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Jerusalem

Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Destroyed and rebuilt over thousands of years, Jerusalem's spiritual magnetism endures. With interlacing histories, clashing cultures and constant reinvention, the city is an intense, multisensory experience.

Jerusalem's Old City is a spiritual lightning rod, sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians. Wide-eyed with awe, pilgrims flood into the walled city to worship at locations linked to the very foundation of their faith. Church bells, Islamic calls to prayer and the shofar (Jewish ram's horn) electrify the air with a beguiling, if not harmonious, melody, and fragrances of incense, coffee and candle smoke drift through the thrumming souqs (markets). Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Armenian quarters each add their own spice, but this diversity grew from millennia of bloody sieges and transfers of power, leaving still visible deep wounds. Even as Jerusalem hurtles towards the future, the past informs its present. Downtown's modern buildings are encased in rosy Jerusalem stone, the same colour palette as the Old City. Experimental performing arts centres are housed in 19th-century buildings. Ever-growing ultra-Orthodox neighbourhoods can be found moments away from million-dollar condominiums, while old-school fruit and vegetable sellers sit next to craft beer and coffee stalls in Mahane Yehuda Market. Meanwhile in East Jerusalem, the future is debated in bookshops, cafes and confronting art galleries.


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