By Lauren Kmec
Jerusalem
Israel
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Sometimes referred to as “the Holy Sanctuary” or “the Abode of Peace,” Jerusalem is widely known as one of the world’s holiest places for Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Nestled in Israel’s Judean Mountains, between the Mediterranean Sea and the northernmost part of the Dead Sea, Jerusalem is full of storied spiritual history and rich cultural traditions, and its religious landmarks attract millions of visitors each year.

EscapeWizard.com invites you to explore Jerusalem on your next vacation. The closest airport is Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV), Israel’s largest airport, serving 9 million passengers annually. This airport is located ~56 kilometers from Jerusalem, but it is easy to reach via road or rail. Follow this link (www.escapewizard.com/flight.php) to book your flight with EscapeWizard.com. We can also help you to find lodging during your trip; click here (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl) to browse EscapeWizard.com’s top hotel selections.

Many of Jerusalem’s most famous sites can be found within the boundaries of its Old City, built in 1004 B.C.E. by the revered King David. The Old City is divided into four sections: the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Armenian Quarters. EscapeWizard.com strongly recommends visiting all four quarters, as each is special in its own right. The Jewish Quarter is home to Judaism’s most famous site: the Western Wall (aka the Wailing Wall), a 488-meter-long section of wall and the only remaining piece of the Second Temple of Jerusalem. Interestingly, the Western Wall is also a sacred place for Muslims, as legend holds that the prophet Mohammed left his horse at this site before he ascended to heaven.

The Old City’s Christian Quarter contains more than 40 churches, but none is more sacred than the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which encompasses the last five Stations of the Cross (i.e., the path Jesus walked en route to his crucifixion). The sepulchre (or tomb) at the center of the church marks the place where he is said to have been buried and subsequently resurrected.

The Muslim Quarter features a number of fascinating landmarks, but the giant golden Dome of the Rock is undoubtedly the most famous, and it is Islam’s third holiest site. The Dome of the Rock is located on the Temple Mount, which is believed to be the site where Abraham attempted to sacrifice his son Isaac. It is also the location of the First Temple of Jerusalem (Solomon’s Temple), which is said to have housed the Ark of the Covenant.

Though it does not contain a world-famous landmark, EscapeWizard.com encourages travelers to visit the Old City’s Armenian Quarter, a truly unique section of the city. Highlights include the St. James Cathedral, the fascinating Armenian Museum, and the Armenian Patriarchate building.

Outside of the Old City walls, EscapeWizard.com suggests a visit to the Mount of Olives, a place of significance for both Christians and Jews. The hill gets its name from the olive groves that have flourished on its soil for thousands of years. The Mount of Olives is home to the largest Jewish cemetery in the world; the most notable grave is the tomb of Mary and Joseph (the parents of Jesus). The Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus is said to have prayed after the Last Supper, sits at the base of the hill. Ascend to the Arab village of At-Tur atop the Mount of Olives for breathtaking panoramic views of the Old City.

For an exciting excursion outside the city, EscapeWizard.com recommends a trip to the Dead Sea, which can be reached by car in less than an hour. At 417 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is known for having the lowest elevation on Earth and also the highest salt concentration of any body of water. In fact, the Dead Sea is named as such because its salt content is so high that it cannot support any animal life. Ironically, its salt is rumored to have exceptional healing properties. The coast of the Dead Sea is sprinkled with various resorts to accommodate the high volume of travelers.

Its is obvious that Jerusalem is a very special place, colored by many thousands of years of powerful human history. Whether your interests skew to the religious or the secular, this city will captivate your heart. But don’t take our word for it—plan a visit to Jerusalem with EscapeWizard.com today!
Hotels in Jerusalem
By Jessica Beck
Crowne Plaza Jerusalem
Givat Ram, Jerusalem, Israel
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This hotel is perfect for the businessman and tourist alike. Located in downtown Jerusalem, close to all the action, and with historic areas, landmarks, and businesses within walking distance, this hotel is truly convenient and central. With almost 300 guest rooms to choose from, Crowne Plaza provides something for everyone.

Crowne Plaza always takes into consideration all their guests’ ages, needs, and desires and this hotel is no exception. Take advantage of the kids club for some adult-only, kid-free fun time for you to explore the city or pamper yourself with a massage treatment in the spa. Work up a detoxifying sweat in the sauna or take a refreshing dip in the pool. Play a friendly tennis match with friend or have a rejuvenating workout in the on-site fitness center. Peruse the hotel gift shop or to keep up-to-date, head over to the newsstand and pick up a newspaper. As for hotel dining options, Crowne Plaza has three different convenient options for you to choose from. Feast your eyes on a delicious selection of cheeses and salads at Hasma restaurant or pick a cozy spot in the Genesis Lobby Lounge and dine near floor-to-ceiling windows for beautiful city views. Indulge your taste buds and devour tandoori and naan at the delectable Indian restaurant, Kohinoor.

You will be more than satisfied with your guest room accommodations. Enjoy a relaxing bath in your private bathroom. Curl up on your sofa-bed couch and watch your favorite television show or explore local favorites. Feel like royalty by taking advantage of the turndown service. Lie back on your comfortable, cozy bed and fall asleep to an in-room movie. Wake up with a cup of your favorite morning brew with your in-room coffee/tea maker. Keep connected with in-room high-speed internet access and wireless data connection. Upgrade to Executive Level to enjoy a complimentary morning newspaper delivered daily, a generous work desk, and a speaker phone. Upgrade to a suite to enjoy wrapping yourself in your complimentary plush bathrobe and additional amenities such as a dressing room, separate living room, and a dining table.

Check-in to the Crowne Plaza to enjoy a luxury hotel in a perfect downtown location. Book your stay with EscapeWizard.com today (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).