The Four Quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem
The Old City of Jerusalem is an amazing place! This city has been fought over for numerous times in the past with its history dating back to 3000 years old. It is divided into four quarters; The Christian Quarter, the Muslim quarter, the Jewish Quarter and the Armenian Quarter. It is divided politically, culturally, religiously, and even historically. The different quarters and religious groups in Jerusalem strive to live in harmony. The names of these quarters represent the majority of the religious population in that particular quarter; however, the names can be misleading since they serve mostly as a general guideline than a rule. Nevertheless, each quarter is unique in its own way with its own holy sites and cultural values. In this article we will walk through each quarter and find out what they are about.
Jewish Quarter holds a great tour of what life in the Old City is like. This Quarter holds the western wall, also known as Hakotel in Hebrew. This wall is super special. You can leave prayers between the cracks which can leave you feeling powerful and spiritual. There are separate sections for men and women. The women’s side is much smaller than the men’s side. You must use a yarmulke in order to go inside. If you want to know the history, check out the Cardo, which has been reconstructed in the Byzantine era. This quarter shows you the heart of Jewish life in the Old City. There are various restaurants up and down the streets. The Roman Cardo with its old Byzantine bazaar has been a center of attraction amongst tourist and it has been preserved and filled with shops selling different kinds of art works.
The Muslim Quarter is very similar to the other quarters. The streets are also narrower but much busier than the other quarters. Muslims usually travel to the Dome of the Rock which is home to the Foundation Stone sacred to Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Muslims usually remove their shoes in order to show their devotion to the scared place. Pilgrims would chip off from the rock and take it home with them, but now there are glass partitions to prevent visitors from taking them as souvenirs. The non-Muslims are not allowed during Fridays and prayer time. The other important site is the Monastery of the Flagellation where Christ was flogged by roman soldiers before the crucifixion. This quarter is the largest out of the four and has the most history out of all of them.
The Armenian Quarter The Armenian Quarter is the smallest of the four quarter. The Armenian quarter is home to 2500 Armenians who have lived here for over 2000 years. It is the most compact and runs itself like a city within a city. The tower of David is the most popular place to visit in this Quarter. Nightly shows and amazing tours of Armenian quarter are worth considering. It is also home to Armenian Museum and St. James Cathedral, which is known as the most sacred old building in the Old City.
The Christian Quarter is near the entrance of the Old City. Most visitors encounter it first since it is near the Jerusalem hotels. The Church of St. John The Baptist is one of the most popular places for Christian tourists also the Church of the Sepulcher, which is believed that Jesus was crucified and buried. The Christian Quarter also holds the Via Dolorosa, a way of suffering. This is where Jesus traveled while carrying the cross making it one of the most visited places by Christians in the Old City.