>> Wednesday, August 20, 2014
These are just some other photos I like from inside and immediately surrounding the Old City of Jerusalem.
I'm not entirely certain how many of the lights hanging everywhere were strung for Ramadan, and how many are always up. Regardless, I loved their little spots and flashes of color.
I believe this is part of the Austrian Hostel.
And this is just some random entryway, to what I don't know. But it's lovely.
This is the door to the Church of the Flagellation or the Church of the Condemnation - part of the same complex. I cannot remember to which it belongs.
I think perhaps the extent of my visceral response to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre stood out more markedly than it otherwise would have because I found the Western Wall to be a very moving place of peace that made me want to pray. Considering I call myself an agnostic on a good day, that urge was pretty remarkable. I found myself repeatedly returning to the Western Wall plaza just to be there, not just because of aesthetic beauty, but because its sacred atmosphere appealed to me so much. In contrast, when I entered the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, I had to fight an urge to flee from the assault on my eyeballs. That disparity in my responses to two different holy sites fascinates me.
Any way, this is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Chapel of the Franks, dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows.
The next shots are of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre's Rotunda. Light shines down on the Edicule, the top of which is seen here, which contains the Chapel of the Angel, and the Tomb of Jesus. The Rotunda was the only room I really liked. It's elegant, and gracefully proportioned, though I admit the whole light shining down on the tomb thing, to this overwhelmed and cynical non-Christian, seemed rather melodramatic. At least it was aesthetically pleasing.
Oh man, the gilt. This is the Greek Chapel at Calvary. Under the altar (which is below the backdrop shown here), one can touch the bedrock of Calvary at a spot that is traditionally believed to be near the place where the base of the cross was placed. I took this one not-so-great shot, and fled to a dark corner to look at the candles in the next photo. The hammered shiny goldness of every surface in this dark Chapel nearly did me in.
End of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. My camera disk tells me this is the next photo I took, but I have no recollection of where it is. I wondered if they were peace doves?
At the entrance to the City of David. In a desert, I can only imagine what it costs to maintain the kinds of lush flowers they have there.
Sometimes, with so much amazing stuff all around, one forgets to look up. But I did remember to in one archway I walked through, and spotted this.
I love this sign.
Photos from various markets.
I think this is the door to a Synagogue. My Hebrew is practically non-existent, and I can't read what this says. My attempt at translating the few words I thought I knew resulted in gibberish, so I won't even try.
This next batch are all from St. Anne's Church and its gardens and grounds. For what it's worth, I did not dislike all the Christian churches, just the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. St. Anne's is lovely and very appealing, as are its gardens and grounds.
This is the view from the crypt.
I loved the picturesque doves here. Well, okay, pigeons probably. But pretty ones.
It's impossible to capture sounds in photos, but the days were all punctuated with the sounds of the muezzins calling Muslims to prayer from these towers.
As I wandered the Old City, I often found myself thinking of the words from Psalm 137. Honestly, I'm not even sure why I remember that Psalm, since there are remarkably few I can recite, but somehow enough scraps of this one were stored in the deep dark recesses of my brain that I could manage to Google the rest. Non-religious I may be, but I certainly appreciated the sentiment as I fell in love with the Old City.
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not;
if I set not Jerusalem above my highest joy.