelievably many souvenir shops with equally many tourists.”

In a few hectic days I walked around in this fascinating city so central to three world religions. Jews, Christians and Muslims all include Jerusalem at the centre of their religions. Jerusalem has seen soldiers in the streets for thousands of years, representing warring parties who all seek to dominate this dry piece of land. My visit saw only peace, on the surface at least. I was able to experience all the familiar sights from my cultural background; raised in the Christian country of Norway.

It was more than fascinating. I also felt that Jerusalem should be part of everyone’s Grand Tour.

Read more about my visit.

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