Pilgrim tours Israel – Why the pilgrim love Israel so much?
Israel might be a Jewish-oriented place, but it has the roots of Christianity for almost 2000 years. Israel is the place where you can find Jesus' birthplace, the tomb where he addressed his followers and where Jesus walked on water. Because of the connection with Jesus- Israel becomes a holy place for Christians. According to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, last year, around 350,000 Christian tours dipped into the Jordan River for the baptism. Every fall, thousands of Christians come to this amazing country to praise the Lord and to walk in his last footsteps.
The Christian tour travel agents estimate that almost 500,000 to 700,000 Christian pilgrims visit Israel every year, and soon it will reach a million visitors.
So what else pilgrim love about Israel?
1. Church of the Holy Sepulcher
The church of Holy sepulcher in Jerusalem is the holiest Christian site of the world. It is the site where Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected. The church of the holy sepulcher in Israel is also the most visited pilgrim places. It also holds the stone of anointing, the place of the skull, the aedicule chapel along with the Tomb of Jesus and the angel stone – the stone which was used to close the opening of the tomb of Jesus. For six centuries, Christians denominations shared the church while a Muslim family holds the key to the Church.
2. Church of Annunciation
The church of Annunciation is made over the cave which is believed to be the place where the Virgin Mary stayed and the angel Gabriel appeared announcing her the birth of Jesus. For Christians, it is one of the holiest places. The Basilica of the Annunciation is also the largest church in the region.
Bethlehem is the church of the nativity and perhaps the most spiritual place for Christians. Jesus was born in an underground grotto beneath the church. This is also one of the most crowded spaces as Christians come here in groups to see the 14 pointed stars set in the ground to mark Jesus' birthplace.
Muslims believe that Bethlehem was the place where Prophet Muhammad offered a prayer on his way to Jerusalem, while for the Jewish community this is also an important place. [TZ3]
You may feel lost if you are coming here all by yourself, but with the help of a tour agency or agent, you can get through the security checkpoint that is not easy to cross.
4. Via Dolorosa
"Ways of sorrows" or Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem is a 500-meter long route where Jesus Christ had to suffer on his way to crucifixion. Undeniably, the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem in one of the most popular holy sites in Jerusalem and most famous holy places in Israel.
The biggest part of the route is in the Muslim Quarter, while the smaller part is in the Christian Quarter.
5. Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee is an important Christian place. According to the Holy Bible, Jesus walked on the shores of Sea of Galilee and four fishermen: Peter, James, John, and Andrew followed him. The lake is situated among the hills in Northern Israel. It is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and the second-lowest lake in the world.
6. Mount of Beatitudes (Har Nahum)
The Mount of Beatitudes is a hill on the Sea of Galilee where Jesus is believed to teach the Sermon of the Mount, including the Beatitudes. Later on, a church was built in the same place.
At the foot of the Mount of Beatitudes, there is a site called Tabgha. According to the Holy Bible, Jesus fed almost 5000 people with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.
7. Qasar el Yahud
Baptism is considered an important spiritual event for Christians. They feel an emotional connection while being dipped in the water for baptism. According to stories, Qasar el Yahud is the place where Jesus was baptized by John.
This is also one of the most crowded pilgrim places and now open daily for tourists. If you want to get baptized at the same place as Jesus experienced it, Qasar el Yahud should be on your top ten places to visit while being in Israel.
8. Experience history in the desert
In the Judean desert, there is one of the oldest and most spiritual Monasteries in Israel and a must-see if you love history. The church is maintained and managed by a few Greek monks who would welcome visitors or people seeking a place of worship.
9. Mount of olives
Mount of Olives is an important religious landmark to both Jews and Christians, located next to the Old City of Jerusalem. Over the last 3,000 years, until today, the Mount of Olives is used as a Jewish cemetery.
It is located above the Temple Mount and offers amazing views to the city. You can visit the church of all nations at the bottom of Mount of Olives. It is believed that Jesus offered his last prayer here before betrayed by Judas and the Romans captured him.
Once you are here, you will see the adjoining garden of Gethsemane. According to history, it is the same garden that existed in the era of Jesus and this is the place where he gave his last sermon.
This city, where Jesus Christ lived with his mother Mary and Joseph after coming back from Egypt, is holding some very important religious attractions like St. Gabriel's Church and the International Center Mary of Nazareth- where you can learn the history of Mary, The Holy Caves in the center of ancient Nazareth and much more.
During Christmas time and other Christian holidays- the city is especially popular and festive holding a Christmas market and other special events.
So, if you want to visit the place where Jesus was born or walked on water, or was resurrected, Israel welcomes you in open arms.
Call us now for more information about Pilgrim tours to Israel!