Which holy sites to visit when in Israel?

There are many different places that you can visit when making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It may be that you want to visit one spot, either as your only destination or as part of a larger tour. Or it may be that you want to see as many of them as you can in a single trip.

No matter what option you decide is best for you, it’s essential that you know exactly where you should go. These are some of the places of significance you may wish to add to your itinerary.

Jerusalem

This is almost certainly on your list of places to visit, as there are many significant religious sites within the city itself. No matter how long you stay in Jerusalem for, you’ll probably wish you could be there for longer.

Among the sites you may wish to visit in Jerusalem, you could see these three churches that are at places where important events took place:

  • Church of the Holy Sepulchre – believed to be the site of the crucifixion of Jesus
  • Church of St John the Baptist – where it is thought Jesus said His last prayers before being betrayed by Judas
  • Church of All Nations – at the birthplace of St John, who baptised Jesus

Bethlehem

This is one of the most important places within the Holy Land as it is the place where Jesus was born. Bethlehem is home to the Church of the Nativity and the location of Jesus’s birth, which is marked with a 14-point star on the ground.

Bethlehem is within a Palestinian territory, so some visitors may wish to visit as part of a tour group. Holy Land tour packages from South Africa are available, so have a look and see which may be the best suited to you so you can visit the sites that you most want to go to.

Nazareth

This place was mentioned in the New Testament and is where Jesus spent the first 30 years of His life. The Church of the Annunciation is thought to have been built at the site where the angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary and said that she would give birth to the son of God.

Nazareth is also the place of His rejection. He had moved to Capernaum and returned to teach in the synagogue in the town but was rejected on both occasions.

Tel Aviv

To the south of the modern city of Tel Aviv is the old town of Jaffa. This place was seen as the gateway to the Land of Israel, and is the world’s most ancient port. It is known as Joppa in the New Testament.

It is from Jaffa that Jonah sailed as he tried to leave God’s calling to preach repentance to the people of Nineveh. This is also the place where St Peter raised Tabitha from the dead.

The most distinctive building in Jaffa is St Peter’s Church, which is in the main square and can be seen from the beach in Tel Aviv. The panels on the building show major events from Peter’s life.

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