Israel pictures (Jerusalem and surroundings)

Finally, after working many years with IAESTE trainees in Rostock, I managed to find time for an IAESTE traineeship myself. In August and September 2003 I spent 6 weeks at the Engineering Faculty of the Tel Aviv University at coast of the south-eastern Mediterranean Sea. While working in the group of Prof. Avi Gover on optical design problems, I tried to get to know as much of Israel as possible in the short time of my stay.

The pictures below are from Jerusalem and its surroundings. Click on the other Israel categories above to see pictures from other places in Israel.

Jiri Vass, an IAESTE trainee from Czechia staying in Haifa, has taken a large number of pics which you can browse on his site.

Click on the picture to see the full-size images.

This monastery in the Sorek Valley west of Jerusalem was inhabited until a few weeks ago. It is located opposite to the Arab village of Sataf (see next picture).

The acient Arab village of Sataf on the slopes of Mt. Eitan 20km west of Jerusalem shows how people used to live in this Region. The village was probably located right there because there are two natural springs supplying water urgently needed for people, animals and the crops.

The slopes are shaped by small walls into terraces to have small patches to grow wheat, vegetables, figs, olives and wine. It was reconstructed and replanted about 20 years ago to show how it looked like when inhabited.

The terraces stretch all along the valley.

The olive and fig trees give shadow from the sun and under them, I imagine a lively little village community working on the fields and in the household.

A system of small water channels distributed the water to all the terraces.

View out the Sorek Valley in the evening light.

Coming down from the Judean heights to the plane stretching along the Mediterranean, we saw a very nice sunset. Unfortunately, the digital camera has problems reproducing the correct colours under such circumstances.

There are places with quite large forests, most of which being planted as re-forestation projects. One even bears the name "Wald der deutschen Länder" (Forest of the German states); obviously funded by some German donations.

This is David Street in the old city of Jerusalem. It leads from the western Jaffa gate towards the east and the Temple mountain.

Another impression from David Street. The third house from the left is the "Petra Hostel" where we stayed on our first visit to Jerusalem. The wall on the right belongs to the citadel.

Fountain in the Christian quarter of the old city of Jerusalem. It was used for washing before going to the mosque which was built close to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (deutsch: Grabeskirche) at some time. Nowadays, there are washing facilities inside the mosque and the fountain is no longer used.

Entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (deutsch: Grabeskirche). Even though this church is pretty big and very important, it doesn´t show from outside.

There´s a mosque right beside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre showing how close the different cultures and religions are pressed together inside the city wall (view from the entrace of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre).

The large dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as seen from the outside under an arch of a nearby building.

While this narrow street in the Arab quarter is open to the sky, most are covered to provide shadow from the sun (see pictures below).

Israeli Prime Minister Ari Sharon has an apartment in the middle of the Arab quarter. Although he has never used it since its purchase, it is decorated with a huge Israeli flag and a menora (Jewish candle holder) on the roof. Understandably, the Arabic inhabitants are not too excited about this.

View from above on a street in the Arab quarter. The little domes give light for the street below.

The "Cardo" was a market street from Roman times and was a common feature in many Roman cities.

It was later expanded in Byzantine times to be even longer. This scheme shows how it used to look like...

...and this is was you still can find today. Most parts of the Cardo are now covered underneath other roads and buildings.

The modern version of the "Cardo" whose southern part is now in the Jewish quarter.

But even before the Romans, Jerusalem was a busy place. These former city walls are from the time of the first temple. The columns were part of the "Cardo".

The whole old city seems to be a maze of streets, tunnels, houses and courtyards, all built in stone. Only few places one can find trees or free spaces with public greens.

View from above the West Wall, aka. Wailing Wall, (deutsch: Klagemauer) to the Temple Mountain with the Dome of the Rock (deutsch: Felsendom).

West Wall with Dome of the Rock to the left and Al Aqsa Mosque to the right. In the background, behind the mosque, one can see the Mount of Olives (deutsch: Ölberg).

Another view of West Wall, Al Aqsa Mosque and Mount of Olives.

On the southern side of the Temple Mountain, there is an extensive area of archaeological excavations from different times reaching back more than 2000 years.

More excavations and an unobstructed view of the Mount of Olives.

South-eastern part of the large city wall surrounding the old city of Jerusalem.

The tombs of Absalom, Josaphat and Beni Hesir in the Qidron Valley (aka. Josaphat Valley).

The Qidron Valley with the Church of All Nations in the valley hidden behind the trees and the Russian/Greek-Orthodox Maria Magdalena Church higher up.

View from the Mount of Olives to the Temple Mountain with the Al Aqsa Mosque to the left and the Dome of Rocks in the middle. From here one can imagine the spacious arrangements with many trees on the Temple Mountain, while the rest of the old city is very crowded and packed with buildings.
The slope of the Mount of Olives is a big Jewish graveyard because according to Jewish traditions, the souls will ascend to the heavens from here and therefore everyone wishes to be buried at this site.

This is a view of the surroundings of the "Yad Vashem" memorial and museum in the west of Jerusalem. It´s main task is to commemorate the victims of the holocaust and to collect information about victims of the Nazi regime and their individual histories.

This is the "Memorial of the Deportees. The cattle waggon is aan original Reichsbahn waggon that was used to transport people to the concentration camps.

The waggon had survived in a Polish storage and was given to the "Yad Vashem" memorial site in 1990.

It symbolizes the last travel of many millions of jews who perished in the holocaust.

From the report of a survivor of the holocaust about the transport to the concentration camp.

This is the "Garden of the Righteous of the Nations". This title is given to non-jewish people who helped jews to escape the holocaust and the repressions in the past and the preset.

Up to now, more than 20,000 people have been awarded the title "Righteous of the Nations".

This is an overview of the "Valley of the Communities"...

...which is a maze in the form of the European map.

Inside this monument, there are plates giving the names of all the Jewish communities in the respective country that were exterminated in the holocaust and the few who survived this time (the plate on the picture is for Greece).

It is a really big and massive monument and - as the other parts of "Yad Vashem" - touches the visitor.

This plate shows community names in the west of Germany.

This is from the south of Germany and includes my hometown "Ulm"...

...while this one is for the north of Germany and includes the city of "Rostock" where I´m studying.

A kind of "Tree of Live", formed by human figures.

"Memorial of the Jewish Soldiers".