The city of Jerusalem is the jewel in the crown of the Jerusalem Area which spreads out across a plateau in the Judean Mountains and further into the surrounding valleys. Jerusalem’s Old City is in the heart of the modern city of Jerusalem, and the Old City is home to sites which are sacred to Muslims, Christians and Jews. The names of places in Jerusalem conjure up images from the Bible and many of the Biblical stories can be traced through the ancient streets of Jerusalem. Some of the top sites in Jerusalem are the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, the Holy Sepulchre Church, Western Wall, Temple Mount, Dome of the Rock and David’s Citadel.
As you venture out of the city center and into the more rural areas of Jerusalem’s surroundings you will encounter beautiful vistas of hills and valleys spotted with small communities. In many places the hills of Jerusalem are covered with thick Pine forests and in other places there are dried up wadis or riverbeds. Because of the shortage of water in this region farmers build stone terraces on the hill sides to hold the soil in place and preserve what little water there is.
The church was built on Roman cisterns constructed here to collect water from the spring which runs beneath the upper level of the church. Today you can visit the upper chapter of the church and decend to the crypt where the Roman cisterns were located.