One Day in Jerusalem: Where Three Religions Intersect

On our recent trip to Israel and Jordan, a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Old Jerusalem was a high priority. Our schedule allowed for only one day in Jerusalem, but we managed to make the most of our time as we discovered why this city is such a historic location for three of the world’s biggest religions.

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PhotoPOSTcard: The Two Faces of Faith

Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre is an important religious site for the Christian faith. Tradition holds that the church is built over the site where Jesus was crucified and then buried. There are many chapels and items of religious significance in this church. Here, I was struck by the contrast of pilgrims prostrating themselves over the Stone of Anointing where it is believed that Jesus’ body was prepared for burial, and the Christian orthodox nun standing behind them, looking at her cell phone.

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Tips For Visiting the Dome of the Rock and Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Seeing the UNESCO Heritage listed Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is at the top of many visitor’s wish list. I am sharing my tips for visiting the Dome of the Rock on Temple Mount after a recent trip to Jerusalem so that your visit to this beautiful sight is as easy and memorable as ours was.

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PhotoPOSTcard: All That Glitters is Gold at Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock

Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and the rock on top of it is a sacred site to both the Jewish and Islamic faiths. In Judaism, the rock is where Abraham was preparing to sacrifice his son Isaac. For Muslims it is the location from which Muhammed started his journey to heaven. The octagonal Dome of the Rock which sits atop this Foundation Stone was built in 691 CE, though it has been rebuilt a few times since then. Visitors can tour the outside of the Dome of the Rock during non-Muslim prayer times, but cannot go inside unless they are Muslim. Even just seeing the outside, it was a beautiful structure to visit.

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PhotoPOSTcard: At the Abbey de Fontenay

One of the excursions on my European Waterways Burgundy Canal cruise was to the UNESCO listed Abbey de Fontenay. The abbey was founded in 1118 by a group of Cistercian monks.  On our tour, I leaned that the Cistercian order was established in response to the excesses displayed by the Benedictine monks. The Cistercian’s believed in hard work in a simple, austere environment and they built this large abbey to insure that they would be self-sufficient. Much of the original abbey architecture remains to this day, including the cloisters seen in this photo.

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PhotoPOSTcard: Still Standing Strong

After 1000 years of history, Our Lady of Notre Dame de Paris still stands strong. She is a little rougher around the edges, but her soul still shines through. The spire and the roof are gone but the site looks remarkably clean. For the time being, you can only admire her from afar. Unlike my previous visits, there was no revelry as people stood to watch and take photos. There was a quiet worshipful reverence as tourists continued to admire this historic Paris icon.

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Istanbul’s Hagia Irene – A Step Back in Time

To step through the door into Hagia Irene in Istanbul is to step through a time portal back to fourth century Constantinople. Before the more famous Hagia Sofia was built, Hagia Irene served as the main church for the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Hagia Irene also served as a model for the construction of the Hagia Sofia next door.

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PhotoPOSTcard: The Call to Prayer in Istanbul

The first time I ever heard the Islamic call to prayer was in Istanbul on my first visit in 2016. The sun was starting to set as I was taking a break on a bench in the hippodrome area in front of the Blue Mosque. The tulips were in full bloom and the scent of hyacinths was wafting on the early evening breeze.

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