Christians who are lucky enough to get a chance to visit the Middle East, usually have specific sights they want to see. Most of these places are areas where Jesus is believed to have lived, taught, died, and rose from the dead. Visitors try to get in as many sights as possible before they have to depart for home. Carefully planning their itinerary beforehand is important. There are certain places people will definitely not want to miss on their Holy Land vacations.

The Via Dolorosa is the path believers say Jesus was taken on the way to the cross. Visitors can take the same walk and stop along the way at each one of the fourteen stations of the cross. It begins at the Lions’ Gate in the Muslim Quarter. Most advise tourists to join the Friday procession or take a guided tour because some stations of the cross can be difficult to spot.

When the Way of Sorrows ends, visitors find themselves facing the Church of the Sepulchre. Most stop to visit this holy site in the Old City. It is where the crucifixion took place and is identified biblically as Calvary or Golgotha. Many believe the tomb of Christ is located below the church which has been the destination of pilgrims since the fourth century. The church is open to the public but there are areas that are off limits to visitors.

The Garden Tomb is one of several places historians believe Jesus may have been buried. It was discovered in the middle nineteenth century and has become an especially popular place for Protestants to spend time in prayer and contemplation. Visitors are welcome to explore the double chamber.

Jesus performed miracles and chose fishermen at the Sea of Galilee, so it is high on the list of places to see while in the area. Visitors are often surprised to learn that the sea is actually a large freshwater lake that provides half of Israel’s water supply. Guests are invited to take rides in vessels built in somewhat the same manner as those used in Jesus’ time.

Bethlehem, located in Judea, is one place most Christians want to visit. Anyone going into this area should be aware that it is disputed territory. Since it is the birthplace of Jesus, most risk the possible danger in order to walk in Shepherd’s Field and imagine what it must have been like when the angels announced the coming of Ch.

Visitors to Nazareth, Jesus’ childhood home and the town where Mary and Joseph lived when Gabriel appeared to Mary, is an interesting town to visit. Guests can see Mary’s Well and spend some time in the Church of the Annunciation. The original structure, built to commemorate Gabriel’s revelation to Mary, is gone. The current one was erected in the mid twentieth century to replace it. Nazareth is located in the vicinity of Mount Tabor.

A trip to the Holy Land is an experience not to be missed for those who have the chance. It is a place sacred to many. Most visitors come away with a renewed commitment to their faith and a clearer sense of Jesus’ life.

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