Jerusalem is the capital of the Israeli State (Palestinians also claim it as their capital) & one of the oldest & most historic cities on earth. An iconic biblical melting-pot, the city is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The Old City of Jerusalem as seen from a lookout on the Mount of Olives. Jerusalem, Israel. May 1, 2008.

The Old City of Jerusalem as seen from a lookout on the Mount of Olives. Jerusalem, Israel. May 1, 2008.

Not surprisingly the city’s long history has been tormentous – it has been destroyed twice & besieged, captured & recaptured many, many times. The oldest part of the city, nowadays called the Old City, was settled as far back as the 4th millennium BC. It was walled in 1538, when Jerusalem was under the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent, & today those walls define the Old City, home to over 200 historic monuments & some of the greatest religious structures on earth, including the infamous Western/Wailing Wall, Jerusalem’s biggest attraction, the 7th century Dome of the Rock, recognized by all three religions as the site of Abraham’s sacrifice, & the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, believed to houses Christ’s tomb.

Activity at the Western / Wailing Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel. May 2, 2008.

Activity at the Western / Wailing Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel. May 2, 2008.

A Israeli flag flying near the Western / Wailing Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel. May 2, 2008.

A Israeli flag flying near the Western / Wailing Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel. May 2, 2008.

Ultra-orthodox Jews in the lanes of the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel. May 2, 2008.

Ultra-orthodox Jews in the lanes of the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel. May 2, 2008.

Mosaics of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Old City, Jerusalem, Israel. April 30, 2008.

Mosaics of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Old City, Jerusalem, Israel. April 30, 2008.

A section of the interior of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Old City, Jerusalem, Israel. May 2, 2008.

A section of the interior of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Old City, Jerusalem, Israel. May 2, 2008.

Market stalls outside the Old City wall in Jerusalem, Israel. May 2, 2008.

Market stalls outside the Old City wall in Jerusalem, Israel. May 2, 2008.

Playing cards in the lanes of the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel. May 2, 2008.

Playing cards in the lanes of the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel. May 2, 2008.

The interior of the Tomb of the Virgin Mary, aka Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary, Kidron Valley, Jerusalem, Israel. May 1, 2008.   Church of the Assumption,  (Mary's Tomb) Jerusalem Isarel

The interior of the Tomb of the Virgin Mary, aka Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary, Kidron Valley, Jerusalem, Israel. May 1, 2008.

Oskar Schindler's grave in Mount Zion Catholic Cemetery, Jerusalem, Israel. May 1, 2008.

Oskar Schindler’s grave in Mount Zion Catholic Cemetery, Jerusalem, Israel. May 1, 2008.

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